Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Public File Consent Decrees Multiply

Problems with station political files continue to make the list of recent Media Bureau actions at the Federal Communications Commission.

It appears that the staff there is continuing to work its way through a long list of broadcasters that failed to maintain their online political files correctly.

You’ll recall that the FCC had announced consent decrees with six major broadcast companies last July and that it subsequently rattled off a series of additional settlements.

In recent days the commission has announced fresh consent decrees with Times-Citizen Communications Inc., Powell Broadcasting Co., Zimmer Radio Inc., Bott Communications Inc., River City Radio Inc., Maquoketa Broadcasting Co. and Trending Media Inc.

All are essentially the same: The broadcast owner files for a station license renewal but the Audio Division suspends the process because the online public files aren’t kept up. The licensee acknowledges this and promises to institute steps including appointing a compliance officer, creating a compliance plan and reporting back to the commission by a later date. The commission meanwhile acknowledges that the pandemic caused a dramatic reduction in ad revenues, causing the industry significant financial stress, and drops its investigation.

Money fines aren’t involved.