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73.850 Operating schedule

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Summary

LPFM stations can operate up to 24 hours a day unless they are a part of a time share agreement. LPFM stations must operate a least 36 hours a week with at least 5 hours per day and on at least 6 days of the week. Exceptions apply for schools for vacation periods and weekends. LPFM stations that do not broadcast at least 12 hours a day may be subject to time sharing.

Text of Current Rule

(a) All LPFM stations will be licensed for unlimited time operation, except those stations operating under a time sharing agreement pursuant to Sec. 73.872.

(b) All LPFM stations are required to operate at least 36 hours per week, consisting of at least 5 hours of operation per day on at least 6 days of the week; however, stations licensed to educational institutions are not required to operate on Saturday or Sunday or to observe the minimum operating requirements during those days designated on the official school calendar as vacation or recess periods.

(c) All LPFM stations, including those meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, but which do not operate 12 hours per day each day of the year, will be required to share use of the frequency upon the grant of an appropriate application proposing such share time arrangement. Such applications must set forth the intent to share time and must be filed in the same manner as are applications for new stations. Such applications may be filed at any time after an LPFM station completes its third year of licensed operations. In cases where the licensee and the prospective licensee are unable to agree on time sharing, action on the application will be taken only in connection with a renewal application for the existing station filed on or after June 1, 2019. In order to be considered for this purpose, an application to share time must be filed no later than the deadline for filing petitions to deny the renewal application of the existing licensee.

(1) The licensee and the prospective licensee(s) shall endeavor to reach an agreement for a definite schedule of periods of time to be used by each. Such agreement must be in writing and must set forth which licensee is to operate on each of the hours of the day throughout the year. Such agreement must not include simultaneous operation of the stations. Each licensee must file the same in triplicate with each application to the Commission for initial construction permit or renewal of license. Such written agreements shall become part of the terms of each station's license.

(2) The Commission desires to facilitate the reaching of agreements on time sharing. However, if the licensees of stations authorized to share time are unable to agree on a division of time, the prospective licensee(s) must submit a statement with the Commission to that effect filed with the application(s) proposing time sharing.

(3) After receipt of the type of application(s) described in subsection (c)(2), the Commission will process such application(s) pursuant to Sections 73.3561-3568 of this Part. If any such application is not dismissed pursuant to those provisions, the Commission will issue a notice to the parties proposing a time-sharing arrangement and a grant of the time-sharing application(s). The licensee may protest the proposed action, the prospective licensee(s) may oppose the protest and/or the proposed action, and the licensee may reply within the time limits delineated in the notice. All such pleadings must satisfy the requirements of Section 309(d) of the Act. Based on those pleadings and the requirements of Section 309 of the Act, the Commission will then act on the time-sharing application(s) and the licensee’s renewal application.

(4) A departure from the regular schedule set forth in a time-sharing agreement will be permitted only in cases where a written agreement to that effect is reduced to writing, is signed by the licensees of the stations affected thereby, and is filed in triplicate by each licensee with the Commission, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, prior to the time of the proposed change. If time is of the essence, the actual departure in operating schedule may precede the actual filing of the written agreement, provided that appropriate notice is sent to the Commission in Washington, D.C., Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau.

Rule History

(a) All LPFM stations will be licensed for unlimited time operation, except those stations operating under a time sharing agreement pursuant to Sec. 73.872.

(b) All LPFM stations are required to operate at least 36 hours per week, consisting of at least 5 hours of operation per day on at least 6 days of the week; however, stations licensed to educational institutions are not required to operate on Saturday or Sunday or to observe the minimum operating requirements during those days designated on the official school calendar as vacation or recess periods.

(c) All LPFM stations, including those meeting the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, but which do not operate 12 hours per day each day of the year, will be required to share use of the frequency upon the grant of an appropriate application proposing such share time arrangement. Such applications must set forth the intent to share time and must be filed in the same manner as are applications for new stations. Such applications may be filed at any time after an LPFM station completes its third year of licensed operations. In cases where the licensee and the prospective licensee are unable to agree on time sharing, action on the application will be taken only in connection with a renewal application for the existing station filed on or after June 1, 2019. In order to be considered for this purpose, an application to share time must be filed no later than the deadline for filing petitions to deny the renewal application of the existing licensee.

(1) The licensee and the prospective licensee(s) shall endeavor to reach an agreement for a definite schedule of periods of time to be used by each. Such agreement must be in writing and must set forth which licensee is to operate on each of the hours of the day throughout the year. Such agreement must not include simultaneous operation of the stations. Each licensee must file the same in triplicate with each application to the Commission for initial construction permit or renewal of license. Such written agreements shall become part of the terms of each station's license.

(2) The Commission desires to facilitate the reaching of agreements on time sharing. However, if the licensees of stations authorized to share time are unable to agree on a division of time, the prospective licensee(s) must submit a statement with the Commission to that effect filed with the application(s) proposing time sharing.

(3) After receipt of the type of application(s) described in subsection (c)(2), the Commission will process such application(s) pursuant to Sections 73.3561-3568 of this Part. If any such application is not dismissed pursuant to those provisions, the Commission will issue a notice to the parties proposing a time-sharing arrangement and a grant of the time-sharing application(s). The licensee may protest the proposed action, the prospective licensee(s) may oppose the protest and/or the proposed action, and the licensee may reply within the time limits delineated in the notice. All such pleadings must satisfy the requirements of Section 309(d) of the Act. Based on those pleadings and the requirements of Section 309 of the Act, the Commission will then act on the time-sharing application(s) and the licensee’s renewal application.

(4) A departure from the regular schedule set forth in a time-sharing agreement will be permitted only in cases where a written agreement to that effect is reduced to writing, is signed by the licensees of the stations affected thereby, and is filed in triplicate by each licensee with the Commission, Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau, prior to the time of the proposed change. If time is of the essence, the actual departure in operating schedule may precede the actual filing of the written agreement, provided that appropriate notice is sent to the Commission in Washington, D.C., Attention: Audio Division, Media Bureau.