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Federal Communications Commission
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Washington, D.C. 20554
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

September 29, 1998


Re: Suspension of EEO Form Submission Pending Revision of FCC EEO Rules

In the wake of the Lutheran Church decision, the Commission's most important undertaking now is promptly to revise the broadcast EEO rules.

We need to respond to the concerns of the court while at the same time ensuring that the rules' critical public interest goals are achieved. I am confident that we can do so, and do so soon. I expect we will issue a proposal before the end of the year so that we can adopt revised EEO rules as early as possible in 1999.

As part of such revised rules, I anticipate that the Commission will want to continue to collect industry trend data to monitor the participation of women and minorities in broadcasting, something we unquestionably have the authority to do.

In this context, and in order to permit the Commission to focus on the core goal of developing revised EEO rules promptly, I agree that it is appropriate to suspend the collection of Form 395s from broadcast licensees on September 30. For similar reasons, it seems appropriate to suspend the filing of EEO program statements until new rules are in place.

I am heartened by the fact that many broadcasters have voluntarily agreed to comply with the Commission's EEO rules in the interim and I strongly encourage broadcasters also to continue to file EEO data so that interested parties can monitor industry trends during the short filing hiatus while the Commission considers the adoption of appropriate revised broadcast EEO rules.

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