Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from this week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.
Here are some of the regulatory developments of significance to broadcasters from the past week, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.
- Since the February 24 hearing designation order (HDO) from the FCC’s Media Bureau referring questions about Standard General Broadcasting’s proposed
In a decision released yesterday, the FCC proposed to fine a station and gave it a short-term license renewal as the station could not demonstrate that it had served the needs and interests of its community. Why? Because the station had been silent for much of the renewal term – only turning on for a short time every now and then – enough to avoid having its license cancelled for being silent for more than a year. Several years ago, Congress amended the Communications Act to add Section 312(g) requiring that the FCC cancel a station’s license if it has been silent for more than a year, unless the station can demonstrate some overriding public interest reason for leniency (a showing that, as we wrote here, is difficult to make).
To avoid the ultimate sanction of having a license cancelled, many stations facing economic issues or other long-term problems with transmitter sites or other matters, will find a way to turn their stations back on the air for a day or two to avoid being off the air for more than a year. As long as programming is run on the station during that on-air period, the FCC has thus far allowed the stations to continue in this mode. But, in this license renewal cycle, broadcasters were for the first time required to specify if their stations had been of the air for more than 30 days at any point in the license term. In yesterday’s decision, the FCC makes clear that a station that spent a significant amount of time off the air may face a sanction – here, the grant of the license renewal for only 2 years rather than the normal 8 year period. If a station is off the air for more than half the renewal term, it looks like an even more serious sanction may be in the works.
Continue Reading Radio Station Being Silent Too Long Brings FCC Sanction – How Long Can a Broadcast Station Be off the Air Before It Causes Trouble at License Renewal Time?