To maintain your FCC broadcast license, it is extremely important that your radio station is in compliance with all radio broadcasting rules and regulations. This sounds like a big undertaking with attention to a multitude of details–because it is. As radio broadcast experts here at MediaTracks Communications, we can help you tackle some of the most important radio broadcasting obligations that must be followed on an ongoing basis and maintained in your public inspection files.
Understanding Public Inspection Files
You must maintain a complete public inspection file for your radio station. There is an extensive list of these files, including but not limited to:
- Quarterly reports detailing how the station has addressed local problems and issues through its public affairs programming
- FCC Authorizations that are issued to your radio station by the Commission and must include all permits and licenses
- Contour maps that depict geographic information about your signal for your radio station’s reach
- An Equal Employment Opportunity file is required for all radio stations with more than five full-time employees and must include an EEO public file report updated every year, along with an EEO Mid-term Report and EEO Program Report
- Shared Service Agreements via contracts or agreements for all of your administrative, broadcast programming, technical, and sales services
- Time brokerage agreements, also known as Local Marketing Agreements or LMAs regarding the ownership and programming for your station on a daily basis
- FCC investigations and compliance documentation for all applicable situations that take place at your station
- A political file including advertising schedules and time for candidates and any deals or agreements made with yourself as the broadcaster and political groups or candidates. All commercial radio stations with five or more full-time employees in the top 50 radio markets are required to have this file on public record online.
For many stations, that first bullet point is the most critical, time-consuming requirement. As holder of a federally-allocated license, stations are viewed as public trustees and are required to address local problems and issues in their programming. Stations may do this in a method of their choosing, but must document how they do so in a quarterly “issues and programs” report uploaded to the FCC public inspection file. Syndicated public affairs programming, such as that from MediaTracks, satisfies this station requirement on both ends. Our programming extensively covers universal local issues like education, poverty, the environment, public health and safety, government, and economics. Every quarter, MediaTracks then supplies affiliate stations with a complete report on all these issues and how they’ve been addressed, which can be directly pasted into your station’s FCC quarterly report or modified to fit your station’s standards.
Avoid complying with these rules and your station will be subject to fines and penalties, including shutting down your operation, temporarily or permanently.
Yet as you can see from just the tip of the Public Inspection Files iceberg, the needs of programming to address local problems and issues, and maintaining these files for FCC rules and regulations can be cost-prohibitive for many stations. Here is where it pays to outsource your compliancy-based programming.
Choose MediaTracks for Syndicated Radio Programming
At MediaTracks Communications, we work for you to protect against noncompliance issues. Our affiliates receive and air programming that covers all of their FCC broadcast license requirements, addressing local problems and issues, through our syndicated radio programming. Contact MediaTracks today to get started now to ensure your compliance with FCC radio broadcasting rules and regulations.