Is your radio station’s online political file in order? If not, don’t expect the FCC to believe later that you didn’t see enforcement coming.
The Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau has just cranked out yet more consent decree agreements with owners of seven stations whose license renewal applications have been held up because of investigations into management of their online political files.
This continues a recent broad campaign by the FCC that seems intended to raise awareness of the rules without yet imposing financial penalties.
The spate of consent decrees, which comes in a national election year, could also be read to suggest that many broadcasters had been out of compliance in the past before new online systems made it easier for the FCC to keep track.
The consent decrees all involve owners acknowledging that their stations were not in compliance and promising to implement programs and to report to the FCC about them over a limited period of time. The FCC in turn removes its “hold” from the license renewal applications.
Roughly 30 such announcements have been made. The FCC began last month by announcing six “big name” companies that had numerous station renewals in process. The most recent have involved companies with one or a handful of current renewals.
This batch includes Third Partner Broadcasting, Acadia Broadcast Partners, Stannard Broadcasting, Radio Hendersonville, and Dr. Pepper Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Dyersburg.
[Updated: As of Aug. 24 the FCC has also announced settlements with licensees Mitchell Community Broadcast, Rose Ann Marx, Ad-Venture Media, Lafayette Broadcasting, Fleur De Lis Broadcasting, Midwest Communications and Princeton Broadcasting.]