FCC Freezes Nearly All Radio Applications
On Aug. 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit lifted the stay on the FCC’s new local radio ownership rule that will now use Arbitron metro markets (in lieu of station contours) to define local markets for multiple ownership purposes. The court also lifted the stay on the new rule that will attribute joint sales agreements (JSAs) for the purpose of determining how many radio stations one party controls within a market. In response, the Commission yesterday put a temporary freeze on almost all new radio applications. Specifically, the FCC froze the filing of any new FCC Forms 301, 314, and 315. This means no new applications either for new stations or to modify existing stations, and no new applications for assignment or transfer of control of radio stations. The freeze does not include pro forma assignment or transfer of control applications, nor does it include any TV or LPTV applications. The Commission has not yet announced what it will do with pending applications or how long the freeze will last. We will provide further information as it becomes available.