A new rule requiring TV stations to put political ad data on a government website is one step closer to taking effect, as the Office of Management and Budget approved the measure following a mandatory review.
The Federal Communications Commission rule, passed earlier this year, will require broadcasters to post online information including who buys politics ads and for how much. The information, which should help shed light on the expected tsunami of ad spending by campaigns and outside groups in the election, is currently available only on paper at stations.
The approval of the rule by OMB, which was assessing whether it complies with the Paperwork Reduction Act, was first reported by the Sunlight Foundation. The approval came last week over the objections of broadcasters, who have been fighting the transparency measure at every time.
But it's still unclear when the new website with political ad data will be up and running.
When the FCC passed the rule in April, it said stations would have to begin posting political ad files online 30 days after the FCC announces OMB approval in the Federal Register. We now have OMB approval, but the FCC has yet to announce it in the Federal Register. An FCC spokeswoman declined to comment on when that might happen. So stay tuned.