McLane is U.S. editor in chief.
Online public files have
been in the news, with certain TV stations being required by the FCC to start
posting next month via a new commission database. It’s pretty much
a foregone conclusion that radio stations soon will face the same requirement.
One Radio World reader already uses such
a system and likes it.
“We decided to utilize an online public
file for our stations about two years ago,” writes Dave Graichen, director of
operations and engineering for Cenla Broadcasting in Alexandria, La. “Anyone
can access our public files from the individual stations (q93fm.com,
or our corporate website www.cenlabroadcasting.com.”
Dave tells me he likes the online file concept for several reasons.
“It allows our listeners to access the info without having to
come into the studios,” he wrote.
“I can update the
file easily, and I can see with a quick glance what if anything is missing. The
software we are using came from Digital JukeBox. The cost was under $300 and it
is able to handle all of our stations, six in all. Setting up, once I had all
the information gathered, it took only a few hours. I scanned some info in. But
for the most part I utilized PFD files.”
is compartmentalized and easy to find, he said. “The software came with basic
compartments set up. We added several others.”
notes, though, that the station has not put its “Political Contracts” online.
“They are still on paper and available at the studios. Our
attorney suggested we house the data onsite with a computer station set up for
easy public access if someone should come to the station to view the public
file.” (Political contracts, as RW readers know, are a touchy area. Broadcasters
generally have argued that they should not be forced to make their pricing of political ads more widely available if competing media don’t have to.)
Overall, though, Dave says maintaining the file only takes a few minutes a month. “I believe this is the next step in station transparency. It
requires stations to keep their public files current — something I believe to
be a good thing.”
PS: Check out Dave’s fun icon.