Yesterday, in our article about the recent FCC random audit of the EEO performance of over 200 radio and TV stations, we noted that the FCC also reviews the EEO performance of broadcasters in connection with complaints, license renewal applications, and at the midpoint of the license period of most TV stations and larger radio operations. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, in a Public Notice released yesterday, reminded us that this Mid-Term Review process is about to begin. The FCC will be reviewing the performance of larger radio clusters in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and West Virginia, who are required to upload their Annual EEO Public Inspection File reports to their online public file by June 1. While it is sometimes hard to believe how quickly time has passed, stations in these states are now at the mid-point of their licenses, as their last license renewal applications were filed on or before June 1, 2019.
The FCC’s Mid-Term EEO review in the past was conducted through the filing of a Form 397 Report. That report required that a licensee attach the last two years of EEO Public Inspection file reports and provide a contact person for EEO compliance at the station “employment unit” (a cluster of commonly controlled stations serving the same geographic area sharing at least one employee). In 2019, the FCC did away with that report, finding that the employment reports were already available in station online public inspection files (and that the person responsible for EEO was already identified in the materials submitted with the station’s last renewal application)(see our article here). So instead of filing a form, the FCC will simply review what is already in the public file. But the Mid-Term review is only required for larger radio groups, which required the FCC to implement a settings update in their online public files.
Continue Reading More FCC EEO News – FCC Reminds Broadcasters that EEO Mid-Term Reviews to Begin in June