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Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: FM Radio

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Preliminary Comments Sought by FCC on Proposal to Increase LPFM Power to 250 Watts and to Modify LPFM Translator Rules

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
Last week, the FCC formally announced its receipt of a proposal from REC Networks to raise the maximum power for LPFM stations from 100 watts to 250 watts, to give them equivalent power levels with FM translator stations. REC suggests that these higher power levels are necessary to allow LPFM stations to overcome the effects… Continue Reading

May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including EEO Mid-Term Reports, FM Auction, Emergency Communications Compliance, TV Market Modification Comments, Class A TV Digital Conversion Deadline and More

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Television
May is one of those months where there are no routine, recurring FCC regulatory filing deadlines – no EEO reports or Quarterly Issues Programs lists, no Children’s Television Programming Reports or noncommercial station ownership report deadlines. But, as with any month, that does not mean that there are no dates of concern for broadcasters –… Continue Reading

FCC Sets Final Rules For Auction of New FM Stations – Applications Due By May 28, Filing Freeze on FM Minor Changes from May 18 through May 28

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio
The FCC has finalized the rules for its auction for about 130 new FM channels to be auctioned in July. The Order setting the rules for the auction is available here, and the list of channels to be sold, and the opening minimum bid for each such channel, is available here. The minimum bids also… Continue Reading

April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Including Quarterly Issues Programs and Children’s Television Reports; Comments In Proceedings Including One on Digital Auxiliaries; and More Incentive Auction Seminars

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, Children's Programming and Advertising, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
April is one of those months with many routine FCC obligations. Quarterly Issues Programs lists need to be in your public file by the 10th of the month. This is an obligation for all full-power broadcast stations – commercial or noncommercial. Similarly, all TV stations have an obligation to submit their Children’s Television Reports on… Continue Reading

When is a Nondirectional FM Antenna Really Directional? The FCC Weighs In

Posted in FM Radio, Tower Issues
In a decision of the FCC Media Bureau’s Audio Division that may be of interest to the more technically minded broadcasters, the Commission found that an FM station’s supposedly nondirectional FM antenna should be treated as directional. This decision was in response to a complaint from another broadcaster on the same channel, arguing that the… Continue Reading

Want a New FM Station? FCC Proposes FM Auction in July, Lists Channels to be Sold, and Imposes a Freeze on Certain Applications

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio
The FCC has announced that it plans to hold an auction to award construction permits allowing the winners to build new FM radio stations. 131 total channels on which bids can be placed are included in the list of channels to be auctioned – with most being in the state of Texas. The auction is… Continue Reading

March Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Closed Captioning Quality Standards Effective Date, Comments on Online Public File, MVPD Status for Online Video Providers, LIFO for Political Ads, and FRNs for Biennial Ownership Reports

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, General FCC, Internet Video, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Television
March is one of those rare months on the broadcast calendar when there are few routine regulatory deadlines for broadcasters. As we are winding down in the television license renewal cycle, the month’s only license renewal obligations for TV broadcasters are the pre-filing license renewal announcements on the 1st and 16th of the month for… Continue Reading

Comment Dates Set on FCC Proposal to Extend Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable, and Satellite

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FM Radio, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The FCC has finally had published in the Federal Register its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to extend the online public file obligations to radio, satellite radio, cable operators and satellite TV providers. This publication starts the countdown to the filing deadline for the comments in the proceeding. Comments are due by March 16, and… Continue Reading

FCC Standards for Comparing Service by Mutually Exclusive Applicants for New Noncommercial Radio Stations Clarified by Court of Appeals

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Yesterday, we wrote about a case involving an applicant for a new commercial FM station, where the FCC clarified its policies on reasonable assurance of transmitter site availability – holding that an applicant in an auction process can amend to a new site if it is found that its originally specified site is not available… Continue Reading

Two Decisions Clarifying the Processing of FCC Applications for New Commercial and Noncommercial Broadcast Stations – Auction Applications and Reasonable Assurance of Transmitter Site Availability

Posted in Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Tower Issues
Last week, there were two decisions that clarified FCC processing policies for new broadcast stations – one dealing with applications for commercial stations, and the other with applications for noncommercial FM stations.  The commercial case made clear that an applicant for a new FM station in the auction process need not have reasonable assurance of… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2015 – Part 1, What’s Up at the FCC

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Indecency, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
Each year, at about this time, we pull out the crystal ball and make predictions of the issues affecting broadcasters that will likely bubble up to the top of the FCC’s agenda in the coming year.  While we try each year to throw in a mention of the issues that come to our mind, there… Continue Reading

FCC Issues Public Notice on Mutually Exclusive LPFM Applications in the Southeast US – Deadlines for Petitions to Deny and Amendments to Applications

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
Right before Christmas, the FCC’s Media Bureau released a Public Notice announcing that they have reviewed the final set of mutually exclusive LPFM applications.  “Mutually exclusive applications” are applications for stations in the same geographic area which cannot all be granted without creating interference issues. The notice identifies tentative winners selected by the “point system”… Continue Reading

FCC Sets Dates for Comments on Proposed Changes to Required Disclosures of Broadcast Contest Material Terms

