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   Public File: Don't Forget the Station Site


March 1 has come and gone.  There was panic for a couple of days as multiple stations sorted out access and content, waded through some server overloads and got their public files online.  Now that that's done, remember that there are files that need to be duplicated on the station's site - or someplace where the public can head electronically if the commission's site is down.  Also, be sure to give contact information on the site for the general public to call with questions about the public file. 


Well, the top 50 market folks are chuckling.  They're done.  But if you're not one of them - smaller market or noncommercial - the crunch is on.  March 1 is the deadline for getting your public file up on the web.  The public notice is below.  There's a video tutorial here which can get you started.  If you're really panicked, give us a call but if you need help, the first question is, "Is your paper Public File in order?"  If not, you need to start there, all the while that the commission has indicated that they have every intention of issuing NOVs and fines for late or incomplete filing. 

In addition, don't forget that your Public File has to be available elsewhere on the web in case the commission's site is unavailable.  That would normally be your station's site.  Don't have one or need help doing that, we can support you.


In a top-50 market?  June 24, 2016 was the deadline for beginning to use the FCC's online Public File Access.  That includes new items placed in the file.  You have until December 24 to upload your current Public File information - not including political files.  If you haven't started, hurry!  Seriously.

Not in a top 50 market, you have a breather. Below top-50, top-50 with less than five full time employees, and noncommercial educational stations have until March 1, 2018 to comply. 

You can check the Public Notice here.

The FCC conducted a webinar on the implementation of the new requirements on June 14, 2016. You can view that on YouTube here.  For more information, go to for their explanation and summary.


On January 29, 2016, the FCC promulgated a new Report and Order expanding online availability of Public Inspection Files to radio stations and cable and satellite TV operators.  You can view or download the R&O here.

It's been in the works since shortly after TV stations were required to do so. 

Some may see these as onerous requirements and the only business where the competition has easy access to your performance.  But, in many ways, it removes some of the issues that deal with local inspection.  Stations that maintain their file online with the FCC - and provide a backup online site for access should the commission's site be inaccessible for any reason - will no longer have to maintain the print version locally. 

From an operational standpoint, updating programming performance should be easier - open the applicable webpage and make the changes and additions online.

If you do not have your public file online, you should be making plans to do so.  Yes, we can help.

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