With the end of summer upon us, we begin to look forward to the regulatory issues that will face broadcasters as we barrel toward the end of the year. One date on many broadcaster’s minds is the date by which the annual regulatory fees will be due to be paid. While the payment date is almost certainly going to be sometime in September, look for an FCC decision on the amount of those fees at some point in late August. As we wrote in last week’s summary of regulatory actions (and in many before), the amount that broadcasters will pay remains a matter of dispute, so watch for the resolution of that dispute by September, as fees must be paid before the October 1 start of the FCC’s next fiscal year.
But many other dates of importance to broadcasters will occur well before the resolution of the regulatory fee issue. August 1 is the deadline for full power television, Class A television, LPTV, and TV translator license renewal applications for stations in California. As we have previously advised, renewal applications must be accompanied by FCC Form 2100, Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report (except for LPFMs and TV translators). Stations filing for renewal of their license should make sure that all documents required to be uploaded to the station’s online public file are complete and were uploaded on time. Note that your Broadcast EEO Program Report must include two years of Annual EEO Public File Reports for FCC review, unless your employment unit employs fewer than five full-time employees. Be sure to read the instructions for the license renewal application and consult with your advisors if you have questions, especially if you have noticed any discrepancies in your online public file or political file. Issues with the public file have already led to fines imposed on TV broadcasters during this renewal cycle.
Continue Reading August Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters: Regulatory Fees, EEO Reports, Many Rulemaking Comment Dates, and More