Early this afternoon, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing an extension of broadcasters’ deadlines for certain filings in light of the disruptions being caused by the coronavirus epidemic. Specifically, the FCC indicated that:
As a result of the fluid and challenging situation caused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Media Bureau hereby extends the filing deadline for the first annual Children’s Television Programming Report (FCC Form 2100, Schedule H) from March 30, 2020 to July 10, 2020. Additionally, we extend the deadline by which radio and television broadcasters must place their first quarter issues/programs lists into their Online Public Inspection File from April 10, 2020, to July 10, 2020. As a result, the filing deadline for both the first and second quarter issues/programs lists will be the same.
In making the announcement, the FCC also noted that “this Public Notice does not modify any requirements or filing deadlines related to stations’ political files, nor does it modify any other filing obligations or deadline related to broadcasters’ public files.”
So, barring any further announcements from the FCC, other regulatory deadlines remain in place, including the obligation to file license renewal applications by April 1 for radio stations in Indiana, Kentucky and Tennessee.
With station staffs already stretched thin and many working remotely, the FCC’s announcement will be welcome news. While the FCC’s announcements in the initial days of the epidemic focused primarily on the telecommunications industry and broadband access, it’s good to see the FCC acknowledge the challenges broadcasters are also facing during this unprecedented time.