Goto Section: 73.3568 | 73.3572 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.3571
Revised as of October 20, 2020
Goto Year:2020 | 2022
  §  73.3571   Processing of AM broadcast station applications.

   Link to an amendment published at  85 FR 36794 , June 18, 2020.

   (a) Applications for AM broadcast facilities are divided into three
   groups.

   (1) In the first group are applications for new stations or for major
   changes in the facilities of authorized stations. A major change for an
   AM station authorized under this part is any change in frequency,
   except frequency changes to non-expanded band first, second or third
   adjacent channels. A major change in ownership is a situation where the
   original party or parties to the application do not retain more than
   50% ownership interest in the application as originally filed. A major
   change in community of license is one in which the applicant's daytime
   facilities at the proposed community are not mutually exclusive, as
   defined in § 73.37, with the applicant's current daytime facilities, or
   any change in community of license of an AM station in the 1605-1705
   kHz band. All other changes will be considered minor.

   (2) The second group consists of applications for licenses and all
   other changes in the facilities of authorized stations.

   (3) The third group consists of applications for operation in the
   1605-1705 kHz band which are filed subsequent to FCC notification that
   allotments have been awarded to petitioners under the procedure
   specified in § 73.30.

   (b)(1) The FCC may, after acceptance of an application for modification
   of facilities, advise the applicant that such application is considered
   to be one for a major change and therefore is subject to the provisions
   of § § 73.3522, 73.3580 and 1.1111 of this chapter pertaining to major
   changes. Such major modification applications will be dismissed as set
   forth in paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this section.

   (2) An amendment to an application which would effect a major change,
   as defined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, will not be accepted
   except as provided for in paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this section.

   (c) An application for changes in the facilities of an existing station
   will continue to carry the same file number even though (pursuant to
   FCC approval) an assignment of license or transfer of control of said
   licensee or permittee has taken place if, upon consummation, the
   application is amended to reflect the new ownership.

   (d) If, upon examination, the FCC finds that the public interest,
   convenience and necessity will be served by the granting of an
   application, the same will be granted. If the FCC is unable to make
   such a finding and it appears that a hearing may be required, the
   procedure set forth in § 73.3593 will be followed.

   (e) Applications proposing to increase the power of an AM station are
   subject to the following requirements:

   (1) In order to be acceptable for filing, any application which does
   not involve a change in site must propose at least a 20% increase in
   the station's nominal power.

   (2) Applications involving a change in site are not subject to the
   requirements in paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

   (3) Applications for nighttime power increases for Class D stations are
   not subject to the requirements of this section and will be processed
   as minor changes.

   (4) The following special procedures will be followed in authorizing
   Class II-D daytime-only stations on 940 and 1550 kHz, and Class III
   daytime-only stations on the 41 regional channels listed in § 73.26(a),
   to operate unlimited-time.

   (i) Each eligible daytime-only station in the foregoing categories will
   receive an Order to Show Cause why its license should not be modified
   to specify operation during nighttime hours with the facilities it is
   licensed to start using at local sunrise, using the power stated in the
   Order to Show Cause, that the Commission finds is the highest nighttime
   level—not exceeding 0.5 kW—at which the station could operate without
   causing prohibited interference to other domestic or foreign stations,
   or to co-channel or adjacent channel stations for which pending
   applications were filed before December 1, 1987.

   (ii) Stations accepting such modification shall be reclassified. Those
   authorized in such Show Cause Orders to operate during nighttime hours
   with a power of 0.25 kW or more, or with a power that, although less
   than 0.25 kW, is sufficient to enable them to attain RMS field
   strengths of 141 mV/m or more at 1 kilometer, shall be redesignated as
   Class II-B stations if they are assigned to 940 or 1550 kHz, and as
   unlimited-time Class III stations if they are assigned to regional
   channels.

   (iii) Stations accepting such modification that are authorized to
   operate during nighttime hours at powers less than 0.25 kW, and that
   cannot with such powers attain RMS field strengths of 141 mV/m or more
   at 1 kilometer, shall be redesignated as Class II-S stations if they
   are assigned to 940 or 1550 kHz, and as Class III-S stations if they
   are assigned to regional channels.

