Just a reminder that by October 1, Television stations must once again make their triennial carriage elections. By that date, TV stations must notify the local cable systems and satellite carriers in their market in writing as to whether the station intends to be carried pursuant to must-carry or a retransmission consent agreement for the
The FCC today adopted an Order revising its rules to permit the rebroadcast of AM radio stations on FM translator stations. A copy of the Order is available here. By this Order, the FCC formally adopted the interim policy that it has experimented with in the past year and a half since the release of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making in this proceeding. The Commission acknowledged that the interim rule has worked well and that allowing AM stations the same flexibility to use FM translators to enhance their service is in the public interest.
Per today’s Order: "Specifically, AM broadcast stations will be allowed to use currently authorized FM translator stations (i.e., those now licensed or authorized in construction permits that have not expired) to rebroadcast their AM signals, provided that no portion of the 60 dBu contour of any such FM translator station extends beyond the smaller of: (a) a 25-mile radius from the AM transmitter site; or (b) the 2 mV/m daytime contour of the AM station. In addition, AM broadcast licensees with Class D facilities will be allowed to originate programming on such FM translators during periods when their AM station is not operating."
Several things to note:
First, "currently authorized FM translators" means translator stations with licenses or permits in effect as of May 1st, 2009. As expected, there is no opportunity to seek authorization for new FM translators, and by extension, there was no need for the FCC to address the issue of priorities between LPFM stations and FM translators (which the FCC says it will address in the pending LPFM rule making). So this rule change simply allows existing FM translator stations to rebroadcast AM stations.
The FCC has an open proceeding pending to allow AM stations to use FM translators. As we have written, while this proceeding continues, the Commission is allowing AM stations to rebroadcast their signals on FM translators on under Special Temporary Authority. In a case decided today, the FCC made clear that this is only…