The end of September marks the close of the Third Quarter of 2011, which brings two quarterly filing obligations for broadcast stations. The first obligation is that by October 10 all radio and television stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection file Quarterly Issues Programs Lists reporting on the important issues facing the stations’ communities, and the programs aired in the months of July, August, and September that dealt with those issues. The failure to have a complete set of Quarterly Issues Programs lists, which were timely prepared and placed in a station’s public file, can lead to significant fines at license renewal time so all stations are urged to prepare their Quarterly Issues Programs lists in a timely fashion. See our full advisory for further details. With the renewal cycle now in full-swing for radio stations and looming on the horizon for television stations, licensees are reminded to make sure their stations are meeting this obligation on a quarterly basis.
Secondly, full power and Class A low power television stations are reminded that Children’s Television Programming Reports on FCC Form 398 must be prepared and filed electronically with the FCC by October 10, 2011. While technically, the deadline for filing the Form 398 with the FCC will roll to Tuesday, October 11th (because Monday is a Federal holiday, Columbus Day), given that the Reports must also be placed in the station’s public inspection file within ten days after the end of the quarter, it would be best for stations to simply prepare and file their programming reports by October 10th to ensure they are timely. Our recent advisory is available here with all the details on the Children’s Television Programming Reports. By Oct. 10th, commercial stations should also prepare and place in their public inspection file the necessary quarterly certifications regarding compliance with the commercial limitations in Children’s Programming.