New FCC Broadcast Public Notice Requirements Effective October 30, 2020
On October 29, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) announced that significant changes to its requirements governing the way that broadcasters must provide the public with notice of a variety of applications will go into effect on October 30, 2020. These changes were made in an order issued in May and, most significantly, eliminate the requirement that broadcasters provide public notice of covered applications in a newspaper, substituting an online written public notice requirement in place of the decades-old newspaper publication mandate. The FCC also streamlined the content of on-air public notice announcements. In addition, the FCC adopted a requirement that each commercial station include a conspicuous “FCC Applications” link or tab on its website that will link to a separate page containing the full text of online public notices. The “FCC Applications” link or tab must remain on commercial stations’ websites, even when a station does not have any pending applications that require public notice.
We explained additional details of these rule changes in a previous client alert which is available here. If you have questions about the new requirements, please contact the Wiley attorney who regularly handles your station matters.