The processing of the FM translator applications left over from the 2003 translator window marches on. The FCC today announced the window for long form applications for all the translator applications that are no longer mutually exclusive with other applicants. The FCC has asked for long-form applications for these 1239 applications (filed on Form 349 and providing more detailed legal and technical information about the applicant and its proposed operation) to be filed by August 30. The FCC Public Notice about this filing deadline is here. The list of applications that are identified as singletons are here.

Many of these applications are those that filed technical amendments in the recent settlement window eliminating mutual exclusivity with other applications. There are 1239 such applications that could be granted as a result of this action, on top of the applications already identified as "singletons" before the settlement window (see our article here), and perhaps others still subject to FCC processing. The remaining applications, who were not able to resolve mutual exclusivity with other applicants, will end up in an auction at some point in the future. 

In the long-forms, the applicant may make minor changes to its technical facilities that were specified in the tech box on the original application. However, these changes, if made in a market that the FCC deemed spectrum-limited for purposes of LPFM availability, must contain a "preclusion study" showing that they will not impact LPFM opportunities in their markets. Any changes are also secondary to any application filed in the upcoming LPFM window.


Continue Reading Over 1000 New FM Translators Almost Ready for Grant – Long Form Applications Due August 30, Changes Secondary to LPFM Applicants

As is the case with most months, June brings a number of FCC deadlines for broadcasters, both standard regulatory filings and comment deadlines in important regulatory proceedings. The regular filing deadlines include license renewal applications due on June 3 (as June 1 is a Saturday) for Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations, TV Translators, and LPTV Stations in Ohio and Michigan; and Commercial and Noncommercial AM and FM Radio Stations, FM Translators, and LPFM Stations in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada. Noncommercial stations in the states with renewals also have to file their Biennial Ownership Reports, as do noncommercial radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia.

Renewal pre-filing announcements must begin on June 1 for Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations in Illinois and Wisconsin and for Commercial and Noncommercial AM and FM Radio Stations in California. Post-filing announcements for radio stations in Texas should continue on June 1 and 16, as well as for TV stations in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.

In addition to these regular filings, broadcasters also have many other deadlines that are coming up either in the month, or soon thereafter. Broadcasters who were successful bidders in the recent FM auction have payment deadlines on June 12, and then have a July 24 deadline for the filing of "long-form" applications on FCC Form 301 specifying the technical facilities that they plan to build (see the FCC Public Notice here). Applicants for new FM translators left over from the 2003 filing window are now in a settlement window, with deadlines for settlements between competing applicants due on July 22 (see the FCC public notice here). 


Continue Reading June FCC Obligations for Broadcasters – Renewals, EEO, FM Translator and Auction Filings, and Comments on Regulatory Fees, Indecency, and Incentive Auction Band Plan

In November, the FCC adopted an Order limiting to 10 the number of FM translators from the 2003 translator filing window that a single applicant could pursue.  This Order was adopted by the Commission at the urging of LPFM advocates who believed that the large number of FM translator applications filed in 2003 foreclosed some opportunities for new low power FM stations (see our description of the Order here).  Last week, the FCC released a Public Notice telling translator applicants to choose which 10 applications that they will continue to prosecute.  Applicants have until April 3 to make that choice and notify the Commission of their choice.  If no choice is made by that date, the FCC will continue to process the first 10 applications that were on file, dismissing any remaining applications by that applicant.

The Commission is expecting to then continue to process the remaining applications, opening a settlement window after the dismissal process is complete so that the remaining applicants can sort out possible engineering solutions or other settlements that would resolve conflicts between remaining mutually exclusive applications.  However, there are a number of Petitions for Reconsideration that were filed against the Order establishing the 10 application limit (including one filed by our firm on behalf of a number of clients).  We’ll see if the Commission takes any action on the Reconsideration petitions (and an accompanying Petition for Stay of the selection deadline) or if the Commission marches on and continues to process these applications.  For now, applicants should be ready to make their selections on or before April 3.


Continue Reading Deadline for FM Translator Applicants To Select 10 Applications to Continue to Prosecute