AM Revitalization Rules Effective Date and Further Notice

The final rules that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted in the much anticipated AM Revitalization proceeding have now been published in the Federal Register, making the effective date of the new rules February 18, 2016. A detailed memo summarizing AM Revitalization Order and proposed new rules can be found here. The FCC released the AM Revitalization Order and adopted filing windows and procedures for AM stations to acquire and relocate FM translators to retransmit AM stations. The FCC also adopted several rule changes to relax AM coverage requirements and enhance station signal changes.

As a reminder, the first translator modification window, which is open to Class C and Class D AM stations, will commence on January 29, 2016 and close as of 11:59 p.m. (ET) on July 28, 2016. The second, which applies to all AM stations, will open on July 29, 2016 and close at 5:59 p.m. (ET) on October 31, 2016.

Included with the AM Revitalization Order, were a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comment on a number of proposals “designed to facilitate improvements to AM radio facilities, or to reduce burdens on AM broadcasters.” We summarized the FCC’s new proposals here. The date for parties to comment on the proposed new rules is March 21, 2016, and the reply comment date is April 18, 2016.

The FNPRM and NOI in the AM revitalization proceeding raise many additional issues for those seeking to further improve the AM service. We recommend that those interested in filing comments contact your regular attorney in our office.

Categories: Media