2023 has begun – and everyone is speculating as to what the New Year will bring. Last week, we published an article looking at some of the regulatory issues that the FCC will potentially deal with this year. But some regulatory dates are already on the calendar, and broadcasters need to be aware of the obligations that they impose. So, each year, at about this time, we put together a look at the regulatory dates ahead for broadcasters. This year is no different – and we offer for your review our Broadcasters’ Regulatory Calendar for 2023. While this calendar should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of every regulatory date that your station will face, it highlights many of the most important dates for broadcasters in the coming year – including dates for EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, children’s television obligations, annual fee obligations, retransmission consent/must-carry elections, the Biennial Ownership Report due later this year, and much more.
There seem to be fewer dates highlighted than on last year’s calendar. That’s because there are two sets of deadlines that are not as significant this year. With the license renewal cycle almost at its end, the calendar just contains information about license renewals for the 4 states (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) whose television stations have license renewal applications due in the last two renewal cycles (February 1 deadlines for New York and New Jersey TV stations, and April 1 for stations in the other two states).
In addition, unlike last year, 2023 in most states will not bring the flood of political advertising that we see in even number years. But there will no doubt be some political advertising for state and local elections, special elections, issue advertising, and even the start of campaigning for the 2024 election. So, while this calendar does not contain lowest unit charge deadlines, don’t forget your political obligations, and start to think ahead for how you will handle the likely flood of political ads in 2024. See our article here on how the other political broadcasting rules apply to state and local elections, and our article here on what you should be doing to prepare for future elections.
Certainly, as the year progresses, there will be plenty more dates to note, and keep in mind that some deadlines listed here may be changed by the FCC, or new ones added. Follow our blog where we post a weekly summary of the prior week’s regulatory actions relevant to broadcasters and a look ahead prior to the start of each month at the regulatory dates in the coming month. Read other newsletters and trade publications and consult your own attorney to stay on top of the regulatory obligations that apply to your stations. We hope that this 2023 Broadcasters Regulatory Calendar will give you a good start on spotting some of the important dates that may be ahead and affect your operations.