In an Order released today, the FCC extended the time for filing reply comments in its multiple ownership proceeding to January 16. Those comments were initially due later this week.
The extension came in response to a seemingly reasonable request filed by Media General, asking that the comment deadline be extended until after the FCC issues the results of the studies that it is conducting on various issues associated with the proceeding, assessing the impact of media consolidation on the public interest. Seemingly, that would make sense – to give the parties the opportunity to comment on the findings of these studies and what impact these findings would have on the issues at stake in this proceeding. But the Commission denied that request, but nevertheless extended the filing period until January 16.
No doubt, even though the comment date was not extended, comments will still be filed on the studies – though they may have to be submitted as "ex parte" filings – informal comments that can be submitted throughout the course of the proceeding, even after the formal comment deadlines have passed.