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Broadcast Law Blog

Category Archives: FM Translators and LPFM

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May Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Incentive Auction, Comments on EAS, ATSC 3.0 and Set Top Boxes

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Digital Television, Emergency Communications, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Political Broadcasting, Television
May is one of those off months in which there are not the kind of routine filings that pop up in most other months – no EEO Public File Reports, no quarterly issues programs lists or children’s television reports, no Biennial Ownership Reports for noncommercial stations (which will soon disappear anyway when noncommercial stations transition… Continue Reading

Comments on FCC Proposals for More AM Revitalization Efforts Due March 21 – What Questions are on the Table?

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The FCC’s proceeding on revitalizing AM radio is headed into its second phase, looking at further steps that it can take to assist the oldest broadcast service adapt and thrive in the new media world. In the Fall, the FCC adopted certain policy and rule changes to help AM stations, most notably allowing wider use… Continue Reading

February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Political Broadcasting, Television
It’s February, and we’re back to the normal cycle of FCC filings. Due to be placed in the public files of radio and TV stations with 5 or more full-time employees are EEO Public Inspection File Reports for radio and TV stations in the following states: Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York,… Continue Reading

What Washington Has in Store for Broadcasters in 2016 – Looking at the Legal Issues that the FCC Will Be Considering in the New Year

Posted in Advertising Issues, AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, EEO Compliance/Diversity, Emergency Communications, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Indecency, Internet Video, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Multiple Ownership Rules, Noncommercial Broadcasting, On Line Media, Payola and Sponsorship Identification, Political Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
It’s that time of the year when we need to dust off the crystal ball and make predictions about the legal issues that will impact the business of broadcasters in 2016.  While we try to look ahead to identify the issues that are on the agenda of the FCC and other government agencies, there are… Continue Reading

January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Incentive Auction, FM Translators for AM Stations, Webcasting Fees, LUR Windows and More

Posted in AM Radio, Broadcast Auctions, Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Internet Radio, Internet Video, Multiple Ownership Rules, Music Rights, On Line Media, Political Broadcasting, Television, Website Issues
While January starts off with some regulatory deadlines that apply to all broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs lists must be placed in a station’s public file by the 10th of January – there are many other dates that come due this month, dates to which broadcasters need to pay careful attention. For TV stations, they… Continue Reading

Window to Open January 29 for Applications to Move FM Translators Up to 250 Miles to Rebroadcast AM Stations

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The FCC’s Media Bureau gave a long-awaited Christmas present to many of the country’s AM stations, releasing a Public Notice announcing the filing dates for the translator modification application filing windows for AM stations.  These are the windows authorized by the Commission as part of its AM Revitalization proceeding (see our article here for more… Continue Reading

Closing the 2003 FM Translator Window – Mutually Exclusive Noncommercial Applications Set for Resolution by Point System Paper Hearings

Posted in FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
While much of the attention paid to FM translators has recently come from their use to rebroadcast AM stations and the upcoming windows for, first, relocating existing translators to AM markets and, later, a window for new translators for AM stations (see our article here), many forget that there are still many translator applications pending… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts AM Revitalization Order – Part 1 – The Upcoming Windows for AM Stations to Acquire FM Translators

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
On Friday, the FCC finally took action in its long-awaited AM revitalization rulemaking proceeding.  Friday’s order came in three parts – one adopting certain changes to FCC technical FCC rules and also adopting procedures for AM stations to acquire FM translators, a second asking for comment on a series of additional proposals looking to further… Continue Reading

Moving FM Translators 250 Miles to Rebroadcast an AM Station – What the FCC is Considering as Part of Its AM Revitalization Proceeding

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
A proposal to allow AM station licensees to buy FM translators located as far as 250 miles away from the AM station and move them to an area where they can rebroadcast the AM station was the talk of the NAB Radio Show last week.   With battling news releases from FCC Commissioners (one from Commissioner… Continue Reading

October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Many Routine Filings for All Broadcasters, Incentive Auction Actions, and More

Posted in AM Radio, Cable Carriage, Children's Programming and Advertising, Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
October is one of those months where the regulatory stars align, when not only do broadcasters in many states have EEO Public File report obligations, but also Quarterly Issues Programs Lists need to be placed in the public files of all commercial and noncommercial stations, and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports need to be filed at… Continue Reading

More on AM Revitalization – Why the FCC Chairman is Against an AM-Only Filing Window For FM Translators

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
An order deciding on the steps the FCC will take to revitalize AM radio is currently being actively considered by the Commissioners. As we wrote earlier this week, the biggest argument about the proposal that is circulating is reportedly whether or not that order will provide for a window for filing for new FM translators… Continue Reading

FCC Regulatory Fees Due September 24 – Plus FCC Proposes Changes in Future Broadcaster Fee Computations

Posted in AM Radio, Digital Television, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Low Power Television/Class A TV, Television
The FCC announced yesterday 2015 regulatory fees are due by 11:59 pm (Eastern Daylight Time) on September 24, 2015.  The FCC also announced that the FCC’s automated filing and payment system (Fee Filer) for FY 2015 regulatory fees was open yesterday and will reopen on Tuesday, September 8 (it is closed today through the holiday… Continue Reading

Proposal Asks that Low Power FM Stations Be Given Primary Status, and Allowed to Operate Commercially

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, Noncommercial Broadcasting
The FCC has asked for comments on a rulemaking proposal that would fundamentally change the way in which LPFM stations operate – proposing that they be allowed to take commercial messages (as opposed to the current limit the they operate noncommercially, only taking underwriting announcements and other noncommercial sponsorships), allowing them to be owned by… Continue Reading

June Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – EEO Public File Reports and Form 397, CALM Act Compliance Obligations, Incentive Auction Actions, Comments on Reg Fees and LPFM Rules, and More

Posted in Digital Television, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FCC Fees, FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM, General FCC, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, License Renewal, Noncommercial Broadcasting, Programming Regulations, Public Interest Obligations/Localism, Television
June brings some standard obligations for broadcasters in a number of states with anniversaries of their license renewal filing, plus the return of an obligation that we have not seen in 4 years- the obligations of radio stations in certain states to file an FCC Form 397 Mid-Term EEO Report. In addition to these routine… Continue Reading

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

The Confusing State of AM Radio Revitalization Efforts – No FM Translator Window for AM Licensees?

Posted in AM Radio, EEO Compliance/Diversity, FM Translators and LPFM, Incentive Auctions/Broadband Report, Public Interest Obligations/Localism
Almost two years ago, the FCC launched its AM revitalization efforts with great flourish, and promises of prompt action. We wrote about the two aspects of potential assistance for AM stations that were proposed in the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking – technical proposals which mostly focused on ways to make the relocation of AM… 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

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 Denies “Tell City Waiver” to Move Translator to Distant Non-Adjacent Channel to Rebroadcast AM Station

Posted in AM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
In a case that has been watched by many AM licensees and debated at a number of broadcast conferences in the last few years, the FCC on Friday denied the “Tell City waiver,” by which the licensee of an AM station in Indiana sought to buy an FM translator in Kentucky and move it to Indiana,… 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 Extends Dates for Comments on Proposal to Create a Class C4 FM Station – What Does This Proposal Seek?

Posted in FM Radio, FM Translators and LPFM
The FCC yesterday issued a public notice extending the time for comments on a Petition for Rulemaking seeking, among other things, to create a Class C4 FM station with maximum power levels at about 12 kW, twice the power of the least powerful class of FM stations – Class A stations that are limited to… Continue Reading