Another month is upon us, along with all of the FCC regulatory obligations that accompany it. August brings a host of license renewal obligations, along with EEO public file obligations in a number of states, as well as noncommercial Biennial Ownership Report filings in several states. We also expect that the FCC will notify stations of the date for the payment of their regulatory fees (which will either be due late this month or early next). As we reported yesterday, the filing of long-form translator applications for over 1000 applicants from the 2003 FM translator window also comes at the end of the month. There are comments due in a number of FCC proceedings. We’ll talk about some of those issues below. For TV broadcasters, we also suggest that you review our article that recently ran in TV NewsCheck, updating TV broadcasters on issues of relevance to them not only this month, but providing a description of the full gamut of issues facing TV broadcasters. We prepare this update for TV NewsCheck quarterly.
Today brings the deadline for the filing of license renewal applications for radio stations in California and for TV stations in Illinois and Wisconsin. Stations in these states, and in North and South Carolina also have EEO public inspection file reports that should be placed in their public inspection files no later than today. Noncommercial TV stations in Illinois and Wisconsin also need to file Biennial Ownership Reports today, and noncommercial radio stations in California, North Carolina, and South Carolina should also file their Biennial Ownership Reports by today.
The next round of license renewals will be filed on October 1, and stations in the states where those renewals are due should start their pre-filing renewal announcements today. That would be TV stations in Iowa and Missouri, and radio stations in Alaska, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam, the Mariana Islands, and Saipan. The final month of post-filing announcements for TV stations in Ohio and Michigan, and for radio stations in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming are also to be run this month, with announcements due to be run today.
Reply comments in two long-running FCC proceedings are due early this month. Reply comments are due on August 2 on the FCC’s indecency rules, and on August 6 on the recently filed MMTC study on the effects of media cross-ownership on the entry of new owners into the broadcast industry. Those stations subject to the most recent EEO random audit have until August 12 to respond. And comments on the FCC’s online public file for TV stations, and the upcoming 2014 obligation for all TV stations to post their political files online, are due on August 26.
And finally, be alert for the annual regulatory fees. The FCC has to adopt final rules for the fee payments, which should happen any day (see our article here about the proposals). And then the FCC will set the dates by which those fees are to be filed. Given that the new FCC fiscal year begins on October 1, the fees need to be in before that. So look for a fee filing window soon.
While we are in the last days of summer, regulation never takes a vacation. So be alert for deadlines that apply to you.