FCC Database Creates Headaches for TV Stations in Battlegrounds
A Federal Communications Commission plan to make television stations disclose how many political ads they have sold is creating administrative headaches for network affiliates in battleground states that deal with a dozen or more campaigns or political groups in a single market.
An online database the FCC launched last week is designed to eliminate the need for people to obtain hard-copy files of advertising agreements from individual stations. Instead, the stations must scan the agreements into computers, convert them into PDF files and upload them to the database.
“There isn’t any question that it’s using up station resources in terms of time spent for some people who normally had full-time jobs doing something else,” said Lou Schottelkotte, director of sales at ABC affiliate WEWS in Cleveland.
In battlegrounds such as northeast Ohio, Schottelkotte said, there can be 10 to 12 political entities jockeying for air time simultaneously. One native of the Buckeye State, T.J. Basalla, a marketing specialist for a technology company, recently tweeted, “You can honestly go through an entire local newscast in Cleveland and see nothing but political ads.”
The reporting requirement applies only to affiliates of ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC in the top 50 U.S. media markets. The FCC plans to add broadcasters such as Telemundo and affiliates in smaller markets starting in July 2014. Radio stations and video distributors are exempt until the agency studies the rule’s effect.

Read more: http://www.rollcall.com/news/fcc_database_creates_headaches_for_tv_stations_in_battlegrounds-216800-1.html?pos=hftxt

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