Remaining License Renewal Applicants Must Follow New Local Public Notice Rule

Posted on November 30th, 2020 by

When the FCC’s recently adopted Order revising the broadcast local public notice rule became effective on October 30, 2020, the way that license renewal applicants made local on-air announcements about renewal applications changed significantly.  For all renewal applications beginning with those filed December 1, 2020, instead of six announcements on the 1st and 16th days of the three months following the application filing, a more condensed schedule is now required.

Under the new rule, renewal application on-air announcements must (i) begin within five (5) business days after the FCC’s public notice that the application has been accepted for filing, (ii) air between 7 am and 11 pm, Monday-Friday, and at least six (6) times over a four (4) week period, with at least one, but no more than two (2), announcements per week, and (iii) in the weeks with two (2) announcements, the announcement must be aired on different days.  Just in case you missed it, a renewal application announcement aired on a Saturday or Sunday would not meet the new requirement.  The language to be used in the on-air announcement is set forth in the new rule. FM translators and TV translators do not air on-air announcements and instead have a separate online publication requirement with prescribed language and links.

Once the renewal application on-air announcements are completed, stations with online public files must complete and upload a certification that the announcements have been completed, with dates and times specified.  That certification is due 7 days after the station completes its sixth announcement under the new schedule.

For stations whose renewal applications were accepted for filing under the old local notice rule, that old rule (with six announcements on the 1st and 16th days of the three months after filing) should be followed in completing the on-air announcements and in uploading the public file certification.