The Broadcasters' Desktop Resource

News Items Archive: 2022

12/23/22 –  The FCC announced the initiation of the 2022 Quadrennial Review of Ownership Rules.  With the 2018 Review still pending, due to the 2 to 2 balance of Commissioners, it might just get folded into the new review. In other words, do not hold your breath on this one.

12/16/22 –  Inflation has hit Application Fees at the FCC. The Commission has increased these fees by about 11.5%, effective with publication in the Federal Register. With the earlier raise of 7-8%, the total increase may be about 20%

This means Construction Permits, License Renewals, Change Applications, etc.

12/2/22 –  While the  FCC is investigating a how to  increase digital power for FM, many see AM as slowly twisting in the wind. But Sentor Ed Markey (D – MA) is looking the other way. He sent a letter to automakers who, as the seque into more and more electric cars they are eliminating AM radios from them. 

While it is true that electric cars do spout a lot of interference to AM radio, Markey said that “Broadcast AM radio, in particular, is a critical mechanism for government authorities to communicate with the public during natural disasters, extreme weather events, and other emergencies …”

Markey did see the benefits of electric vehicles, but also sees the best way to communicate in emergencies is still radio. 

Noting how the FEMA has spent millions to upgrade AM stations, Markey said “Despite innovations such as the smartphone and social media, AM/FM broadcast radio remains the most dependable, cost-free, and accessible communication mechanism for public officials to communicate with the public during times of emergency. As a result, any phase-out of broadcast AM radio could pose a significant communication problem during emergencies …”

The NAB has praised Markey for his efforts. 

11/28/22 –  Meeting at the WorldDAB Summit on November 17th, Switzerland announced it would join Norway in terminating standard FM transmissions and, instead, use DAB+ starting in 2024. Some 55 countries are now using DAB+ in some fashion. It is the successor to Eureka-147 in the 1980s.

11/28/22 – The FCC has set out the process for an NPRM to raise the digital power of HD radio stations. Xperi and the NAB have asked to allow additional power levels without prior authorization. 

11/22/22 – The first run at a comprehensive, standardized map of broadband availability in the US has been released by the FCC.

11/22/22 – In a first for the FCC, Glocal UC has been blocked from the US telephone network for not controlling robocalls. Aside from 911 or other emergency calls, customers of Global UC will not be able to access outside telephone numbers.  Other providers are prohibited from doing business with Global UC until they correct matters.

10/6/22 – For the past several years, Global Music Rights (GMR), a relatively new  performing rights organization (PRO) has been seeking contracts with broadcasters. To quickly become a significant player, GMR sought a number of big name artist/composers, including

Bruce Springsteen, Bruno Mars, Drake, Pharrell Williams, John Lennon, and The Eagles, which makes it harder for stations to entirely avoid their roster.

At the moment NCEFM stations are covered by another provision for on-air broadcasts (not streaming, for example), but  commercial stations will need to be alert. 

9/16/22 – Senator Paul Rand has introduced legislation to remove all limits on ownership of broadcast stations.

9/7/22 – The FCC and has released details of the regulagtory fees for 2022 and set September 28th as the date they must be paid.

Additionally, the FCC has moved the payment system to its new CORES2 – and companies will need to sign up and get registered in time to make the payment.

8/4/22 – The FCC and the FEMA have warned users of EAS receivers about the potential attacks from hackers. Good Internet security is important. However, while the main EAS receivers can be pretty well protected, there are a lot of stories about Barix boxes – some used for STLs – getting hacked. Most of the time, it relates to a station using the default login and password, and often not protected even by NAT. 

Bottom line: a regular audit of station Internet connections is a wise and good thing to do. 

7/15/22 – The FCC has activated the CORES2 system – used for making payments to the FCC. With the CORES deactivated, it will be necessary to sign up for CORES2. The FCC notes that stations should not wait until the last minute, as sometimes the servers get overloaded. 

7/11/22 – The FCC released the number of stations as of June 30th, showing a loss of 10 AMs, a loss of 65 NCEFM and a gain of 126 FMs. Total 15,371  (32 new translators and a loss of 15 LPFMs rounds out the radio numbers.)

TOTAL 15,371

7/1/22 – There is a new proceedure for changing/reserving call letters. These actiona are no part of the LMS and stations should use the LMS in future for those purposes. 

6/26/22 – The FEMA has upgraded the PEP emergeny facilities at WWL New Orleans to be better able to stay on the air in difficult conditions. Studio upgrades and power supply improvements headline the FEMA actions that are ongoing at 15 PEP sites around the country … with plans to upgrade all 77 sites. 

6/18/22 – INOVONICS is celebrating their 50th Anniversary. A short two minute video slide show highlights some of the things they have done over the past 5 decades. Take a look HERE!

6/17/22 – JAMPRO is ramping up to visit the Texas Association of Broadcasters Convention in Austin, on August 3 and 4. This is a well-planned and attended show, even in Texas’ August heat. The BBQ is pretty darn good, too!

