The first EEO audit of 2013 was announced by the FCC today – hitting about 200 radio stations and about 85 TV stations this time around (the list of stations to be audited is here). The Commission has pledged to audit 5% of all broadcast stations and cable systems each year to assure their compliance with the Commission’s EEO rules – requiring wide dissemination of information about job openings and non-vacancy specific supplemental efforts to educate their communities about job opportunities in the media industry. The form audit letter was also released today by the FCC. Responses from the audited stations are due to be filed at the FCC by April 8.
While the FCC has slightly revised the audit request to cut down on the burden of compliance (by eliminating the need to produce a copy of every notice sent out to fill every job, allowing instead the filing of a representative copy of a job opening notice and a list of the sources to which it was sent), these audits still require substantial work. And if any station in your cluster is hit, all stations in that "station employment group" (a group of commonly owned stations serving the same area with at least one common employee) must respond. But, if a cluster has been audited in the last two years, the FCC may allow you to avoid responding to this audit – but you have to request such treatment if you are on this audit list.
All stations should review the audit letter as it provides a good outline of the documents that stations should be retaining to demonstrate their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules. For more information about compliance with the EEO rules, see our post about an EEO webinar held by the FCC to explain its EEO rules. You may also want to review the last set of fines for EEO violations, about which we wrote here.