NAB Demands Answers from FCC for 20% Higher Annual Fees

NABAccording to a report in Inside Radio, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has issued a letter to the FCC stating that because it has offered no explanation for the “remarkable” increase for its size, it’s nearly impossible for the industry’s trade group to offer any feedback on the proposed assessment.

Under the FCC’s proposed menu of fees, most stations would see a double-digit increase in what they’d have to pay to the FCC, according the Inside Radio report. For the biggest FMs in the largest markets, the annual fee would jump to $22,650 compared to $18,880 last year. On the AM dial the FCC has taken a similar approach, proposing the biggest AMs see their annual fee go up to $17,950 from last year’s $15,050. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking approved by the Commission two weeks ago offered no explanation for why radio’s annual fees would suddenly increase just a year after they were reduced by an average 13% in 2018.

In a letter to the Commission, the NAB said the notice made no attempt to explain or justify the increase and will bring “an unexpected and substantial burden” for many broadcasters.

The FCC is giving broadcasters until June 7 to file their first round of comments on its proposal. Reply comments will then be due by June 24. It’s likely to adopt the final order later this summer and the new fees will be due on or before October 1.