By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
Here we are, in a new and hopefully more “normal” year – wondering what will be ahead. Each year, at about this time, we put together a look at the regulatory dates ahead for broadcasters – or at least the primary ones that we already know. This year is no different – and we offer for your review our Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2021. While this calendar should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of every regulatory date that your station will face, it highlights many of the most important dates for broadcasters in the coming year – including dates for license renewals, EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, children’s television obligations, annual fee obligations and much more. This year, for LPTV and TV translator operators, there are also dates associated with this summer’s deadline for all such stations to be operating digitally (see our article here).
While this likely will not be a big political advertising year like 2020, there will be some state and local races – so we note the start of the Lowest Unit Charge window for this year’s November election – relevant in states like New Jersey and Virginia where there are races for governor and state legislature, and to the many locations across the country that will have mayor’s races and other state and local political contests. Look for local information about the dates for any primary elections for these elections – as those primaries have their own LUC windows for the 45 days preceding the primary. See our article here on how the other political broadcasting rules apply to state and local elections.
Certainly, as the year progresses, there will be plenty more dates to note. Follow our blog where we weekly post a summary of the prior week’s regulatory actions relevant to broadcasters and a look ahead prior to the start of each month at the regulatory dates in the coming month, read other newsletters and trade publications and consult your own attorney to stay on top of the regulatory obligations that apply to your stations. We hope that this 2021 Broadcasters Regulatory Calendar will give you a good start on spotting some of the important dates that may be ahead and affect your operations.
David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access).
There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership.