Items of Note in 20221
I. Applications for Renewal of License: The three-year long state-by-state license renewal cycle ends in April 2022 for radio services (AM, FM, FM Translator, and LPFM) but will continue for stations in the television services (full-power television, Class A, TV Translator, and LPTV). Stations will file their license renewal applications on FCC Form 2100, Schedule 303-S (“Form 303-S”) along with their Equal Opportunity Employment Reports on Form 2100, Schedule 396 (“Form 396”). The date by which the licensee must file a station’s application for license renewal depends on the state or territory of the station’s community of license. All licensees should familiarize themselves now with the dates associated with this important filing. As noted in last year’s Calendar, stations are no longer required to air pre-filing announcements during the two months preceding the filing of their license renewal application and instead need only air six post-filing announcements over four consecutive weeks, beginning within five business days after the FCC has “accepted for filing” their license renewal application. Additional information can be found in our License Renewal Advisories published on CommLawCenter prior to each state-by-state application deadline.
II. TV Spectrum Repack Progress Report and Reimbursement Deadlines: Because the 39-month post-auction transition period for full-power and Class A television stations ended in 2020, the post-repack Transition Progress Report (FCC Form 2100, Schedule 387) filing deadlines are not noted in this year’s calendar. However, stations that received an extension of time to complete their transition must continue to file Transition Progress Reports on a quarterly basis until they have ceased operating on their pre-repack channels, completed construction of their post-repack facilities, and reported that information to the FCC. In addition to these quarterly reports, transitioning stations must file Transition 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. Repacked full-power and Class A television stations assigned to phases 6 through 10 must submit all remaining invoices and supporting documentation using the Reimbursement Form, and initiate interim close-out procedures, no later than March 22, 2022. (The deadline for repacked full-power and Class A television stations assigned to phases 1 through 5 was October 8, 2021.) All FM stations and LPTV/translator stations that intend to seek reimbursement must submit all remaining invoices and supporting documentation using the Reimbursement Form, and initiate interim close-out procedures, no later than September 5, 2022.
1 The deadlines in the 2022 Broadcasters’ Calendar are based on information known as of the date hereof and may or may not apply to any particular broadcaster. They 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 shifts to the next business day. The listing 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 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.