5/27/22 – The FCC announced that in their June meeting, they will consider allowing LPTV stations to contunue to run FM radio audio at 87.9 – usually known as Franken FMs.

5/20/22 – Broadcasters in the Portland OR area were saddened to learn of James Boyd suffering a fatal heart attack at the age of 76. He was well-liked and always ready to share knowledge and assistance to others.

Among the gifts he left behind was a discussion of the NRSC  measurements for AM, an early submission to the BDR.

5/19/22 – The FCC unanimously approved the petition from Dielectric to use software to predict and prepare FM DA antennas.

Noting that 1/5 of FM stations are now using Directional antennas, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said “This is smart—and spectrally efficient.” Referring to the policy that has been replaced, she said: “with high-quality computer modeling tools now available, this [previous] policy
no longer makes sense. ” Of course, the FCC also noted that doing test-range measurments is still acceptable. 

The NAB concurred, saying this “would eliminate the need for unnecessary measurements without jeopardizing broadcasters’ service to the public.” Some objections relating to interference issues was raised, but the FCC has left that alone for now.

5/6/22 – the continuing move to replace the CDBS at the FCC with the LMS takes another major step on the 17th, when a whole series of applications must be filed on the LMS. A Public Notice provides the on how to proceed. 

Some of the items involved: 

  • FM Engineering Special Temporary Authority (STAs)
  • Request for Silent STA
  • Extension of Silent and Engineering STA
  • Suspension of Operations Notification
  • Resumption of Operations
  • AM and FM Digital Notification
  • Modification Dependent Carrier Level MDCL) Notification
  • Change of Primary Station Notification
  • Tolling Notification
  • Reduced Power Notification
  • Pending Application Withdrawal
  • Withdraw Pending Applications

A few items, such technical applications for AM stations need to be handled by email. 

4/28/22 – the FCC issued a Report and Order – with a fact sheet prepended – says the Commission is ready to let FM and LPFM statinos to use computer modeling for directional patterns instead of having to prove the pattern  by measuring it on a test range.  They plan to approve this Report and Order during the FCC’s May 19th, Open Meeting.

Also during NAB, the FCc said a mid-May Public Notice will alert broadcasters to some updates on the LMS portal as more formerly CDBS forms and filings will most to the LMS. This will also include STA requests, that currently are requested by email. The LMS portal will also bring back the Form 395 (not used for a couple of decades), which seeks a breakdown by race and gender of station employees.

Finally, the FCC really wants stations to file changes in LMS contact information. This is what the FCC uses to contact stations to inquire about problems with renewal applications and the Biennial Ownership Reports. When there is a change, sometimes the FCC will inquire, and if they do not get a response, can – and will – delete applications, which can cause stations problems if not caught in time.

4/23/22 – Something from the NAB Show, even before it started! A press release from the Las Vegas today announced that GatesAir was acquired by Thomson Broadcast from the Gores Group, which has owned GatesAir for the past eight years. In recent years, Thomson has been looking to become a major force in the US market.

The transaction is subject to certain regulatory filings and is expected to close in the second half of 2022. Thomson, a French company, has a US base in West Palm Beach, Florida.

4/12/22 – The FCC has signalled that random spot inspections, halted by the pandemic, are about to resume. The Enforcement Bureau has told the field offices that the halt  has ended. Inspections may start at any time.

Chief Operators: check those logs for EAS and tower light entries, etc. With most of the Public Information File materials now on line, the emphasis on any inspections will likely focus on the RF plant.

4/4/22 – The FCC has upgraded the ECFS (Electronic Comment Filing System) by making it “cloud system.” According to the FCC, there will now be “expanded features and functions”  over the coming year. 

And just to remind you the cybermen are out there, reCAPTCHA functions have been added. So get ready to click on photo blocks. 

3/24/22 – The FCC has released the next set of tentative selections for the winners of the NCEFM application process. Included is the reasoning for the selections. 

3/22/22 – The FCC has released its first round of EEO audits for 2022. Stations with more than five fulltime employees must comply with the 73.2080 of the Rules. The FCC aims to audit 5% of stations each year, randomly selected. Some 250 are first up this year.

Stations must upload results of the audit to their FCC  online-web pages by May 5th.

3/14/22 – The current radio license renewal season is coming to an end with Delaware and Pennsylvania required to file by April 1st. The next renewal season starts in about 5 year.

A couple of things were learned: the need to upload the Issues & Programs list on time. Some stations tried to upload seven years’ worth with the renewal. That often generated a fine. Slow uploads on the political file seem likely to provoke fines in the next go-round. Also, being off-air for lengthy periods is receiving scathing comments from the FCC – and some licenses were lost this time aruond. 

In other words, this is a good time to take a look at procedures and avoid problems over this license period.

3/9/22 – The FCC has begun unravelling the conflicitng applications for the NCE FM allocations in the recent Window. 15 groups were tentatively settled. 