   (iv) Applications for new stations may be filed at any time on 940 and
   1550 kHz and on the regional channels. Also, stations assigned to 940
   or 1550 kHz, or to the regional channels, may at any time, regardless
   of their classifications, apply for power increases up to the maximum
   generally permitted. Such applications for new or changed facilities
   will be granted without taking into account interference caused to
   Class II-S or Class III-S stations, but will be required to show
   interference protection to other classes of stations, including
   stations that were previously classified as Class II-S or Class III-S,
   but were later reclassified as Class II-B or Class III unlimited-time
   stations as a result of subsequent facilities modifications that
   permitted power increases qualifying them to discontinue their “S”
   subclassification.

   (f) Applications for minor modifications for AM broadcast stations, as
   defined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, may be filed at any time,
   unless restricted by the FCC, and will be processed on a “first
   come/first served” basis, with the first acceptable application cutting
   off the filing rights of subsequent, conflicting applicants. The FCC
   will periodically release a Public Notice listing those applications
   accepted for filing. Applications received on the same day will be
   treated as simultaneously filed and, if they are found to be mutually
   exclusive, must be resolved through settlement or technical amendment.
   Conflicting applications received after the filing of a first
   acceptable application will be grouped, according to filing date,
   behind the lead application in a queue. The priority rights of the lead
   applicant, against all other applicants, are determined by the date of
   filing, but the filing date for subsequent, conflicting applicants only
   reserves a place in the queue. The rights of an applicant in a queue
   ripen only upon a final determination that the lead applicant is
   unacceptable and if the queue member is reached and found acceptable.
   The queue will remain behind the lead applicant until a construction
   permit is finally granted, at which time the queue dissolves.

   (g) Applications for change of license to change hours of operation of
   a Class C AM broadcast station, to decrease hours of operation of any
   other class of station, or to change station location involving no
   change in transmitter site will be considered without reference to the
   processing line.

   (h) Processing new and major AM broadcast station applications. (1)(i)
   The FCC will specify by Public Notice, pursuant to § 73.5002, a period
   for filing AM applications for a new station or for major modifications
   in the facilities of an authorized station. AM applications for new
   facilities or for major modifications, whether for commercial broadcast
   stations or noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as described
   in 47 U.S.C. 397(6), will be accepted only during these specified
   periods. Applications submitted prior to the appropriate filing period
   or “window” opening date identified in the Public Notice will be
   returned as premature. Applications submitted after the specified
   deadline will be dismissed with prejudice as untimely.

   (ii)(A) Such AM applicants will be subject to the provisions of
   § § 1.2105 of this chapter and 73.5002 regarding the submission of the
   short-form application, FCC Form 175, and all appropriate
   certifications, information and exhibits contained therein.
   Applications must include the following engineering data:

   (1) Community of license;

   (2) Frequency;

   (3) Class;

   (4) Hours of operations (day, night, critical hours);

   (5) Power (day, night, critical hours);

   (6) Antenna location (day, night, critical hours); and

   (7) All other antenna data.

   (B) Applications lacking data (including any form of placeholder, such
   as inapposite use of “0” or “not applicable” or an abbreviation
   thereof) in any of the categories listed in paragraph (h)(1)(ii)(A) of
   this section will be immediately dismissed as incomplete without an
   opportunity for amendment. The staff will review the remaining
   applications to determine whether they meet the following basic
   eligibility criteria:

   (1) Community of license coverage (day and night) as set forth in
   § 73.24(i), and

   (2) Protection of co- and adjacent-channel station licenses,
   construction permits and prior-filed applications (day and night) as
   set forth in § § 73.37 and 73.182.

