It’s Official: Long-Standing Rule to Post Broadcast Licenses Is Nixed

FCC order formally eliminates requirement that broadcasters post licenses at a physical location.
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WASHINGTON—Broadcasters can now remove one more item from their FCC to do list.

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A posting in the Federal Register on February 8 made it official: Broadcasters no longer have to physically post and maintain copies of their licenses and other related information. It was back in late 2018 that the Federal Communications Commission formally adopted a Report and Order that eliminated the requirement that broadcasters post broadcast licenses at a physical location.

At the time, the commission said that the goal was to advance the commission’s efforts in modernizing media rules and removing unnecessary regulatory burdens.

The original decision to require the posting of broadcast licenses, which predated the establishment of the FCC, was most likely to ensure that information regarding station authorizations, ownership and contact information was available and accessible to the commission and public, the commission said.

Earlier rules also required all LPTV, translator and booster stations to post certain information—such as the station’s call sign, licensee contact info and location of station record—at the transmitter site. Although LPTV, translator and booster stations were not required to maintain public inspection files, they had to post contact information of key personnel. In its December 2018 ruling, the commission said it found “no continued need for broadcasters to separately identify a local representative or a custodian of station records and display such information.”

Myriad broadcasters were vocal in their assertion that such record keeping was no longer necessary. In written comments on the issue published in the ECFS database, commenters said information about broadcast licenses is now widely available online on numerous FCC databases. The commission also said that no commenter provided any justification for continuing to require broadcasters to post or maintain at specific locations a physical copy of their licenses, authorizations, or general or local contact information.