Pai, O'Rielly Indicate Opposition To Expanded Station “Ownership” Info Requirements

WASHINGTON–Republican FCC Commissioners Ajit Pai and Michael O'Rielly have announced they plan to revisit the Commission’s Media Bureau order requiring that all station operators submit updated ownership data to include information on its staff diversity. As reported by our sister publication Broadcasting & Cable, public television and radio operators found the new rules burdensome and even potentially risky because it would require sensitive personal information from employees.

In the meantime, Pai and O’Reilly have asked that PEG and noncommercial operators refile applications for the Commission to reconsider the Media Bureau ruling.

The public television station advocate, America’s Public Television Stations, has praised the two Commissioners announcement and has said they intend “to request a review and a reversal of this order by the full Commission.”

“The public owns our stations, which operate as licensees of communities, States, universities or school districts. Those who serve on public television station boards are unpaid volunteers. Requiring them to provide sensitive personal information to the Commission is a pointless exercise that advances no identifiable public interest,” APTS said in a statement.

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