Posted by: cinnamonlaw | July 6, 2012

FCC Fines Increase for Public Inspection File Violations

During the last renewal cycle, the base fine for an admitted public file violation was generally $3,000. By “Admitted”, I mean a situation where a licensee actually checks the box in the renewal application and admits it was completely diligent in its public file maintenance during the last license term.  As renewals are being processed for radio stations in this renewal cycle, the proposed fines are starting at $10,000. Please make sure your public file is in order especially as you go through your preparation for renewals.

Also, EEO fines are on the rise. Remember, it’s not a question of the actual race, gender and ethnic background of the people who work at a station. It’s illegal for the FCC to ask because the Supreme Court struck down ethnic, racial and gender based quota systems designed to promote diversity hiring. The new EEO rules at the FCC relate to the recruitment process ONLY.  How a station publicizes its job openings. Make sure that your job announcements are going to as many community based organizations as possible. Remember to try to include local newspapers and any employment agencies in your area that specifically target helping female or minority members find employment.  Reach out to everyone on your distribution list once a year regardless of whether you have had any openings just to keep the contacts current.  When a job opening is filled, keep track of the sources that the applications came from and especially the sources of the candidates that were interviewed and eventually hired.  That information may be requested by the FCC during a random EEO audit.



  1. It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about!

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