Richard Hayes, Jr.

Ownership Report Enforcement??

I received a phone call from a staff member at the FCC a couple of days ago.  I was informed that a client of mine had not filed his biennial ownership report for 2013. (Actually, I had filed the report for him.  He somehow got onto the “bad guy” list by mistake.)

I was completely surprised to receive a phone call from the FCC about a tardy ownership report!  Not once, in thirty two years of practicing FCC law, has the Commission ever chased down missing ownership reports.  I mentioned this to the staffer who agreed that this was the first time the FCC has bothered.  She also mentioned that this was not an enforcement call.  In other words, the FCC isn’t handing out tickets yet.  So, what does this mean?  It means the FCC is now handing out warnings to first offenders.  Don’t be surprised if you get pinched by the FCC police for an ownership report filing violation in the future.

Query:  Is this the best use of taxpayer money?  Are we really paying high government salaries and benefits to people who chase down ownership reports?  Seriously, the government must be too big if we are tasking people to do tasks as pointless as this. Realistically, this is a great example of the BIG government Obama promised… complete with big staffs and big payrolls.

Bottom line: Make sure you filed your ownership report in 2013.  I know all of my clients are up to date on this but if you are bouncing around the internet and happened to pstumble, here,



if we have to spend so much money paying for something that is so insubstantial?  How many thousands of dollars does the FCC expect to make from ownership report scofflaws?  Does the number justify the cost



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