FCC tees up radio license renewal schedule


If you read this, and still wind up paying your hard-earned cash into the US Treasury because you didn’t renew your radio station license on time, then you simply have no respect for either deadlines OR your hard-earned cash. The link we have included in this article gives you plenty of heads-up time as to when your license renewal will be up for consideration. First up: District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia, with the beginning of the cycle just a few months away.

The license renewal call from the FCC is going out to “[e]ach AM, FM, noncommercial educational (NCE) FM, FM translator, and Low Power FM (LPFM) station,” all of which “must electronically file Form 303-S.”
DC, MD, VA & WV are at the front of the line – stations in those locations face a license expiration date of 10/1/11, and in order to be on time, applications must be in four months ahead of that date, or 6/1/11. They may be filed as early as 5/2/11.

The remaining states follow a renewal schedule stretching forward to 2014. The state-by-state schedule is available here.

There are four matters that need to be addressed on the applications. Stations must aver that their advertising sales agreements are not discriminating on the basis of race or ethnicity; that they are meeting minimal operating requirements without any silent periods of 30 days or longer; that RF radiation is with the permissible range; and that parties with an attributable interest in the station have no impermissible interest in a newspaper.

RBR-TVBR observation: It’s not like it’s an epidemic or anything, but still, quite a few stations seem to trip over this existential exercise. The fine for failure to act within FCC deadlines usually costs $2.5K if the application comes in late, but before the license expires; and it is jacked up to $7K if the license lapses and the station is run without authorization. In extreme cases, the allotment may be deleted from the FCC database. So do yourself a favor – check out when your state is up for renewal and be ready for it.