More info is here. 

3/8/22 – Stations receiving programming from Westwood One will shortly be getting new receivers, as the service moves away from the XDS and Wegener i6420 units.

The Wegener iPump 8640 has a number of features, including the ability to running 4 program outputs 24/7. On the other hand, it seems the relay/remote start functions will change. More information will be available here. 

2/28/22 – The Forest Service has given notice that it wants to change every communication site a $1400 “administration fee.” TV. Radio, Cellular, WiMax, Ham, and microwave services would all be expected to pay the new fee – in addition to any site rental changes.

With some 1367 sites in 43 states, the Forest Service is already receiving significant rental fees, with plans for rents to range from $1120 for a small AM to $60,469 for  a large FM.

The NAB believes that, in numbers, the largest group of facilities by far on Forest Service land is translators. Imposing a $1400 fee on each might well break the bank – and the translator chain – for many stations.

2/25/22 -John Warner has passed away. The well-known VP of Engineering for Clear Channel (and VP of AM Engineering as Clear Channel became  iHeart Media), he was an expert, specializing in AM facilities, and was involved in upgrading/rebuilding a large number of them. He was 73.

2/22/22 -It does seem new software collided with  old software to drive (puns intended) some Mazda owners – especially those listening to KOUW – just a bit crazy.

It seems the software update did strip the file extension on images and clashed with the firmware in the 2014-2017 Mazda radios and either locked the radios to the station or completely bricked them.

The “fix” … a $1500 connectivity master unit. 

While dealers in Seattle are stepping up to make the repairs at no charge, the question is “how many will be found?” both in Seattle and elsewhere. Clearly, this is a problem that requires a specific set of factors that few stations are likely to repeat – at least now that they know. 

Of course, you can be sure  the software vendor is being driven to speedily issue an update so as to ensure the problem will not become a big national one. (sorry, hard to resist the puns.)

And as a way to keep their listeners from being too upset, the station involved in Seattle has indicated on social media that they will give a “gift” to any listener reporting the problem.

2/17/22 -The FCC has released its Report and Order on amending, updating or eliminating some rules. Among the changes, those that limits on the power levels used by AM transmitters, coverage requirements for NCE FM stations, translator interference, and more. 

2/9/22 -There are a series of reports today that follow an article discussing how Mazda cars in Seattle and Western Washington end up with their radios locked to one channel – or stop working at all.

According to this report, a certain number of car radios react very poorly for graphics without a file extension or to the character stream “99%” 

Why has it taken a half-dozen or more years to see this issue? It appears no one thought there was a problem since most stations were using graphics with a .jpg, .gif, or .png extension. Apparently, this station fired off a graphic without an extension. It could have been due to linux – or, remember: Windows default is not to show extensions in file explorer, so it might not have been obvious.

There is a podcast called “99%” and again, it took a while for someone with the affected vehicles to tune in this podcast, where the “%%” created some digital “indigestion.”

The big problem for these car owners: supply chain issues mean replacements are hard to find!

2/1/22 -FCC Chair Rosenworcel has set new heads of several bureaus at the FCC. Among others, Holly Saurer will head the Media Bureau, Loyaan Egal the Enforcement Bureau, and Debra Jordan is the new head of the PSHSB

1/31/22 -The FCC has indicated that during the open meeting on February 18th they intent to amdend/delete several obsolete AM rules.

Feb 18th
The Commission initiated this proceeding to identify and amend broadcast radio regulations that have become outdated or unnecessary.

  • Eliminate the maximum rated transmitter power limit rule for AM stations.
  • Apply the current noncommercial educational (NCE) FM community of license coverage standard consistently throughout the rules.
  • Apply the signal strength contour overlap requirements applicable to all other NCE FM stations to Class D NCE FM stations.
  • Eliminate the requirement for broadcast radio services to protect grandfathered common carrier services operating in the 76-100 MHz frequency band in Alaska – as there are no longer any common carrier services in that band.
  • Apply the definition of an “AM fill-in area” consistently throughout the rules.
  • Amend the spacing and power requirements for radio stations near the Mexican and Canadian borders to conform to current treaty obligations.

1/11/22 -The FCC has notified users that  Consolidated Database System (CDBS) will cease accepting filings as of 5 PM Wednesday January 12th. The move has been anticipated, but pressing technical issues have prompted the transition at this time.

As part of the shift toward the Licensing and Management System (LMS), all filings that cannot be made on the LMS will need to be sent via email to At the moment, the CDBS will remain available for searching for older filings, but is eventually expected to fade away as more material and data is built into the LMS. 

For those with questions, it may be advisable to consult your Engineering Consulant, DC Attorney, or the  LMS Help Center at

1/9/22 – Supply problems, the severe reduction in true POTS, and the pandemic have combined to put the Optilator – a popular optical isolator – down for the count.

1/1/22 -Sad news to start the year. Terry Baun has passed away at the age of 74.