FCC Offers Assistance to L.A. Area Broadcasters

WASHINGTON: The FCC issued procedures for TV and radio stations in the Los Angeles markets should signals be lost due to the fire raging near the city’s transmitter site.

Special Temporary Authority:Requests for special temporary authority initiated by the fire can be submitted by informal letter or e-mail. FM radio stations, full- and low-power television stations will also be allowed to make electronics requests through the commission’s Consolidated Database System, which will be handled as quickly as possible.

The FCC said requests should include the following certification:

“Neither the applicant nor any party to this application is subject to a denial of federal benefits that includes FCC benefits pursuant to Section 5301 of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988, 21 U.S.C. § 862.”
The STA contacts for AM and FM radio stations areNorm Miller or Peter Doyle at 202 418-2767 and 2789.
For TV stations, contact Kevin Harding or Barbara Kreisman at 202 418-1600.

Emergency Antennas: FCC rules permits FM radio and TV stations to erect temporary emergency antennas without prior authority from the commission. The same rules allow AM stations to use a horizontal or vertical wire or a non-directional vertical element of a directional antenna for emergencies. The typical 24-hour notification has been extended to 10 days of when emergency operations commenced, when licensees need to request an STA.

“This waiver is applicable to any station which ceased operations as a result of fire damage and is effective until Oct. 31, 2009,” the FCC said. Miller is the contact for radio stations; Harding for full-power TV stations and for LPTVs, Hossein Hashemzadeh at 202 418-1600.

AM Nighttime Operations: AM stations will be permitted to use their full daytime facilities during nighttime hours to broadcast emergency information, provided all operation is conducted on a noncommercial basis. Licensees must notify the FCC within 48 hours if they choose to do so. This is in effect through Sept. 11. Miller is again the contact.

Limited and Discontinued Operations:The FCC is asking any broadcaster that goes dark because of the fire to notify it, and if necessary, request authority to remain silent. The time period is extended to 30 days for notification and 60 days for silence. Both may be submitted by informal letter, e-mail, or by filing electronically through CDBS. This waiver is effective until Oct. 31. Miller, Harding and Hashemzadeh are contacts.