Mark July 26 For The Next FM Translator Filing Window


Since October 2013, the FCC has acted to give AM radio stations a bit of a “revitalization” by allowing them to add FM translators as local simulcast partners. In 2016 came the opening of two FM translator modification filing windows, allowing translators some relocation flexibility. In February of this year, the FCC moved to relax its rule prescribing where an FM translator could be located.

Now, the Commission has taken the next step in keeping AM radio stations fiscally healthy by opening an auction filing window to allow the licensees of Class C and D AMs that didn’t participate in either of the 2016 modification windows to file applications that would create a new FM translator.

The window opens July 26.

After the first window applicants have had an opportunity to resolve their mutual exclusivities through settlement or technical amendment, the Commission will then announce the dates of the second new FM translator auction filing window.

This will be open to any AM station licensee that did not participate in either of the 2016 translator modification windows or the first new FM translator auction filing window.

This filing window also will be followed by a settlement/technical resolution period.

As required by the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, the Commission will use competitive bidding to resolve any remaining mutually exclusive application groups from these auction windows.

The Media Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau will jointly release a Public Notice shortly, containing instructions and detailed information regarding application filing and processing procedures.

Future Public Notices will seek comment on auction procedures and provide additional information for auction filing window applicants.


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The siting rule for an FM fill-in translator rebroadcasting an AM broadcast station has been relaxed by the Commission.

Lakes Media Speaks Up On FM Translator Rulemaking Petition

North Carolina-based Lakes Media LLC and its President, Tom Birch, on Friday submitted comments to the Commission that strongly rebut a rulemaking petition submitted by Aztec Capital Partners that would, in Birch’s view, loosen protections for fully licensed FM stations. The comments come on the heels of receipt of an FCC Staff Letter ordering immediate cessation of the operation of a translator in Durham, N.C., and the dismissal of its license.