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Television
We recently wrote about the proposed changes in the FCC’s rules about station-conducted contests, here.  The FCC has proposed that much of the required disclosure about the material terms of these contests be allowed to be conducted online, rather than having to be announced on-air often enough so that listeners to the station are likely… Continue Reading

Online Public File for Radio – and Satellite and Cable – Moves Closer to Reality – FCC Issues Formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
The online public inspection file for radio is moving closer to reality at an unusually fast pace.  Yesterday, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, seeking to expand the online public file requirements that now apply to broadcast TV stations to radio (see our summary of the obligations here, and a presentation that we… Continue Reading

FCC Fines Station $7000 for Violation of Main Studio Rule – Good Reminder on Broadcast Main Studio Requirements

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
The FCC issued a Forfeiture Order this week, fining a station $7000 for violations of the main studio rule. The facts of the case were set out in a Notice of Apparent Liability issued back in February, where the licensee had claimed that its studio was in a location that was shared with another broadcaster… Continue Reading

Typo in Geographic Coordinates Can Sink FCC Radio Application

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
In a case decided last week, the FCC decided to clarify its policies on typos in FCC applications for radio stations.  While one might not think that a typo is such a big idea, in connection with FCC application filing windows, when multiple applicants may be seeking the same frequency or channel in the same… Continue Reading

The End of the Mattoon Waiver? – FCC Decisions Confirming Its Use Only for the Rebroadcast of AM Stations and Prohibiting Intermediate Site Changes

Posted in AM Radio, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
In 2011, licensees of FM translators who wanted to move those translators to areas where there was a need for their service thought that the FCC had done a great thing by authorizing the use of the “Mattoon” waiver (see our article here).  The Mattoon waiver allowed the processing of an FCC application to move… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes To Amend Rules Governing Broadcast Contests – Suggests Allowing Disclosure of Material Terms of the Contest on the Internet

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Programming Regulations, Website Issues
The FCC on Friday proposed to amend its rules governing contests conducted by broadcast stations by allowing the required disclosure of the material terms of the contest on the Internet, as an option for broadcasters in lieu of the current requirement that these disclosures be made by broadcasting them on-the-air a reasonable number of times. … Continue Reading

Formal Proceedings to Begin to Revise Rules for Broadcasters’ On-Air Contests and Expand the Online Public File Obligations to Radio, Cable and Satellite

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, FCC Fines, FM Radio, General FCC, Political Broadcasting, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television, Website Issues
Since our note Friday about November regulatory dates for broadcasters, it’s become clear that the FCC will be acting on two more matters of interest to broadcasters – particularly radio broadcasters though each have some implications for TV as well.  First, as we hinted at the end of our article on Friday (the rumors that… Continue Reading

TV Music Licensing Committee Settles Antitrust Action with SESAC over Music Licensing Rates and Terms – Radio Watches and Wonders if It Can Get a Similar Deal

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Performance Royalty, FM Radio, Intellectual Property, Music Rights, Television
SESAC is the one major performing rights organization whose rates have not, until now, been subject to judicial review as part of an antitrust consent decree.  Perhaps because of that fact, broadcast stations have often complained about the rates they charge for the music that they license, as there is currently no cap on what… Continue Reading

FCC Proposals for Preserving LPTV and TV Translator Service after the Incentive Auction, Plus Proposals for Preservation of the Franken FM and an End to Analog Tuner Requirements

Posted in Digital Television, FM Radio, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Late last week, the FCC advanced a number of proposals on how it will deal with LPTV stations and TV translators after the incentive auction and the repacking of the TV spectrum into whatever channels are left after part of the TV band is repurposed for wireless uses.  The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking raises a… Continue Reading

FCC Announces Tentative Winners for 111 Groups of Mutually Exclusive LPFM Applications – FM Broadcasters Have 30 Days to Raise Interference Objections

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
Another set of mutually exclusive LPFM applications have been reviewed and tentative point system winners (or applicants headed for shared time arrangements where they remained tied after the FCC’s “point system” analysis) have been determined by the FCC.  These determinations involve 111 mutually exclusive groups of LPFM applicants, mostly east of the Mississippi.  We wrote… Continue Reading

FCC Regulatory Fees Due On or Before September 23 – What’s New for This Year’s Fees?

Posted in AM Radio, FCC Fees, FM Radio, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
Right as everyone was preparing to leave town for the long weekend, the FCC issued its Report and Order on the regulatory fees for 2014, and also issued a Public Notice setting the deadline for paying those fees as 11:59 PM on September 23.  For broadcasters, the FCC also issued a Mass Media Fee Filing… Continue Reading

September Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Regulatory Fees, Lowest Unit Rates, and Comments on Multiple Ownership, Online Public File for Radio and MVPDs, Music Licensing and Class C4 FM Stations

Posted in FCC Fees, FM Radio, Internet Radio, License Renewal, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, Political Broadcasting
September is one of those few months of the year where there are no regular FCC filing deadlines – no quarterly issues programs lists, no children’s television reports, no annual EEO public file reports, and no ownership reports or renewal deadlines.  For TV stations that recently filed a renewal, or which are about to file… Continue Reading