FCC Announces Auction Filing Window for AM Stations Seeking FM Translators

As part of it’s AM “revitalization” initiative, the FCC has announced the first auction filing window for AM stations seeking new FM translators.

Chairman Ajit Pai said in a statement: “Starting on July 26, 2017, we will open an auction filing window to allow the licensees of Class C and D AM stations — those having the least power and/or the most limited (or nonexistent) nighttime service, and which did not participate in either of the 2016 modification windows — to file applications to establish new FM translator stations to re-transmit their signals on a full time basis.”

After those applicants have had an opportunity to resolve mutual exclusivities through settlements or technical amendments, the Commission said it will announce the dates of a second new FM translator auction filing window, which will be open to any AM station licensee that did not participate in either of the 2016 translator modification windows or the first new FM translator auction filing window. This filing window will also be followed by a settlement/technical resolution period.

This year’s two windows are only for AM owners who didn’t file for a translator with the relaxed 250-mile relocation rules last year.

The Commission will use competitive bidding to resolve remaining mutually exclusive application groups from these windows.

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