Mark April 10 on your calendar, radio broadcasters.
That is the date shown in Thursday’s Federal Register for the effective date of the FCC’s rule setting forth the allowable location of an FM translator station rebroadcasting the signal of an AM broadcast station.
But, there’s a caveat: The effective date is delayed indefinitely pending Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval “of a non-substantive change to the rule as originally proposed.”
The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the effective date.
As reported Feb. 23, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Michael O’Rielly unanimously approved a Second Report and Order at the FCC’s February Open Meeting that relaxes the siting rule for an FM fill-in translator rebroadcasting an AM broadcast station.
The vote means that an FM translator can now be located beyond 40 miles from an AM station’s transmitter. The R&O cited Univision Radio data regarding where its listeners are.
The protected contour for an FM translator station is its predicted 1 mV/m contour, the revised language states.
The Order comes after Pai, as a Commissioner, in 2014 sought comment on a proposal to relax rules that he believed were too restrictive, in respect to the siting of FM translators — thus blocking some AM broadcasters from being able to purchase one.