Items of Note in 20181

I.  New TV Spectrum Repack Filing Deadlines: Starting in late 2017, all full power and Class A television stations that are being repacked are required to electronically file FCC Form 2100, Schedule 387 Transition Progress Reports, on a quarterly basis. By the tenth day following each quarter, each transitioning station must inform the FCC and the public of the station’s steps toward constructing facilities for its new channel and ending operations on its current channel. This reporting requirement ceases when the station has finished its transition and has filed a final report indicating that fact. Transitioning stations have been assigned to one of ten successive transition phases, each with its own timeline governing when the station may begin testing on its new channel and must cease operations on its pre-auction channel. In addition to these quarterly reports, these stations must file progress reports ten weeks before the end of their assigned construction deadline, ten days after completion of all work related to constructing their post-repack facilities, and five days after ceasing operations on their pre-auction channel. The FCC has also established several other important repack-related deadlines; more information about the specific transition phases and related deadlines can be found in this CommLawCenter article on the subject.

II.  Second Cross-Service FM Translator Window: January 25-31, 2018 is the next filing window for Class A and B AM stations seeking new FM translators to rebroadcast their stations. This window is available to AM stations that did not participate in the 2016 FM translator modification windows or the 2017 cross-service FM translator auction filing window. Translator licenses obtained through this window will be permanently tied to the applying AM station.

1. The deadlines in the 2018 Broadcasters’ Calendar are based on information known by us as of the date hereof. These deadlines may or may not apply to any particular broadcaster. These deadlines are provided for general informational purposes only and should be double-checked for currency close to each pertinent date/deadline. Actions by the FCC, Congress, or the courts could affect any of these deadlines by, for example, eliminating a particular reporting/filing obligation altogether or modifying the form used, content, deadline, fee, or manner of reporting/filing. It should also be noted that, as a general rule, when a deadline for filing a document with the FCC falls on a weekend or a federal holiday, the filing deadline will shift to the next business day. The listing of deadlines below is not intended to be complete or exhaustive of all regulatory and non-regulatory deadlines that may apply to a given broadcaster year-to-year. Accordingly, broadcasters should seek the advice of communications counsel in each instance to assure timely and proper filing. This edition of our annual Broadcasters' Calendar supersedes all prior editions and accordingly any prior editions should no longer be used.

Read more: 2018 Broadcasters’ Calendar