The 2024 Broadcasters’ Calendar – Regulatory Dates for the Coming Year, with Special Attention to Lowest Unit Charge Political Windows
December 22, 2023
By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer
2024 is almost upon us. At this time of year, everyone seems to be making a list of the best (or worst) events of 2023, or predictions for what the new year will bring. After the first of the year, we will dust off our crystal ball and look at some of the legal and policy issues that may be addressed in the new year. Today we will look at the dates that are already set for 2024. We offer for your review our Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar for 2024. While this calendar should not be viewed as an exhaustive list of every regulatory date that your station will face, it highlights many of the most important dates for broadcasters in the coming year – including dates for EEO Public Inspection File Reports, Quarterly Issues Programs lists, children’s television requirements, annual fee obligations and much more.
2024 may well be the biggest election ever, with the Presidential election, and hotly contested races to fill all the seats in the US House of Representatives (and to decide control of that institution) as well as a third of the seats in the US Senate, where control may also be at stake. Couple these with many state level races and even some ballot issues, election spending is certain to be at or near its highest level ever. We’ve taken extra time this year to highlight the lowest unit charge periods for the primaries and general election (based on information available to us when this calendar was prepared) – including even some municipal elections that are occurring on cycles different than those applicable to the federal races. We just last week wrote about how the political broadcasting rules apply to state and local elections as well as federal ones, and even special elections to fill vacant political seats. In today’s hyper-partisan atmosphere, we may well see broadcast and cable advertising for political races where such advertising has never before been placed, thus our extra attention to these races. Be sure to confirm all these election dates with counsel and local election authorities, as these dates can change. Note, too, that there can be additional local and special elections which are not included here. All stations should be getting ready to meet these obligations.
Follow our blog where we post a weekly summary of the prior week’s regulatory actions relevant to broadcasters (see last week’s summary, here) and, just prior to the start of each month, a look ahead at the regulatory dates in the coming month (see our look at January dates, here). On our blog, we also highlight other regulatory and policy issues that media companies should be following. Read other newsletters and trade publications and consult your own attorney to stay on top of all the regulatory obligations that apply to your stations. We hope that this 2024 Broadcaster’s Regulatory Calendar will give you a good start on spotting some of the important dates that may be ahead for your operations in the coming year.
David Oxenford is MAB’s Washington Legal Counsel and provides members with answers to their legal questions with the MAB Legal Hotline. Access information here. (Members only access). There are no additional costs for the call; the advice is free as part of your MAB membership.