   (C) If the staff review shows that an application does not meet one or
   more of the basic eligibility criteria listed in paragraph
   (h)(1)(ii)(B) of this section, it will be deemed “technically
   ineligible for filing” and will be included on a Public Notice listing
   defective applications and setting a deadline for the submission of
   curative amendments. An application listed on that Public Notice may be
   amended only to the extent directly related to an identified deficiency
   in the application. The amendment may modify the proposed power, class
   (within the limits set forth in § 73.21 of the rules), antenna location
   or antenna data, but not the proposed community of license or
   frequency. Except as set forth in the preceding two sentences,
   amendments to short-form (FCC Form 175) applications will not be
   accepted at any time. Applications that remain technically ineligible
   after the close of this amendment period will be dismissed, and the
   staff will determine which remaining applications are mutually
   exclusive. The engineering proposals in eligible applications remaining
   after the close of the amendment period will be protected from
   subsequently filed applications. Determinations as to the acceptability
   or grantability of an applicant's proposal will not be made prior to an
   auction.

   (iii) AM applicants will be subject to the provisions of § § 1.2105 and
   73.5002 regarding the modification and dismissal of their short-form
   applications.

   (2) Subsequently, the FCC will release Public Notices:

   (i) Identifying the short-form applications received during the window
   filing period which are found to be mutually exclusive, including any
   applications for noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as
   described in 47 U.S.C. 397(6), as well as the procedures the FCC will
   use to resolve the mutually exclusive applications;

   (ii) Establishing a date, time and place for an auction;

   (iii) Providing information regarding the methodology of competitive
   bidding to be used in the upcoming auction, bid submission and payment
   procedures, upfront payment procedures, upfront payment deadlines,
   minimum opening bid requirements and applicable reserve prices in
   accordance with the provisions of § 73.5002;

   (iv) Identifying applicants who have submitted timely upfront payments
   and, thus, are qualified to bid in the auction.

   (3) After the close of the filing window, the FCC will also release a
   Public Notice identifying any short-form applications received which
   are found to be non-mutually exclusive, including any applications for
   noncommercial educational broadcast stations, as described in 47 U.S.C.
   397(6). All non-mutually exclusive applicants will be required to
   submit an appropriate long form application within 30 days of the
   Public Notice and, for applicants for commercial broadcast stations,
   pursuant to the provisions of § 73.5005(d). Non-mutually exclusive
   applications for commercial broadcast stations will be processed and
   the FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing such
   non-mutually exclusive applications determined to be acceptable for
   filing and announcing a date by which petitions to deny must be filed
   in accordance with the provisions of § § 73.5006 and 73.3584.
   Non-mutually exclusive applications for noncommercial educational
   broadcast stations, as described in 47 U.S.C. 397(6), will be processed
   and the FCC will periodically release a Public Notice listing such
   non-mutually exclusive applications determined to be acceptable for
   filing and announcing a date by which petitions to deny must be filed
   in accordance with the provisions of § § 73.7004 and 73.3584. If the
   applicant is duly qualified, and upon examination, the FCC finds that
   the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served by the
   granting of the non-mutually exclusive long form application, the same
   will be granted.

   (4)(i) The auction will be held pursuant to the procedures set forth in
   § § 1.2101 et seq. and 73.5000 et seq. Subsequent to the auction, the FCC
   will release a Public Notice announcing the close of the auction and
   identifying the winning bidders. Winning bidders will be subject to the
   provisions of § 1.2107 of this chapter regarding down payments and will
   be required to submit the appropriate down payment within 10 business
   days of the Public Notice. Pursuant to § 1.2107 of this chapter and
   § 73.5005, a winning bidder that meets its down payment obligations in a
   timely manner must, within 30 days of the release of the Public Notice
   announcing the close of the auction, submit the appropriate long-form
   application for each construction permit for which it was the winning
   bidder. Long-form applications filed by winning bidders shall include
   the exhibits identified in § 73.5005(a).

   (ii) Winning bidders are required to pay the balance of their winning
   bids in a lump sum prior to the deadline established by the Commission
   pursuant to § 1.2109(a). Long-form construction permit applications will
   be processed and the FCC will periodically release a Public Notice
   listing such applications that have been accepted for filing and
   announcing a date by which petitions to deny must be filed in
   accordance with the provisions of § § 73.5006 and 73.3584. Construction
   permits will be granted by the Commission only after full and timely
   payment of winning bids and any applicable late fees, and if the
   applicant is duly qualified, and upon examination, the FCC finds that
   the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served.

