Pandemic or no, the FCC has signaled that it is business as usual for the 2020-2023 TV station license renewal cycle, with the exception of public filing notices for the initial round of applications.
That is according to the Media Bureau, which issued a reminder Monday (April 20).
Stations in the first wave of renewals--stations in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia--must file their applications for license renewal by June 1 (their licenses expire Oct. 1). Subsequent groups can access their renewal applications six months before the expiration of their current license. The applications are due four months before expiration.
Licensees with pending applications from prior renewal cycles are also expected to keep to the schedule on the Media Bureau's video division web site.
For the stations with applications due by June 1, the FCC has waived its requirement that the station announce the filing publicly on the station.
The FCC's Media Bureau also points out that before those applications are filed, TV stations must upload the requisite documents in their online public file, including political files, and that failure to do so could draw a fine or jeopardize that license renewal.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.