Paul 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, krrvonline.com, ksyl.com, espn1410.com, 969rocks.com & kiss987.fm) 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.”
All information is compartmentalized and easy to find, he said. “The software came with basic compartments set up. We added several others.”
Graichen 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.