quarterly childrens television report

April brings the whole panoply of routine regulatory dates – from the need to prepare EEO Public File and Noncommercial Ownership Reports in some states, to Quarterly Issues Programs lists for all full-power broadcast stations and Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports for all TV stations.  So let’s look at some of the specific dates that broadcasters need to remember this coming month.

On the first of the month, EEO Public Inspection File Reports should be placed in the Public Inspection files of all stations in employment units with five or more full-time employees in the following states: Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.  In addition, EEO Mid-Term Reports on FCC Form 397 need to be submitted to the FCC by radio stations that are part of employment units of 11 or more full-time employees in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana.  For more on the EEO Mid Term Report, see our article here.
Continue Reading April Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports and Much More

In a Notice of Apparent Liability released yesterday, the FCC proposed to fine a TV station $20,000 for being late in the filing of 4 years of Quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports (FCC Form 398). While the penalty is consistent with the size of penalties that the FCC has been imposing for similar

In a Public Notice released yesterday, the FCC announced that all Form 398 Annual Children’s Television Programming Reports, which report on the amount of educational and informational programming directed to children was broadcast by any TV station in the prior quarter, need to be filed in the FCC’s new Licensing and Management System (LMS). The FCC is migrating all TV broadcast filings to this new system, and the next Form 398, due by April 10 to report on programming broadcast by stations in the first quarter of this year, must be filed in this system.  While LMS has been available for stations to use for these reports since last June, beginning with the reports due in April, no more reports can be filed in the FCC’s old KidVid Filing System.

The Notice was also interesting as it stated that broadcasters need to check their online public files to make sure that these reports are timely uploaded into the file. While the FCC is supposed to automatically link the form as filed with the Commission to the station’s online public inspection file, the notice states that station licensees need to manually upload the report to the online public file if the link is not made within 10 days of the end of the calendar quarter. So if the new system does not quickly upload the report to your public file, you need to do it yourself.
Continue Reading FCC Announces that All Quarterly Children’s Television Reports Need to be Filed in New LMS Filing System Starting March 31 – And that Stations Need to Make Sure that these Reports Reach the Online Public File By April 10

October is one of those months where the regulatory stars align, when not only do broadcasters in many states have EEO Public File report obligations, but also Quarterly Issues Programs Lists need to be placed in the public files of all commercial and noncommercial stations, and Quarterly Children’s Television Reports need to be filed at the FCC and placed in the public files of television stations.  On top of these routine obligations, there are a number of actions likely to be taken by the FCC that may affect many segments of the broadcast industry.  So let’s look at some of the specifics.

First, by October 1, EEO public file reports should be placed in the public file of stations with 5 or more full-time employees, if those stations are located in the following states and territories: Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, American Samoa, Guam, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Saipan, and the Virgin Islands.  In addition to those obligations, radio stations that are part of employment units with 11 or more full-time employees and are located in the states of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands must prepare and file with the FCC EEO Mid-Term Reports on FCC Form 397, submitting specifics of their employment practices in the last two years (through the submission of their Public File reports) as well as some additional information.  The Mid-Term report for those stations are due by October 1.  More information about these EEO obligations can be found in our article here.
Continue Reading October Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Many Routine Filings for All Broadcasters, Incentive Auction Actions, and More

Another month is upon us, with the typical list of FCC dates of importance – and some new issues (including incentive auction developments that will probably be a regular part of our news through a good part of next year). One date of importance to some TV broadcasters was yesterday – July 1 – when TV stations affiliated with one of the Big Four TV networks and located in the Top 60 TV markets need to be carrying at least 50 hours of prime time or children’s programming each quarter containing video description. While most of this programming will come from the networks themselves, affiliates in these markets should be now be passing through enough of this video-described programming to meet the quarterly minimums.

July 10 brings other routine filing deadlines. For all broadcasters, by July 10 you should have in your public file (the online public file for TV stations) your Quarterly Issues Programs lists describing the most important issues that faced your community in the prior quarter and the programming that you broadcast to address those issues. Also due to be filed at the FCC by July 10 is your station’s Children’s Television Programming Report on Form 398 describing the programming broadcast on your station to serve the educational and informational needs of children. In addition, TV stations need to place in their online public file information showing compliance with the commercial limits in children’s programming and, for Class A stations, documentation showing continued eligibility for Class A status. For other dates of importance to broadcasters, see our Broadcaster Regulatory Calendar, here.
Continue Reading July Regulatory Dates for Broadcasters – Quarterly Issues Programs Lists and Children’s Television Reports, Incentive Auction Actions, CRB Webcasting Closing Argument and More

With the obligation of television stations to file the quarterly Children’s Television Reports on FCC Form 398 by Monday (as the usual January 10 date is on a weekend) and the simultaneous requirement to place into their online public file documentation of compliance with the commercial limits in Children’s programming, it is worth reminding stations of the seriousness with which the FCC continues to view its children’s television rules.  There have been a number of fines and enforcement actions against TV stations in recent weeks, highlighting the need for stations to be vigilant about compliance with all aspects of the children’s television rules.  While the license renewal cycle, during which most of these issues come to light, is coming to an end in 2015 and stations that have already been renewed won’t face renewal scrutiny for at least another 5 years, issues that arise even this far out from the renewal window can haunt the station at the next renewal.  Moreover, with the public inspection files of stations now online, the FCC or other interested parties can view station’s compliance with these obligations at anytime from anywhere, and can easily file FCC complaints.  So TV stations cannot let down their guard simply because their license renewal has been granted.

In the past week, we saw one interesting case, where the FCC proposed to fine a station $3000 for failing to include the “E/I” symbol in the educational and informational programming directed to children on two of its multicast channels.  The FCC rejected arguments by the licensee that the programming on those channels was in Korean, and thus the E/I symbol would not make sense to the Korean viewers of the programing.  The Commission reasoned that, if the station wanted an exemption to the rules, where it could identify the programming as educational and informational in Korean text, the station should have asked for a waiver of the rules. 
Continue Reading Remember Children’s Television Compliance Obligations – The FCC Does Not Forget