In less than a month, a four year cycle of radio and television license renewal applications begins with the filing, on or before June 1, of license renewals by radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. To help stations prepare for their upcoming renewals, I conducted a webinar, sponsored by the Michigan Association of Broadcasters and joined by broadcasters from 9 other state associations, discussing issues that broadcasters should be considering. Slides from that presentation, setting out the renewal process, and various issues that should be considered by broadcasters, including: public file issues, technical matters, EEO and other nondiscrimination matters. Copies of the slides used in the presentation are available here.
In addition to those slides, we have many other resources available for a broadcaster thinking about their license renewal application. These include the following:
- A primer on the issues to be considered in preparing for license renewal, available here. In that memo, there are links to the texts of the required pre-filing and post-filing announcements that broadcasters must air to inform their listeners about the filing of the renewal application
- A memo that sets out the materials that should be kept in a commercial station’s public file, and the retention period for those materials, here.
- A memo generally describing the requirements of the FCC’s EEO rules, here, and a second memo, reminding broadcasters of their yearly EEO public file report obligations, a sample of which is here. Remember, FCC Form 396 report must be filed with the license renewal application, and that form requires the submission of the station’s last two years public inspection file reports
- An advisory, here, summarizing the requirements for a station’s quarterly programs issues lists.
- Recent blog entries on the FCC’s requirement for a nondiscrimination certification in their advertising contracts, here and here.
FCC Sources of information for the renewal filing are also available. A version of the FCC Form 303S – the license renewal form – can be viewed here. The form contains a good set of instructions as to what information the FCC is seeking from licensees. The FCC also has its own webpage on license renewal, here. Dates for radio license renewals are available here, and the dates for TV renewals are here.