Third Quarter Issues/Programs List Due in Station Public Inspection File by October 10

The Third Quarter 2016 Issues/Programs list must be placed in stations' public inspection files by October 10, reflecting programming aired during the months of July, August and September 2016.  All TV stations and radio stations in the top 50 markets with 5 or more full-time employees must post these documents to the FCC's online public file database. (Radio stations outside of the top 50 markets must begin uploading the files to the FCC database as of March 1, 2018.)  

According to the FCC, the list should reflect the "station's most significant programming treatment of community issues during the preceding three month period." These Quarterly Lists are the best evidence of how well a station is complying with its public service obligations and should be given serious and thorough attention. The Commission has consistently enforced compliance with its rules regarding the Quarterly Lists. Missing or incomplete Quarterly Lists and those that are not placed in the public file in a timely manner may subject a station to a fine of $10,000. Log in to the Member Blog here for exclusive guidance on the Issues/Programs list from MBA FCC Counsel Gregg Skall. A memo on the Issues/Programs list from Pillsbury Law is available here.

Are You Prepared for the National EAS Test on September 28? Test Your Readiness with this Bullet Point Checklist

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has adopted new EAS Rules and Guidelines that became effective as of July 30, 2016. Here's what you need to know to comply with the rules and prepare for the September 28th National EAS Test:

  • All EAS participants must have an operational EAS decoder that recognizes the FIPS Code 000000 for "All of United States"
  • All EAS participants must have an operational decoder that recognizes and immediately "relays-to-air" the Event Code for National Periodic Test (NPT) that is received with a valid FIPS Code
  • The EAS Test Reporting System (ETRS) is operational. All EAS participants were to have submited Form One on ETRS on or before August 26, 2016 on the FCC's ETRS webpage
  • Form One may be edited until September 26, 2016
  • Form Two must be filed on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on September 28, 2016
  • Form Three must be filed on or before November 14, 2016
  • Once on the ETRS page, provide the registration information requested. You will receive an email with login instructions. The ETRS homepage has detailed instructions regarding the submission of the required forms. Questions? Contact FCC staff at
  • View the FCC's instructional video on ETRS filing
  • All EAS activations must be reported via ETRS.
  • The FCC has scheduled a National EAS Test on September 28, 2016 at 1:20 p.m. Central Time. The test will use the new EAS FIPS Code 000000 and the Event Code NPT.
  • Important Notice: many of the original 1996-era EAS decoders/encoders cannot be upgraded to recognize the NPT Event Code/FIPS Code. Replacement is necessary. EAS participants whose equipment has not been upgraded are subject to an FCC violation carrying a significant fine.
  • View an instructional slide deck on the National EAS Test and the IPAWS system from FEMA's Al Kenyon

MBA & Other State Broadcasters' Associations Petition FCC to Eliminate Letters & Email Retention in Public Inspection File

The MBA, along with other state broadcasters' associations representing all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, recently filed Joint Comments in strong support of the FCC's proposal to eliminate the rule that requires broadcasters to maintain letters and emails from the public in their public inspection files. Read the comments here.

Lowest Unit Charge Window

The 2016 elections are fast approaching. Minnesota's Primary Election is on August 9. The LUC window is currently open. The General Election takes place on November 8. The LUC window opens on September 10 for stations electing to sell political advertising on Election Day. The LUC period begins on September 9 for stations opting NOT to sell political advertising on Election Day. Need forms or have questions about political broadcasting? Download MBA FCC Counsel Gregg Skall's Political Broadcasting Manual.