Pre-File Announcement Requirement Waived for Radio Broadcasters’ License Renewal
From the desk of Gregg Skall, Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson (US) LLP:
The new FCC License Renewal round is underway and Missouri radio stations must file applications to renew their licenses by October 1, 2020. Typically, the first step in that process would be the airing of pre-filing announcements for two months prior to the filing of your renewal application, beginning August 1. However, the FCC recently amended the rule to eliminate the pre-filing announcement and waived the rule requirement until the new rules eliminating pre-filing announcements take effect.
MB Waives Pre-filing Announcements for 8/1/20 and Subsequent Renewals
Accordingly, you will only have to make renewal filing announcements for the three month period following your October renewal filing. The timing and wording of the announcements have also been changed.
Note also that the Commission recently changed the Post-Filing announcement script and online posting and publication requirements. Those changes had not yet become effective. FCC staff has advised that until that happens, licensees are to follow the existing rules. We will monitor the timing on this change and advise should it affect your posting and post-filing announcements.
A Reminder: Be sure to double check your station’s online public file and make sure it is up to date, with particular attention to the quarterly Issues/Program reports and the political file. The FCC staff has emphasized that the completeness of each station’s online public file is very important in reviewing license renewal applications. The file must contain the Issues/Programs lists for the entire current license term.