Start 2019 Stress-Free: Get Your Checklist for FCC Online Public Files

Compiling and maintaining a public file has been an FCC requirement for broadcasters for decades. These files contain license applications, ownership information, EEO files, graphical maps of the broadcast area, and more. Everything in these files was to be made available to the public, during the normal operating hours of the broadcast station’s office.

 

However, the FCC is now requiring that stations make these public files available online. Through a series of mini-deadlines, all radio and television stations in the country have been converting their public files to digital versions, through the FCC’s online database. During 2018, the MBA worked to keep you informed of each deadline, to ensure that all Missouri stations were in compliance.

 

Now we’ve reached the stage where the FCC has gone beyond “encouraging compliance”, and is beginning to inspect the online public files. When stations are preparing to renew their licenses in 2021 and 2022, the FCC will bring up the current state of the public file, and ask why current deadlines were not met. Any station that doesn’t have a very good reason for a missed deadline could face hefty fines, or even have their license renewal blocked. What you are doing right now could have a huge impact on your station in the coming years.

What you are doing right now could have a huge impact on your station in the coming years.

What kinds of deadlines are being missed? Most commonly, the FCC is reporting that many stations are not correctly uploading Quarterly Issue Public Program lists, and that Children’s TV reports are also frequently missing.

 

This is an incredibly important part of running a broadcast station in the modern age. Here at the MBA, we want to ensure that all our Missouri stations continue to air for many years to come – and that means that meeting FCC deadlines is a must. With the help of attorney Gregg Skall, we’ve been able to assist in keeping you aware of these deadlines as they happen. But now that the FCC’s inspections have begun, it’s more important than ever that you ensure your public file is complete.

 

Gregg Skall has created a checklist for MBA members, to help you double check your online public file for total accuracy and compliance. You can find that checklist, and a message from Gregg regarding the FCC deadlines and inspections, at the following link: https://www.mbaweb.org/10452-2/

Use the MBA members-only password to access the checklist. (If you aren’t sure of the password, feel free to call or email Terry at (573)636-6692, or tharper@mbaweb.org.)

 

We can’t stress enough how important it is that Missouri stations not only comply with the FCC requirements now, but also that each station continues to train new staff on how to maintain this online file. Go into 2019 with a fully compliant public file so that you’ll have no trouble renewing in the coming years. Please click here to download your checklist!

 

Stay tuned later this month for a new post about one of the exciting opportunities the MBA offers for future broadcasters. To get notified right away of new posts, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.