License renewal for radio stations are due for blocks of states filing during a three-year renewal cycle. The FCC’s concern about incomplete or inactive online public files could potentially effect license renewals, which started for radio stations in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia in June 2019, with pre-filing public announcements of those filings on April 1, 2019.
Incomplete public files will result in compliance problems and worse potentially fines, if the files are not complete by license renewal time. The FCC has once again warned stations against two issues with online public inspection files:
1) Station that have done nothing with their online public files.
2) Stations that have not uploaded their Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists to their online public files on a consistent basis.
Stations must upload Quarterly Issues/Programs Lists. Stations with 5 or more full-time employees, must file Annual EEO Public Inspection file reports. Missing quarterly Issues/Programs Lists in the last license renewal window resulted in fines from $10,000 to $15,000.
This year, stations are also required to migrate their station data from the FCC’s Consolidated Database System (CDBS) to the new FCC License Management System (LMS). Station should begin this process as soon as possible. Check your online public file now and make sure that you are in compliance with all public file obligations to insure that you do not have issues that will cost you at renewal time – or at any other time the FCC decides to use its enforcement authority.