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 announced that CDBS, the database where all broadcast applications were filed before most migrated to the newer LMS

2022 has begun – and we are all wondering what will lie ahead in the New Year.  Each year, at about this time, we put together a look at highlights of the regulatory dates ahead for broadcasters.  This year is no different – and we offer for your review our Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2022

Since the 1990s, the FCC’s Consolidated Database System (CDBS) has been used for filing broadcast applications.  In recent years, though, much of the filing activity has been migrated to the FCC’s Licensing and Management System (LMS).  While in some ways not as user-friendly as CDBS, LMS apparently has some advantages in, among other things, its searchability.  Given the migration that has already occurred for most FM and TV technical applications, ownership reports, and assignment and transfer applications, CDBS had few continuing uses.  Thus, the FCC yesterday announced that it is ending the filing of new applications in the CDBS system at the end of the day today, January 12, 2022, at 5 PM Eastern Time.  All filings that were still being made in CDBS and that cannot be submitted via LMS are now to be made by email to an email address set out in the FCC’s Public Notice: audiofilings@fcc.gov.

What is left that is not filed in LMS?  Filings that, until 5 PM ET today were made in CDBS, include the following:

  • AM Application for Construction Permit for Commercial Broadcast Station on Form 301
  • AM Application for Construction Permit for Reserved Channel Noncommercial Educational Broadcast Station on Form 340
  • AM Applications for Broadcast Station License on Form 302
  • Special Temporary Authority (STA) Engineering Requests and Extension of Engineering STA Requests for all audio service stations
  • Silent STA / Notification of Suspension/ Resumption of Operations / Extension of Silent STA Requests for all audio service stations
  • Change in official mailing address
  • AM Digital Notification on Form 335-AM
  • All-Digital AM Notification on Form 335-AM
  • FM Digital Notification on Form 335-FM
  • Amendments to pending applications previously submitted in CDBS
  • Pleadings (Petitions to Deny, Informal Objections, Oppositions, Replies, Supplements, Petitions for Reconsideration and Applications for Review) concerning applications submitted through CDBS or using the email procedures that had previously been instituted for some of the above-listed applications in recent years.

In connection with the last bullet, the FCC noted that some parties had been filing pleadings related to applications filed in CDBS in LMS (which usually contains a reference to the CDBS-filed application).  The FCC asks that pleadings filed in connection with applications submitted through CDBS be filed with the email system described above, and not through LMS.  Pleadings concerning LMS-submitted applications should, of course, be filed in LMS.
Continue Reading FCC Announces End of Filings in their CDBS Database As of 5 PM Eastern Time Today! 

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 this week announced that it will vote on two items of interest to broadcasters at its next Open

Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the last two weeks, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC released the results of the August 11 Nationwide EAS Test, finding that, compared to the 2019 test

As the holiday season comes to an end and 2022 comes into focus, broadcasters have several dates and deadlines to keep up with in January and early February.  We have noted below some of the important dates you should be tracking.  However, as always, stay in touch with your station’s lawyers and other regulatory advisors for the dates applicable to your operations.  We wish you a happy, healthy, and successful New Year – and remembering to track important regulatory dates will help you  achieve those ends.

Let’s start with some of the annual dates that always fall in January.  By January 10, full-power radio, TV, and Class A licensees should have their quarterly issues/programs lists uploaded to their online public file.  The lists are meant to identify the issues of importance to the station’s community and the programs that the station broadcast in October, November, and December that addressed those issues.  Prepare the lists carefully and accurately, as they are the only official records of how your station is serving the public and addressing the needs and interests of its community.  See our post here for more on this obligation.
Continue Reading January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: Issues/Programs Lists; Digital LPTV Deadline; Audio Description Expansion; Children’s Programming, Webcasting Royalties; NCE FM Settlement Window; 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.

  • Music licensing organization Global Music Rights (GMR) has agreed to a three-month extension of its current interim licensing agreement. GMR

An auction of construction permits for 27 new TV stations is scheduled to occur in June 2022, as we noted in one of our weekly updates on regulatory activities for broadcasters.  This auction will be the first auction of new TV channels in over a decade – and the first in over a decade and

On December 2, 2021, the FCC held a forum on the accessibility of video programming delivered through online platforms (a recording of the event is available on the FCC website, here).  What is perhaps most notable about this forum is that it looked at whether the FCC could extend its authority over online platforms to include accessibility obligations which, thus far, have only been implicated when a broadcaster already subject to FCC accessibility obligations repurposes its programs for Internet use (see, for instance, the FCC’s significant fine imposed in a consent decree when Pluto TV, which is owned by Viacom CBS, rebroadcast certain content that had already been broadcast on television with captions).  One of the questions identified in the Public Notice announcing the Forum is whether the FCC has the authority to expand accessibility obligations to online platforms.

The seeming importance of the session could be seen from the introductory remarks by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel and Senator Ed Markey.  Senator Markey was one of the proponents of the Twenty First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  In his remarks, he discussed the importance of taking the reforms that have been adopted for television programming and extending them to the Internet, given that so much video programming and viewership is now migrating to those platforms.
Continue Reading FCC Forum on Accessibility of Online Video Programming – Looking Beyond the Regulation of Broadcasters 

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.

  • FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel’s nomination for another five-year term at the agency was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee. The