April 10, 2020 Deadline for Quarterly Television Reports

By April 10, 2020, full power and Class A television stations must file quarterly reports for the First Quarter of 2020. However, the FCC’s Media Bureau will grant waivers of the report filing deadline to stations that are experiencing staffing shortages or other hardships due to the coronavirus, including those caused by employee illnesses and government-imposed shutdowns and quarantines. If your station is short-staffed due to the coronavirus or is experiencing other coronavirus-related hardships, and you think you will have difficulty meeting the upcoming deadline, you should ask the FCC for a waiver.

Documents That Must Be Uploaded to Each Station’s Online Public Inspection File by April 10, 2020:

  • All commercial and noncommercial television stations: Issue-Responsive Programming List for programming broadcast between January 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020
  • Class A TV stations only: Documentation that the station continues to meet Class A eligibility requirements

FCC Filing Due by April 10, 2020:

  • Repacked full power and Class A stations, and transitioning stations: Progress Report

Note that Children’s Television Reports and Children’s Advertising Limits certifications are no longer filed on a quarterly basis. Instead, stations now file these reports on an annual basis. The next Children’s Television Reports and Children’s Advertising Limits certifications will be due on January 30, 2021, and will cover the 2020 calendar year.

Here is a description of the reports that stations must file:

I. Issue-Responsive Programming Lists

Commercial and noncommercial television and Class A stations must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of programs that have provided the most significant treatment of community issues during the previous quarter. The listing should include a brief narrative statement that identifies the issues that were given significant treatment and should describe the programs in which the issues were addressed. Each program description must include the date, time, and title of the program, the duration of each responsive programming segment, and a brief explanation of how the programming addressed the issue(s).

II. Documentation of Continued Class A Eligibility

Class A television stations must maintain documentation in their public inspection files demonstrating compliance with both of the Class A eligibility requirements: (i) the broadcast of a minimum of 18 hours per day; and (ii) the broadcast of an average of at least three hours per week of locally produced programming each quarter.

III. Repack Progress Report Filings

All full power and Class A TV stations that are being repacked (except those stations that have fully completed the repack process), and all television stations transitioning to new channels as a result of the Broadcast Incentive Auction, must file a quarterly Progress Report. Such stations include band-changing stations and displaced Class A stations.

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