Update on Updating the Public Inspection File Post-Shutdown

David Oxenford - Color
David Oxenford

By: David Oxenford, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

On January 30, we published an article talking about an FCC public notice extending all filing deadlines that fell between January 8 and February 7 (except those dealing with auctions and other activities of the FCC unaffected by the government shutdown) to February 8. The article also mentioned that the FCC gave stations that had not been able to upload material into their public inspection files during the shutdown until February 11 to complete the upload of required public file materials – including specifically the Quarterly Issues Programs lists that should have been uploaded by January 10. This led some broadcasters to ask about public file documents that are now due to be uploaded – e.g. EEO Public Inspection File Reports due to be included in the public file by February 1 by stations in certain states (see our article here for a list of the states) – can stations wait until February 11 to upload those documents? Apparently not, we are hearing from the FCC, as the public notice about the February 11 deadline says that it applies only to documents that were to be uploaded to the public file between January 3 and January 28. So documents that are to be uploaded by February 1 would not be among those with the extended deadline. Obviously, consult your own counsel for details on all of these deadlines – but it looks like, if you have a public file February 1 – you should meet that deadline.

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).

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