The FCC yesterday released a Public Notice announcing a filing window from March 14 to March 28 for “long-form” applications for new translators that were filed in last summer’s window for Class C and D AM stations to seek new FM translators to rebroadcast their stations. The Public Notice also sets the procedures for filing in this window. The window is for the filing of complete Form 349 applications by applicants who were deemed mutually exclusive in a notice released by the Commission last year (see our article here) but who were able to work out a settlement or technical solution to that mutual exclusivity in the window at the end of last year for resolving such conflicts. By resolving those situations of potential interference with other applicants, these applications can now be granted. The list of applicants who are invited to file the long-form application is here (in an Excel format). The long-form application requires more certifications and more specific technical information than that which was submitted during the initial filing window. It also allows for minor amendments to applications as long as they do not create any new conflicts.
After the long-form application is submitted to the FCC, the application will be published in an FCC public notice of broadcast applications. Interested parties will have 15 days from that publication date to comment or object. If no comments are filed, and no other issues arise, the FCC’s Audio Division is known for its speed in processing translator applications so that grants might be expected for many of the applications late within a month or two of the filing deadline.
Coming later this year will be a list of “singletons” (applications not predicted to create interference to any other application) in the second translator window for Class A and B AM stations (see our article here). A settlement window for applicants in that window who are mutually exclusive will also be announced at some later date. For applications in either of these windows who are not able to work out ways to resolve conflicts, there will eventually be an auction between mutually exclusive applicants. But, the majority of the applications on yesterday’s list will soon be new translators, and we are also bound to see hundreds more from the second window. So watch for these FM translators rebroadcasting an AM near you soon.