Ownership Reporting Relief (Sort Of)

Posted on December 29th, 2016 by

December 1, 2017 is now the date for all broadcast stations to file their next biennial ownership reports. For commercial stations, that deadline has been known for a while. But, now, that’s also the next ownership report deadline for all noncommercial stations that, until recently, were still filing biennial reports every two years on the anniversary date of their renewal application filing deadline.

The relief for NCE stations from continuing to file on the old schedule comes by way of a suspension notice. Specifically, the FCC just announced that noncommercial stations that were scheduled to file reports as of February 1st, April 1st, June 1st, August 1st and October 1st can simply wait until the December 1, 2017 deadline to file their biennial ownership report. The FCC’s announcement is consistent with its early 2016 order migrating noncommercial stations to the same biennial report filing deadline as commercial stations.

That early 2016 order also announced that a new form in the Licensing Management System (LMS) would be used for the December 2017 reports, though that form is not yet available. We do not hold out much hope that the new form will automatically load information from earlier filed ownership reports, which means there will be plenty of data to be inputted. We do hope that the FCC makes the new LMS form available as soon as possible so that stations can have plenty of time to work on reports. The earliest that 2017 biennial reports can be filed is October 1, 2017.

One final note. If your NCE station filed a biennial ownership report in 2016 on the old schedule, it will have the “privilege” of filing a new report on December 1, 2017.