Originally published: April 29, 2011
Last updated: April 29, 2011 - 4:15pm
[Commentary] Renewals are already underway for radio stations and the license renewal process for television stations will begin next April for TV stations in the Washington, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia markets. The three-year renewal period will end in 2015, with license renewals for stations in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Given the jam-packed agenda for handling day-to-day challenges, one-to-three years from today may seem a long way off. But longtime broadcast and telecom attorney Lee Shubert, principal of the media and entertainment law firm Sciarrino & Shubert PLLC, says licensees should begin to prepare now for the renewal process. The renewal process can be “deceptively treacherous.” This is largely because the bulk of FCC Form 303-S, the Application for Renewal of a Broadcast Station License “consists of a series of certifications that represent a quagmire of potential liability.” With the FCC’s spectrum purchasing plans coinciding with the license renewal window, there are even more reasons to ensure you’re fully prepared for your station’s license renewal. Given the history of special interest group involvement in the renewal process, this seems like a situation where foxes could be the ones guarding the chicken coop, or be the ones invited to enter it, or both. [Collins is president & CEO of the Media Financial Management Association and its BCCA subsidiary.]
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