This Week in Broadcast Regulation – October 31, 2020 to November 6, 2020

While last Tuesday’s elections may well affect broadcast regulation in the future, there were several regulatory developments in the last week of immediate significance to broadcasters.  Here is a summary of some of those developments, with links to where you can go to find more information as to how these actions may affect your operations.

  • The FCC this week announced some changes to the rules and procedures for filing certain applications.
    • Beginning November 18, Forms 314, 315, 316, and 345 will transition to the FCC’s Licensing and Management System (LMS) and will no longer be available in the Consolidated DataBase System (CDBS). These four forms relate to the assignment and transfer of control of broadcast station licenses and construction permits.  See our short blog post, here.  (Public Notice)
    • Noncommercial educational and LPFM parties filing Schedule 318 applications, Form 314 and 315 Assignment and Transfer of Control applications, and Schedule 340 NCE Construction Permit applications, as of October 30, have new rules and interim processing procedures to follow. The new rules that are now effective require information about reasonable assurance of transmitter site availability in construction permit applications, information on applications specifying LPFM directional antennas, and certifications regarding holding periods for stations received through point systems awards. The FCC staff still has some backend IT work to conform its forms to the new rules, so the Public Notice details how to provide the required information in the meantime.  We wrote about this on our blog, here.  (Public Notice)
  • Comments are due on or before November 20 on the FCC’s proposal to establish a ten-application limit in the 2021 filing window for new noncommercial FM stations. (Federal Register)
  • A Virgin Islands radio station and a Louisville, Kentucky radio station each face $3,000 fines for failing to file their license renewal application on time. Stay on top of your renewal application filing date, so you avoid a fine, avoid putting your license at risk, or both.  License renewal application filing deadlines for TV stations are here and the filing deadlines for radio are here.  (VI Notice of Apparently Liability for Forfeiture) (KY Notice of Apparently Liability for Forfeiture)
  • After a review of more than a year, the FCC granted iHeartMedia’s petition allowing it to exceed the 25% foreign ownership cap that applies to broadcast licensees. The FCC ruling is a good example of the process that the FCC goes through to assess whether to permit a company to obtain foreign investments above 25% to improve its financial position to better to compete in the media marketplace.  (Declaratory Ruling)

Courtesy Broadcast Law Blog