In less than a month, a four year cycle of radio and television license renewal applications begins with the filing, on or before June 1, of license renewals by radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. To help stations prepare for their upcoming renewals, I conducted a webinar, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and joined by broadcasters from 9 other state associations, discussing issues that broadcasters should be considering. Slides from that presentation, setting out the renewal process, and various issues that should be considered by broadcasters, including: public file issues, technical matters, EEO and other nondiscrimination matters. Copies of the slides used in the presentation are available here.
In addition to those slides, we have many other resources available for a broadcaster thinking about their license renewal application. These include the following:
- A primer on the issues to be considered in preparing for license renewal, available here. In that memo, there are links to the texts of the required pre-filing and post-filing announcements that broadcasters must air to inform their listeners about the filing of the renewal application
- A memo that sets out the materials that should be kept in a commercial station’s public file, and the retention period for those materials, here.
- A memo generally describing the requirements of the FCC’s EEO rules, here, and a second memo, reminding broadcasters of their yearly EEO public file report obligations, a sample of which is here. Remember, FCC Form 396 report must be filed with the license renewal application, and that form requires the submission of the station’s last two years public inspection file reports
- An advisory, here, summarizing the requirements for a station’s quarterly programs issues lists.
- Recent blog entries on the FCC’s requirement for a nondiscrimination certification in their advertising contracts, here and here.
FCC Sources of information for the renewal filing are also available. A version of the FCC Form 303S – the license renewal form – can be viewed here. The form contains a good set of instructions as to what information the FCC is seeking from licensees. The FCC also has its own webpage on license renewal, here. Dates for radio license renewals are available here, and the dates for TV renewals are here.
Various other questions came up at the seminar. One dealt with updating the FCC as to the address and email for the station. The FCC has been taking emails for stations from recent FCC applications. So check your CDBS account, and see what email address was given for the station in the initial section of recent Forms, both under the Licensee contact information and on the second question on the face of any form, called "Contacts Representative." If the licensee’s proper email address is not given, you can go to your station’s electronic CDBS account, and find the Change of Address form, and provide a current email address using that form. Also remember to keep up the regular station mailing address, as many FCC notices and inquiries are still sent by "snail mail" or sometimes by certified mail. The FCC renewal page provides this information about updating your contact information:
AM and FM full service stations, Low Power FM (LPFM) stations, and interested persons may check the Commission’s address-of-record by using the Mailing Address Query. FM Translator Stations may verify the mailing address through the "Station Information" link in CDBS Public Access. Corrections of mailing addresses may be made as a CDBS informal filing. Please see Informal Filings – Frequently Asked Questions for the procedure for submitting such changes .
We’ll post more information on this blog in coming days to answer other questions asked at the seminar. And look at this blog throughout the year, as we’ll be posting other important information about license renewal, and about many other topics of interest to broadcasters.