The FCC gave a present to TV broadcasters at the end of the week before Christmas by issuing a Public Notice announcing the effective date of the remaining changes to the children’s television rules, and postponing the filing date for the initial Children’s Television Programming Report, which was to be filed by January
With many Americans using the holiday season to rest and recharge, broadcasters should do the same but not forget that January is a busy month for complying with several important regulatory deadlines for broadcast stations. These include dates that regularly occur for broadcasters, as well as some unique to this month. In fact, with the start of the lowest unit rate windows for primaries and caucuses in many states, January is a very busy regulatory month. So don’t head off to Grandma’s house without making sure that you have all of your regulatory obligations under control.
One date applicable to all full-power stations is the requirement that, by Friday, January 10, 2020, all commercial and noncommercial radio and television stations must upload to their online public file their quarterly issues/programs list for the period covering October 1 – December 31, 2019. The issues/programs list demonstrates the station’s “most significant treatment of community issues” during the three-month period covered by each quarterly report. We wrote about the importance of these reports many times (see, for instance, our posts here and here). With all public files now online, FCC staff, viewers or listeners, or anyone with an internet connection can easily look at your public file, see when you uploaded your Quarterly Report, and review the contents of it. In the current renewal cycle, the FCC has issued two fines of $15,000 each to stations that did not bother with the preparation of these lists (see our posts here and here on those fines). In past years, the FCC has shown a willingness to fine stations or hold up their license renewals or both (see here and here) over public file issues where there was some but not complete compliance with the obligations to retain these issues/programs lists for the entire renewal term. For a short video on the basics of the quarterly issues/programs list and the online public inspection file, see here.…
Continue Reading January Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists, Children’s Television Annual Report, EEO, License Renewal, Political Rate Windows, FM Auction Dates and More
Earlier this week, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing its plans for the initiation of new annual reporting requirements for TV stations under the revised Children’s Television Rules. As we wrote here, the FCC this summer adopted changes in the rules governing the broadcast of educational and informational programming directed to children. These changes included the abolition of the Quarterly Children’s Television Reports and their replacement with an annual Children’s Report to detail a station’s performance in meeting the new educational and informational programming requirements. Earlier this fall, the FCC released guidance on the reporting of information from the third quarter of this year, as the new rules became effective on September 16 (see our article here). The Public Notice released this week covers the full transition to the annual reports.
The FCC anticipates the revised annual report will be ready for use in the FCC’s LMS database by January 1, 2020. Children’s television programming aired on or after the September 16, 2019 effective date of the new rules will be reported by commercial full power and Class A television stations on a broadcaster’s first annual Children’s Report, which will be due no later than January 30, 2020. The FCC’s Media Bureau will issue another public notice announcing the actual effective date of the revised form. …
Continue Reading FCC Announces Schedule for Transition to Annual Children’s Television Reports