A reminder that by February 1 noncommercial radio stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York, and noncommercial television stations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma must prepare and file electronically a biennial Ownership Report with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) using the current noncommercial FCC Form 323-E.
Please note, this filing date applies only to noncommercial radio and TV stations in the states listed above. The FCC has revised its rules regarding the reporting of ownership interests for commercial broadcast stations, and has revised the commercial Ownership Report – Form 323. Although commercial broadcast stations will file on a unified reporting deadline, by Order released late December 2009, the FCC has suspended indefinitely the filing of biennial Ownership Reports for commercial broadcast stations as we’ve posted previously. The Commission is taking additional time to address certain issues raised by petitioners and to revise the new form further. Once the FCC re-releases the form, stations will have 90 days to file the report, so stations should watch this space or the FCC’s releases for future news about the return of the Ownership Report for commercial stations.
Noncommercial stations, on the other hand, continue to follow the previous rules filing biennial Ownership Reports on FCC Form 323-E, which has not been revised. The FCC is conducting a rule making proceeding to change, potentially, some of the ownership reporting rules for noncommercial licensees, but meanwhile, noncommercial broadcast stations continue to follow the existing rules. Accordingly, as Feb. 1, 2010, marks the two-year anniversary of the filing of a biennial Ownership Report for noncommercial stations in the above-referenced services and states, those stations must now file a biennial Ownership Report to update their ownership information or affirm the information currently on file. More information about this filing deadline can be found in our recent client advisory, available here.