How much public affairs programming is your radio station required to air?
FCC rules do not say you have to air anything. However, licensees, as public trustees, are required to serve the “public interest, convenience, and necessity.” How you do that is up to you.
It’s a crapshoot.
If a licensee believes he can get away with airing a couple of 30-second PSA’s per week and no public affairs, that is his call. He will need to fill out a quarterly problems/issues report—that is a requirement–detailing pressing public concerns in his geographic area and the programming aired to address them. For our fictional operator, that report would be pretty bare.
Recently, the FCC has started pressing stations on this very thing. Only days ago, a cluster run by a major owner was fined $58,000 based on deficient quarterly problems / issues reports.
You don’t want to roll snake eyes.
That does not mean you have to go to the trouble of recording a weekly interview with the local Kiwanis president. Nationally syndicated public affairs programming, such as that produced by MediaTracks, completely satisfies local compliance issues such as education, employment, and public health. It also comes with quarterly logs you can simply paste into your own online report for the FCC.
Why gamble when you can have a win/win?
BY MARCH 1, 2018—ALL RADIO STATIONS, regardless of market ranking, the number of employees and/or commercial status, will be required to maintain a complete public file uploaded to the FCC WEBSITE (that means you need to upload all the documents BEFORE MARCH 1).
- Stations do not need to produce public affairs programming locally, AS LONG AS IT ADDRESSES COMMUNITY ISSUES
- Our programs, Radio Health Journal and Viewpoints Radio, are half-hour nationally syndicated public affairs shows designed to fulfill FCC requirements.
- WE PROVIDE QUARTERLY REPORTS for the length of your affiliation with our public affairs programming. These reports include program logs and comprehensive lists of compliance issues, which can be uploaded as is to the FCC HOSTED WEBSITE as part of your Public File.
- THE COMPLETE LIST OF REQUIRED ITEMS to be uploaded can be found on the FCC website. Items include FCC Authorizations, ownership reports, EEO FILE, political file (physical and/or online copy), LOGS OF PROGRAMS AND LISTS OF COMMUNITY ISSUES. We provide logs and compliancy issues lists free of charge to all affiliates.
- There’s an FCC ENFORCEMENT BUREAU responsible for investigating and penalizing broadcast stations that do not meet the requirements–LARGE FINES have already been handed down to stations required to meet the 2016 deadline, so start uploading today.
- MediaTracks Communications has produced public affairs programming for over 25 years. We are committed to fair and balanced content, as well as excellent customer service.