Large Market Radio Stations Must Have Complete Online Public File by Christmas Eve

fcc-logo_dark-blueThe CommLawBlog reports that most radio stations located in large markets, which have been defined by the Commission in this instance, to be the Nielsen Top-50 radio markets, will need to make sure that they have their online public files completely uploaded by December 24, 2016.

Back on June 24, 2016, full-power radio stations in the Nielsen Top-50 radio markets with 5 or more full-time employees in their employment unit (as that term is defined in the FCC’s EEO rules) were required to begin uploading virtually all public file documents to a Commission-hosted database on a going-forward basis. The exception to that rule was that stations were allowed to continue maintaining correspondence from the public in a paper file.

Now the second half of the requirement is about to kick in, as stations must upload public file documents which pre-date June 24, 2016 and that process must be completed by December 24. Exceptions to this requirement are the political file, which needs to be uploaded on a going-forward basis only and, again correspondence from the public.

Smaller Markets Take Note:

The blog reminds other stations that  Beginning March 1, 2018, the online radio requirements will apply to full-power radio stations located outside the top-50 markets and small stations in all markets.

Unlike the first group of stations, there will not be a phase-in period, but rather almost all public file documents, including documents from earlier in the license term and going-forward documents, will be required to be posted online by March 1, 2018. Exceptions are that the political file needs be uploaded on a going-forward basis only and political file documents from prior to March 1, 2018 may be retained in a paper file for the remainder of their retention period. Additionally, letters from the public need not be uploaded but must be retained in paper format.

Read more here.

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