Deadline to File First Annual Children’s Television Report Extended to March 30, 2020

Posted on December 31st, 2019 by

Ok, we’re now on board with the view that the transition to the revised Children’s Television reporting requirements has been anything but smooth and easy to understand.

In the latest wrinkle, the FCC issued a public notice announcing that the deadline for the first annual Form 398 Children’s Television Report has been moved from January 30, 2020 to March 30, 2020. That’s because the rule change making this an annual, rather than quarterly report, is not taking effect until January 21, 2019 and the FCC wanted to give stations some time to get familiar with the Form 398 changes.

The changes to that form have been approved, but are not yet available to review. In fact, the form won’t even be available until January 30, 2020 for licensees to start populating and filing the report. To help ease the transition to the new form, the FCC will hold a webinar on January 23, 2020 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to review the functionality of and changes to the report.

But wait, there’s more. Because the revision to the public file rule allowing station commercial limits certifications to be made annually instead of quarterly will not be effective until January 21, 2020, the FCC has clarified in the notice that stations must still complete and place a quarterly commercial limits certification in their public files covering the period from October 1 – December 31, 2019. That quarterly certification is due your public file by January 10, 2020.

Other rule changes that go into effect on January 21 include the elimination of the requirement to inform program guides of station E/I programming, the elimination of the E/I symbol for core children’s programming on noncommercial stations, and the revised preemption rule.