Broadcast Station Reminder: Quarterly Issues Program Lists Due July 10

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

By July 10, 2011, all radio and television broadcast stations, both commercial and noncommercial, must prepare and place in their public inspection files a list of important issues facing their communities, and the programs aired in the months of April, May, and June dealing with those issues.

Currently, these reports comprise the only legally required documents that demonstrate how a station has met its public service obligations to its community of license and service area. However, the FCC has adopted new rules for television stations that, among other things, will require the use of a standardized form (Form 355) for reporting quarterly issues programs lists and significantly increase the recordkeeping and reporting requirements facing television stations, as noted in this advisory.

The failure to have a complete set of Quarterly Issues Programs lists that were prepared and placed in the station's public file at the proper time can lead to significant fines at license renewal time. Moreover, the failure to produce and document programs responsive to community needs could cause even greater problems for a broadcast licensee.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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