BROADCASTING


HOW TO APPLY FOR A BROADCAST STATION

A STEP BY STEP PROCEDURE

  1. The first step in applying for a new station is to identify an unused frequency on which to operate in the area you desire.

  2. An AM station always requires an individual frequency search which can be done by a private consulting engineer of choice. Once the engineering study has been done and a frequency is identified, an application can be filed with the FCC for that frequency and location.

  3. The FCC maintains a database listing of open frequencies for FM and TV called the FM Table of Allotments and the TV Table of Allotments, used to identify FM or TV channels. You can contact the Consumer Assistance and Small Business Office for additional information about the FM and Television Table of Allotments.

  4. If there is a frequency already identified in the Table of Allotments, a filing period will be set during which applications are received. This established filling period is identified as the "window" period for FM; or in the case of TV, the period of time prior to the "cut off" date.

  5. If you are interested in applying for an FM or TV station in an area that is not listed in the Table of Allotments, you may wish to have a frequency search done by a consulting engineer of your choice to see if a frequency can be added to the area you are interested in. If a frequency is identified by the consulting engineer, the next step is to file a petition for rulemaking with the FCC to amend the Table of Allotments to add the new FM or TV channel you desire. If the FCC approves your request, the channel then would be added to the Table of Allotments and available for applications to be filed. A Form 301 is used to apply for a commercial AM, FM, or TV station.

  6. An FM educational station, one which no commercials, can be applied for once an engineering study has been done to identify one of the channels that are reserved for non-commercial use. A Form 340 is used to apply for a non- commercial station.

  7. An application fee is required for filling a construction permit for a new commercial AM, FM or TV station. The fee for AM is $2,000; for FM is $1,800 and for Tv is $2,250. No fee is required for filing for a non- commercial station. The exact amount of the fee required must be attached to the application when it is filed with the FCC. NOTE: If the exact fee amount is not attached at the time of application filing the entire application will be returned. If your application is for a non-commercial station, which is exempt from the fee, indicate that in the covering letter of your filing.

  8. Once the application is filed and is accepted for filing, it is reviewed and processed in the Mass Media Bureau's AM, FM or TV branches.

  9. Applications without competing applicants (only one application on file for the same channel and same community) are considered "singletons" and can be granted if approved upon completion of the engineering, legal and supervisory reviews.

  10. Application that are mutually exclusive with other applications (more than one application filed for the same channel and same community)) all undergo the engineering, legal and supervisory reviews. However, upon completion of the staff review, all competing applicants successfully passing that review are designated for a FCC comparative hearing to determine who will receive the construction permit.

  11. Once applicants have been designated for a comparative hearing, a fee of $6,000 is required by all applicants who will be participating in the comparative hearing.

  12. Once a construction permit is granted, either by Bureau staff or as a result of the comparative hearing, there is a specific period of time given the grantee for completing the construction of the station. For radio, the construction permit is issued for 18 months and for television it is issued for 24 months.

  13. Once a construction permit is granted, either by Bureau staff or as a result of the comparative hearing, there is a specific period of time given the grantee for completing the construction of the station. For radio, the construction permit is issued for 18 months and for television it is issued for 24 months.

For additional information, application forms, or to receive answers to questions you may have, contact:

The Federal Communications Commission
Consumer Assistance and Small Business Division,
Office of Public Affairs,
1919 M Street, N.W., Room 254,
Washington, D.C. 20554;
or (202) 632-7000.