With the Administration’s decision to renominate Jessica Rosenworcel for another term on the FCC and to select her as the permanent chair of the Commission, and the nomination of Gigi Sohn to fill the vacant seat on the FCC, and assuming both are confirmed by the Senate (though the Wall Street Journal noted that there
With FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel now appointed permanent chair of the FCC, and with a fifth FCC Commissioner now having been nominated (Gigi Sohn), the FCC may soon be back to normal strength. Even before that though, the FCC and other government agencies remain busy, with many important regulatory dates and deadlines in the coming weeks. We have highlighted some of those dates below. Pay close attention to these dates, especially the December 1 deadline to file biennial ownership reports that is applicable to all broadcasters.
Reply comments on the FCC proposal to bring back FCC Form 395-B are due by November 1 (comments were due by September 30 and can be read here). Following the FCC’s review of comments and reply comments on the issue, enhanced equal employment opportunity data collection could again be a reality for broadcasters more than 20 years after the FCC suspended the form’s use. Form 395-B was an annual report intended to gather information about the race and gender of broadcast employees, thrown out by the courts over fears of the unconstitutional use of the data to force broadcasters to make hiring decisions based on these factors. We wrote more about the possible resurrection of Form 395-B, here.
Continue Reading November Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: Reply Comments on EEO Reporting and KidVid Accessibility; New Noncommercial FM Filing Window; Biennial Ownership Reports; License Renewals; and More
As we enter the last quarter of the year, the broadcasters’ October calendar is full of important regulatory dates and deadlines. We share some of those dates below and urge you to stay in close touch with your lawyers, engineers, and consultants for the dates and deadlines applicable to your station’s operations.
On or before October 1, radio stations in Alaska, American Samoa, Guam, Hawaii, Marianas Islands, Oregon, and Washington and TV stations in Iowa and Missouri must submit their license renewal applications. Pay close attention to the contents of your online public file and be sure that all required documents are complete and were uploaded on time. Stations filing their renewals (other than LPFMs) are also required to file a Broadcast EEO Program Report (FCC Form 2100, Schedule 396), submitting two years of EEO Public File reports for FCC review unless your employment unit employs fewer than 5 full-time employees. As you are putting the final touches on your applications, be sure to read the instructions for the license renewal application (radio, TV) and consult with counsel if you have questions.
Continue Reading October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: License Renewals, Broadcast Ownership Filings, Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists, Rulemaking Comment Dates and More
Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the last week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.
- The FCC opened the window for Fiscal Year 2021 regulatory fees which must be paid no later than 11:59 pm,
Where do all the Washington DC legal issues facing TV broadcasters stand in these early days of a new Administration? While we try on this Blog to write about many of those issues, we can’t always address everything that is happening. Every few months, my partner David O’Connor and I update a list of the…
With the federal government and the FCC under new management, Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel may well take the Commission in a direction that aligns with the policies she supported during her time as a Commissioner. It is notable that, no matter what policies she advances, the routine regulatory dates that fill up a broadcaster’s calendar are generally unchanged. Some of the dates and deadlines which broadcasters should remember in February are discussed below. Given the transition period that we have just been through, the number of February dates are somewhat lighter than in most months – but that is sure to pick up as everyone settles into their new roles at the FCC.
On or before February 1, radio stations in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma and television stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi must file their license renewal applications through the FCC’s Licensing and Management System (LMS). Those stations must also file with the FCC a Broadcast EEO Program Report (Form 2100, Schedule 396) and, if they are part of a station employment unit (a station or a group of commonly owned stations in the same market that share at least one employee) with 5 or more full-time employees, upload to their public file and post a link on their station website to their Annual EEO Public Inspection File report covering their hiring and employment outreach activities for the twelve months from February 1, 2020 to January 31, 2021. TV and radio stations licensed to communities in New Jersey and New York which are part of an employment unit with 5 or more full-time employees also must upload to their public inspection file their Annual EEO Public Inspection File report by February 1.
Continue Reading February Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: License Renewals, EEO Reporting, KidVid Reports, Zonecasting Comments, FCC Open Meeting, and More
Here we are, in a new and hopefully more “normal” year – wondering what will be ahead. Each year, at about this time, we put together a look at the regulatory dates ahead for broadcasters – or at least the primary ones that we already know. This year is no different – and we offer for your review our Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2021. 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 license renewals, EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, children’s television obligations, annual fee obligations and much more. This year, for LPTV and TV translator operators, there are also dates associated with this summer’s deadline for all such stations to be operating digitally (see our article here).
While this likely will not be a big political advertising year like 2020, there will be some state and local races – so we note the start of the Lowest Unit Charge window for this year’s November election – relevant in states like New Jersey and Virginia where there are races for governor and state legislature, and to the many locations across the country that will have mayor’s races and other state and local political contests. Look for local information about the dates for any primary elections for these elections – as those primaries have their own LUC windows for the 45 days preceding the primary. See our article here on how the other political broadcasting rules apply to state and local elections. …
Continue Reading A Broadcaster’s 2021 Regulatory Calendar – Looking at Some of the Important Dates for the Year Ahead
Here are some of the regulatory developments in the last two weeks of significance to broadcasters, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.
- The FCC released an order revising its fees for broadcast applications and other filings. The fees were adjusted to
The holiday season is nearly behind us and many are looking forward to putting 2020 in the rearview mirror with a hopeful eye on 2021. The new year will bring big changes to the Washington broadcast regulation scene, with the inauguration of a new President and installation of a new FCC chair who will make an imprint on the agency with his or her own priorities. And routine regulatory dates and deadlines will continue to fill up a broadcaster’s calendar. So let’s look at what to expect in the world of Washington regulation in the coming month.
On the routine regulatory front, on or before January 10, all full-power broadcast stations, commercial and noncommercial, must upload to their online public inspection files their Quarterly Issues Programs lists, listing the most important issues facing their communities in the last quarter of 2020 and the programs that they broadcast in October, November and December that addressed those issues. As we have written before, these lists are the only documents required by the FCC to demonstrate how stations served the needs and interests of their broadcast service area, and they are particularly important as the FCC continues its license renewal process for radio and TV stations. Make sure that you upload these lists to your public file by the January 10 deadline. You can find a short video on complying with the Quarterly Issues/Programs List requirements here.
Continue Reading January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – A New FCC Administration, Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, KidVid, Comment Deadlines and a Supreme Court Oral Argument on Ownership Issues
Here are some of the regulatory developments of the last week of significance to broadcasters, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations. Also, we include a look at actions to watch in the week ahead.
- FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention