By Lauren Lynch Flick, Pillsbury Law
The FCC announced [Friday] that due to continuing difficulties with its Licensing Management System (“LMS”) and Online Public Inspection File (“OPIF”) filing systems, the deadlines to file or upload a number of documents are being extended. The new deadline for these documents will be February 28, 2023.
As we previously discussed, the FCC released a Public Notice on January 6, 2023 acknowledging that issues with its OPIF filing system were preventing broadcasters from uploading documents to their Public Files. In response, the Commission announced an extension of all January 2023 Public File deadlines to January 31, 2023. That prior announcement left in place the deadlines for: (a) Children’s Television Programming Reports (which are filed in LMS, not in the OPIF), (b) Annual EEO Public File Reports for stations in Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Jersey and New York (normally due February 1), and (c) license renewal applications for television stations in New York and New Jersey (normally due February 1). Today’s announcement not only further extends the deadline for January Public File uploads, but now includes these additional filings in the new extension.
As a result of today’s Public Notice, the deadlines that would normally fall on January 10 for stations to upload Quarterly Issues Programs Lists, on January 30 for television stations to upload Annual Children’s Television Commercial Limits documentation, and on February 1 for stations in the above states to upload Annual EEO Public File Reports to their Public Files are all extended until February 28, 2023. In addition, the deadlines that would normally fall on January 30 for television stations to file their Annual Children’s Television Programming Reports and on February 1 for television stations in New York and New Jersey to file their license renewal applications in LMS are also extended until the new February 28, 2023 deadline.
Given the technical difficulties that have plagued the OPIF and LMS all month, along with the fact that many broadcasters will be trying to make two months’ worth of FCC filings in the last few days leading up to February 28, broadcasters are well advised to do all that they can to avoid being part of that last minute filing crush. Of course, that will require the Commission’s filing systems to cooperate. Stay tuned.