On Thursday, July 13, the FCC was supposed to consider the formal rules for digital radio. As I wrote on July 7, AM and FM stations operating digitally are currently doing so under temporary rules. The Commission was supposed to resolve the many issues surrounding digital radio at this meeting.
The meeting was to begin at 9:30, but the appointed hour came and went with no meeting. Eventually, it was announced that the meeting would be moved to 11 AM and then, just before 11, the FCC announced that they had pulled the digital radio item from the agenda.
It has been widely reported that the item would be considered "on circulation," meaning that the Commissioners would simply review the item in their own offices and cast their vote on paper. When they all had voted, the item would be released. There would be no need for another meeting. The rumor was that the order would be out quickly, perhaps even by the end of last week, but we still have not seen it.
So keep your eyes on the trade press to see what the FCC will decide. But don’t hold your breath, as we’re still waiting for the text of the FCC’s multiple ownership rulemaking – a rulemaking supposedly adopted at the Commission meeting on June 21.