The commission has signaled that it intends to eliminate the requirement that individuals with attributable interests in noncommercial broadcast stations — officers and board members — to provide their Social Security Numbers or other personal information to the FCC to obtain an FCC Registration Number — an FRN. The move is expected at the commission’s April 20 meeting.
Just 29 days ago, the FCC’s Media Bureau issued an unusual decision denying petitions for reconsideration of an order adopted by the commissioners themselves, raising questions as to who’s in charge at the FCC. The petitions were filed by noncommercial broadcasters over a long-running proceeding to update broadcast ownership reporting rules. On Thursday, a much different Media Bureau backtracked on that decision — t he FCC’s rules give it 30 days to change its mind — and decided that ruling on petitions seeking reconsideration of a commission-level order is a matter best left to the commissioners themselves.