For the best interest of our station’s staff/volunteers, we have decided to close our studio. As a result, we have fewer live local shows. Do we have to tell the FCC or ask for a waiver so we don’t break the 8 hour local programming rule?
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How this is handled depends on how your station’s original construction permit was granted in the 2013 LPFM filing window. If your LPFM station started as a result of the 2013 LPFM window, please first consult the Pledge List to see if your station is subject to the various point pledges.
If the station is NOT on that list or the station was started after the 2000 LPFM window:
- The LPFM station has NO local programming or main studio requirements. The origination point of the programming has no bearing on the operation of the station from an FCC perspective.
- The 8 hour program requirement for all LPFM stations is a common myth. Unless a comparative review of points was used to grant the LPFM application (e.g. another competing applicant was dismissed by points so this station could be granted), there is no 8 hour local programming requirement.
If the station IS LISTED:
- The FCC has not provided LPFM stations any guidance. REC has filed a blanket waiver request with the FCC to make them aware of the provisions of §73.872(b) and that at this time due to the many government restrictions on gatherings and in the best interest of public health, LPFM stations subject to the pledges will not be able to make these pledges.
- The FCC has not acted on this waiver request (as of 3/19/2020).
- For now, REC recommends that all LPFM stations on the pledge list maintain in their station logs the dates that the station did not keep up the 8 hour pledge. If in the event that someone objects on a license renewal that the station did not maintain their pledge, you have documentation to show the country was in a state of emergency during the time when the studio was closed.
COVID-19 Coronavirus radio operations
Thursday, March 19, 2020