Even with the holidays upon us, regulation never stops. There are numerous regulatory dates in December to which broadcasters need to pay heed to avoid having the FCC play Grinch for missing some important deadline.
December 1 is the deadline for license renewal applications for television stations (full power, Class A, LPTV and TV translators) licensed to communities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Renewal applications must be accompanied by FCC Form 2100, Schedule 396 Broadcast EEO Program Report (except for 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.
December 1 is also the deadline by which radio and television station employment units with five or more full-time employees licensed to communities in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Vermont must upload Annual EEO Public File Reports to station online public inspection files (also, the FCC has issued an extension that permits stations in Florida that suffered the effects of Hurricane Ian to upload their Annual EEO Public File Reports by December 12). This annual EEO report covers hiring and employment outreach activities for the prior year. A link to the uploaded report must also be included on the home page of a station’s website, if it has a website.
Continue Reading December Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – License Renewals, EEO Reports, Rulemaking Comments on Foreign Government Programming and EAS, and More