Buy a Station Recently? Make Sure Your Tower Registration is Updated - FCC Fines Broadcaster $3000 For Not Doing So

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP

Among the many things that broadcasters need to remember when they buy a broadcast station is making sure that the tower registration (the "Antenna Structure Registration" or "ASR") for that station is transferred along with the rest of the station assets. Unlike most registrations and filings done at the time of the Closing of a sale of a broadcast station, the issue is not one of establishing the rights or title to any tower assets that are transferred with the station. Instead, the registration is to let the FCC know who is responsible for that tower in the event the FCC needs to get in touch with the owner to deal with tower lighting or fencing issues or similar matters. Many broadcasters may think that this transfer of the tower registration is automatically done when a station is sold, in connection with the FCC approval of the assignment of license or transfer of control. It is not - a separate filing on FCC Form 854 is necessary. In a decision just released by the FCC, a fine of $3000 was levied against a broadcaster whose tower was registered in the old owner's name, 3 years after the tower and the stations that broadcast from that tower were sold to the current owner.

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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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