The FCC released a Public Notice announcing that its window for Class C and D AM stations to file for new FM translators to rebroadcast their stations will open on July 26. The notice does not say much more except that there will be another notice coming soon providing more details on the filing process. This notice does not say whether applications will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis starting with those filed on July 26, or if there will be a longer window during which all applications that are filed will be considered together to determine which applications are “mutually exclusive” (i.e. if they would interfere with each other so that only one can be granted). The Notice did say that the FCC will allow parties with applications that are mutually exclusive to come up with “engineering solutions” – one or both of the applicants can amend their applications to specify a new channel on which to operate to eliminate the mutual exclusivity.
We know that the window will be open to any AM station that did not acquire a translator using a 250 mile waiver in last year’s translator window. Beyond that, we speculated on some of the other rules for this window when we first noted that this Public Notice was about to be released, here. We should know for sure what those rules are soon – so if you are interested in filing for a new translator to go with your AM station, watch for these details coming soon, and start getting ready for that July 26 window opening.