Earlier this week, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability proposing a $25,000 fine on two related companies operating clusters of stations in two small Kansas markets. Those clusters have, because of financial setbacks (leading to bankruptcy), reduced staff so that they no longer have 5 full-time employees at either cluster and thus are no longer subject to the FCC’s EEO outreach requirements. In this Notice, the FCC staff looked back to a few isolated violations in 2020 and 2021, when the stations had 5 or more full-time employees, to justify the proposed $25,000 fine.
The Enforcement Bureau pointed to the late upload to the online public file of three Annual EEO Public File Reports. The Bureau also pointed to the late upload of two Annual EEO Public File Reports at one of the clusters, and one late upload at the other cluster. Both the 2020 and 2021 reports for one cluster were uploaded in June 2021, when the reports were due in February of each year. Thus, one report was 5 months late, the other 17 months late. At the other cluster, the 2021 report was uploaded a year late. There was no allegation that the reports were not completed on time – just that they were not timely uploaded.Continue Reading $25,000 Proposed Fine for Alleged EEO Violations at Kansas Radio Clusters – A Higher Standard for FCC EEO Enforcement?