   (iii) All long-form applications will be cutoff as of the date of
   filing with the FCC and will be protected from subsequently filed
   long-form applications. Applications will be required to protect all
   previously filed commercial and noncommercial applications. Subject to
   the restrictions set forth in paragraph (k) of this section, winning
   bidders filing long-form applications may change the technical
   proposals specified in their previously submitted short-form
   applications, but such change may not constitute a major change. If the
   submitted long-form application would constitute a major change from
   the proposal submitted in the short-form application, the long-form
   application will be returned pursuant to paragraph (h)(1)(i) of this
   section.

   (i) In order to grant a major or minor change application made
   contingent upon the grant of another licensee's request for a facility
   modification, the Commission will not consider mutually exclusive
   applications by other parties that would not protect the currently
   authorized facilities of the contingent applicants. Such major change
   applications remain, however, subject to the provisions of § § 73.3580
   and 1.1111. The Commission shall grant contingent requests for
   construction permits for station modifications only upon a finding that
   such action will promote the public interest, convenience and
   necessity.

   (j) Applications proposing to change the community of license of an AM
   station, except for an AM station in the 1605-1705 kHz band, are
   considered to be minor modifications under paragraphs (a)(2) and (f) of
   this section, and are subject to the following requirements:

   (1) The applicant must attach an exhibit to its application containing
   information demonstrating that the proposed community of license change
   constitutes a preferential arrangement of assignments under Section
   307(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C.
   307(b));

   (2) The daytime facilities specified by the applicant at the proposed
   community of license must be mutually exclusive, as defined in § 73.37,
   with the applicant's current daytime facilities; and

   (3) Notwithstanding the provisions of § 73.3580(a), the applicant must
   comply with the local public notice provisions of § § 73.3580(c)(3),
   73.3580(d)(3), and 73.3580(f). The exception contained in § 73.3580(e)
   shall not apply to an application proposing to change the community of
   license of an AM station.

   (k)(1) An AM applicant receiving a dispositive Section 307(b)
   preference is required to construct and operate technical facilities
   substantially as proposed in its FCC Form 175. An AM applicant,
   licensee, or permittee receiving a dispositive Section 307(b)
   preference based on its proposed service to underserved populations
   (under Priority (1), Priority (2), and Priority (4)) or service totals
   (under Priority (4)) may modify its facilities so long as it continues
   to provide the same priority service to substantially the same number
   of persons who would have received service under the initial proposal,
   even if the population is not the same population that would have
   received such service under the initial proposal. For purposes of this
   provision, “substantially” means that any proposed modification must
   not result in a decrease of more than 20 percent of any population
   figure that was a material factor in obtaining the dispositive Section
   307(b) preference.

   (2) An AM applicant, licensee, or permittee that has received a
   dispositive preference under Priority (3) will be prohibited from
   changing its community of license.

   (3) The restrictions set forth in paragraphs (k)(1) and (k)(2) of this
   section will be applied for a period of four years of on-air
   operations. This holding period does not apply to construction permits
   that are awarded on a non-comparative basis, such as those awarded to
   non-mutually exclusive applicants or through settlement.

   Note to § 73.3571: For purposes of paragraph (h)(1)(ii) of this section,
   § 73.182(k) interference standards apply when determining nighttime
   mutual exclusivity between applications to provide AM service that are
   filed in the same window. Two applications would be deemed to be
   mutually exclusive if either application would be subject to dismissal
   because it would enter into, i.e., raise, the twenty-five percent
   exclusion RSS nighttime limit of the other.

   [ 63 FR 48625 , Sept. 11, 1998, as amended at  64 FR 19501 , Apr. 21, 1999;
    67 FR 45374 , July 9, 2002;  68 FR 26227 , May 15, 2003;  71 FR 6228 , Feb.
   7, 2006;  71 FR 76219 , Dec. 20, 2006;  75 FR 9806 , Mar. 4, 2010;  76 FR 18952 , Apr. 6, 2011]

   


Goto Section: 73.3568 | 73.3572

Goto Year: 2020 | 2022
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