Posted by: cinnamonlaw | July 7, 2012

Television Station Public Inspection Files Move Online

The FCC has adopted new rules which require television stations (including Class A television stations, but not other LPTV stations) to post their public inspection files online through a Commission-hosted website.  These new requirements are set to go into effect on August 2, 2012, though the National Association of Broadcasters has filed with the courts asking for a stay of the rules.

Assuming everything goes according to the FCC’s plan, starting on August 2, television broadcasters will have to post online through the FCC’s website any new documents that they determine should be included in the station’s public inspection file.  Documents in station public inspection files before August 2 fill have to be uploaded to the FCC site within six months from the August 2, 2012 start date.  These requirements apply to all television broadcasters regardless of size.

With the election season coming up, there are changes to how the political file is maintained as well.  Television broadcasters who are NOT affiliated with the top four networks (ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC) in the top 50 markets DO NOT have to place their political files online until July 2014.   Those larger market stations will have to post new political file documents (i.e., those after August 2) on the FCC’s website but will not have to post older political file documents.

In its July 3, 2012, release (http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0703/DA-12-1057A1.pdf), the FCC said it would be scheduling user testing and educational webinars prior to the deadline so the process goes smoothly in August.

 

 

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