Here Are February’s Most Important Dates


David Oxenford, a partner at Washington, D.C. law firm of Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP, reminded broadcasters in a blog post yesterday that, while there is a new administration in charge at the FCC, there are still regular regulatory dates that broadcasters must face — as well as dates unique to pending proceedings that arise from time to time.

We’ve outlined those dates for you, so you avoid any last-minute crunches or outright forgetting about them.

With the start of February, there are routine regulatory dates for broadcasters dealing with EEO requirements, Oxenford notes.

Commercial and Noncommercial Full-Power and Class A Television Stations and AM and FM Radio Stations in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma that are part of an employment unit with five or more full-time employees must place in their public file (or upload to their online file for TV and radio stations that have already converted) their EEO Public File Reports.

Stations also need to put a link to the EEO Public File reports on the home page of their websites, if their station has a website (meaning they have to have a webpage for their most recent report if they have not converted to the online public file).

For “Radio Station Employment Units” with 11 or more full-time employees in Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma and “Television Employment Units” with five or more full-time employees in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, FCC Mid-Term Reports on Form 397 must be submitted to the FCC by the end of the day on Wednesday (2/1).

Oxenford also notes that comments are also due in various FCC proceedings of importance to broadcasters.

  • Reply comments are due on Friday, Feb. 3 on the Petitions for Reconsideration of the FCC’s Quadrennial Review of its ownership rules.
  • Reply comments are also due Feb. 14 on comments that were due Jan. 30 on a proposal to allow online EEO recruitment sources to satisfy the FCC’s requirement that broadcasters widely disseminate information about their job openings.
  • Reply Comments are also due on a proposal left from the Wheeler administration on promoting the availability of diverse and independent video programming. These Reply Comments are due on Feb. 22.

Meanwhile, on Feb. 14 webcasters (including broadcasters who stream their music on the Internet) must file Reports of Use containing information about songs streamed during the month ending Dec. 31, 2016 to SoundExchange, and pay the monthly royalty fee.

What important deadline just passed?

Jan. 31 was the deadline for signing up for the Interim License Agreement for those radio stations playing music represented by Global Music Rights (GMR).

Tuesday was also the deadline for payment of SoundExchange yearly minimum fees by webcasters (including broadcasters who stream their music on the Internet), as well as the date for comments to the House Judiciary Committee on the structure of the Copyright Office and with the Copyright Office on the qualifications for a new Register of Copyrights.