Most Broadcast Station Local Public Notice Rule Changes Not Yet Effective

Posted on June 30th, 2020 by

While the FCC recently adopted an Order substantially revising its broadcast local public notice rules, the effective date of most of those rule changes has not yet arrived.

One notable rule change that already took effect is the elimination of the requirement for stations to air pre-filing renewal announcements, which became effective May 13, 2020. The FCC also recently announced that the rule change applying the local public notice rule to LPFM stations will take effect on July 20, 2020.  All of the other rule changes, including those changing the post-filing renewal announcement content and schedule, are still awaiting approval by the Office of Management & Budget.  The Media Bureau has promised a new public notice announcing when those rules will go into effect.  For stations with upcoming license renewals, stay alert for a change to post-filing announcements in coming months.

As previewed in last month’s newsletter, the coming changes include the permanent elimination of requirements to publish any newspaper notices about filed applications, which were costly and more difficult to accomplish as newspapers folded.  Instead, stations will publish such notices online, using a station or substitute website with a conspicuous link and text that includes a hyperlink to the filed application.  The FCC also standardized text, dates and times of any on-air announcements.

We will include an article in this newsletter when the remaining rules go into effect.