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Radio One Joins Public File Scoldees

Signs consent decree with the FCC, as many others have

Radio One Licensees, part of Urban One, is the latest radio ownership group to sign a consent decree with the Federal Communications Commission over online public files.

The commission continues to announce settlements with owners large and small in an initiative that became public  last summer.

That’s when it announced agreements with six major groups including Alpha Media, Beasley Media, Cumulus Media, Entercom, iHeartMedia and Salem Media Group. Since then it has announced many more.

These cases are all essentially the same. An owner files for a station license renewal, and the FCC Audio Division suspends the process because online public files aren’t kept up. The licensee acknowledges that and promises to takes steps including appointing a compliance officer, creating a compliance plan and reporting back to the commission by a certain date.

The commission for its part acknowledges that the pandemic caused a dramatic reduction in ad revenues, causing the industry significant financial stress, and drops its investigation. No money changes hands.

In the case of Radio One, the process was prompted by the license renewal application for station WHHL(FM) in Hazelwood, Mo. The FCC said Radio One was unable to certify compliance with the public file requirements during the past license term and failed to certify compliance in its applications because it did not comply with the Political Record Keeping Statute and Rule.