Incomplete public inspection files were the largest source of fines during the last license renewal cycle. We wrote last week about two noncommercial broadcasters whose renewal applications filed many years ago have just now led to consent decrees and voluntary contributions to the US treasury in lieu of fines. To help commercial broadcasters avoid these issues, we have prepared a Guide to the Basics of Public Inspection File Obligations for Commercial Radio and Television Broadcasters, discussing the rules that need to be followed with respect to the availability of the file to the public, its required contents, and the time period for the retention of documents kept in the file. The Guide also has links to some of our other advisories that deal in more detail with the obligations to keep specific types of documents in the file – including political broadcasting documents, quarterly issues programs lists, EEO reports and children’s television reports. Read the guide, available here, review your operations and be prepared for the next renewal cycle.