As the year hurtles to a close and desks are cleared for the holidays, don’t forget that the window for filing an application to participate in the upcoming FCC Auction opens on January 3, 2012, the first business day of the new year.  As we wrote about earlier (here), the FCC will hold an auction on March 27, 2012, offering 119 construction permits for new FM radio stations. The permits are scattered across the country and have minimum opening bid amounts ranging from $1,500 to $100,000.  A complete list of the construction permits available in the auction can be found here.  The filing window opens at noon ET on January 3rd, and parties interested in potentially bidding in the auction must prepare and file an FCC Form 175 Short Form application before 6 PM ET on January 12, 2012 in order to be eligible to participate. Instructions on how to file a Form 175 and further information about Auction No. 93 can be found in the FCC’s Public Notice

And even if you are not interested in participating in the upcoming Auction, stations should remember that in connection with Auction 93, the FCC will temporarily freeze the submission of all minor change applications for both commercial and noncommercial FM stations from January 3 through January 12, 2012.  This freeze will prevent existing stations from filing minor modification applications that might be mutually exclusive with the preferred allotment site coordinates that a potential bidder might specify on its short form application.  Licensees of existing stations should plan accordingly.