With the holiday season getting smaller in the rear-view mirror and many parts of the country dealing with ice, snow, and single-digit temperatures, broadcasters could be forgiven for dreaming about the sunshine and warmth that come with spring. Before spring arrives, however, broadcasters need to tend to important regulatory matters in February. And, if you find yourself eager to plan past February, use our 2020 Broadcasters’ Calendar as a reference tool for tracking regulatory dates through the end of 2020.
But focusing on the month ahead, by February 3, all AM, FM, LPFM, and FM translator stations in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi must file their license renewal applications. For the full-power stations in the state, there’s an additional EEO task to complete irrespective of how many employees a station employment unit (SEU) has. Before filing for license renewal, stations in these three states must submit FCC Schedule 396. This schedule is the Broadcast Equal Employment Opportunity Program Report, which is a reporting to the FCC of the SEU’s equal employment opportunity activities for the last license period (SEUs with fewer than five full-time employees are not required to maintain an EEO recruitment program and are only required to check a box that they have fewer than 5 full-time employees and skip ahead to the certification). The sequencing here is important: When filing for license renewal, the application (Schedule 303-S) asks for the file number of your already-filed Schedule 396. So, without having already filed the schedule, you won’t be able to complete your renewal application.