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FCC revises TV license renewal form, procedures

The FCC Media Bureau released a revision March 12, 2012, to the procedures television licensees must follow to renew their licenses and changes to the Form 303-S renewal application. The changes will affect the upcoming 2012-2015 television license renewal cycle.

In announcing the changes, the commission said it will not mail stations postcard notifications of upcoming renewal deadlines. Rather it will send out an e-mail to the licensee and contact representative for each station in the commission’s Consolidated Database System (CDBS).

The FCC also requested licensees to be sure to create a CDBS account by following an online link to the CDBS site. The notice asked existing CDBS account holders to confirm or correct their contact representative and license information.

According to the notice, all commercial and non-commercial TV, TV translator, LPTV and Class A stations must file Form 303-S electronically. It noted that TV translator, LPTV and Class A stations operating a digital companion channel facility do not have to file separate renewal applications for their digital facilities.

According to the notice, even stations with pending renewal applications must file. For those stations, Form 303-S should include updated information and certifications for the time between expiration of the last renewal term through the new filing.

The deadline for filing renewal applications is specified in FCC rules. A chart on the Video Division’s license renewal home page shows the deadlines. The deadlines are also available by state and date.

The notice also laid out the fines for failing to file a timely renewal application. Forfeiture of $3000 will be assessed to commercial, non-commercial and Class A licensees for filing after the renewal deadline. An additional fine of $4000 may be assessed to licenses that don’t file by the station’s license expiration date.

The notice also pointed out that the commission has revised Form 303-S to include a new certification regarding advertising agreements. Licensees must certify that their ad sales agreements don’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity, and that all such agreements contain nondiscrimination clauses.