FCC Returns, New Filing Deadline Guidance
The FCC has resumed normal operations after the end of the recent partial government shutdown. During the shutdown, broadcast stations were unable to upload documents to the FCC’s online public files, including the 4th quarter Issues/Programs Lists which would normally have been due by January 10th.
In a Public Notice released prior to the shutdown, the FCC advised that items due to be filed or uploaded during the shutdown would be required to be uploaded on the second business day of normal resumed FCC operations. On Monday the FCC issued a Public Notice extending the deadline for these filings one additional day.
In accordance with the new Public Notice, deadlines for all filings that would have been due from January 3, 2019, through January 29, 2019, are now extended until Wednesday, January 30, 2019. The Commission waived its rules to the extent necessary to effectuate this extension.
Issues/Programs Lists should be uploaded to each station’s online public file no later than Wednesday, January 30, 2019. This would also include the upload of any political file or other public file material generated since the shutdown.
Finally, any STAs that would have expired from January 3, 2019, through January 29, 2019, are extended until January 30, 2019, except to the extent that such STAs relate to the post-incentive auction transition or other activities authorized under section 309(j).
In Public Notice (Revisions to Deadlines Following Resumption of Normal Operations) , the FCC has now further extended the deadline for uploading 4 thQuarter Issues/Programs Lists and any political file or other public file material generated during the shutdown to February 11, 2019.
The FCC in the same Public Notice addresses other fling deadlines that would have otherwise occurred during the shutdown.
The FCC’s several public notices granting additional extensions of time for filings are confusing at best. Given that the FCC was closed for a total of 23 days, this latest extension offers broadcasters and others with business before the FCC a more relaxed opportunity to fully comply with FCC deadlines.