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August 1, 2016 FCC EEO Deadlines

July 7, 2016

Special Note

As of June 24, 2016, commercial radio stations in the Top 50 Nielsen markets are required to upload all new material to the FCC’s online public inspection file, including the upcoming annual EEO Public File Report (PFR) discussed below. This is the first time any radio station is required to place its PFR on the FCC-hosted site. For more information about the FCC’s online public inspection file requirements, please click here.

Annual EEO Public File Report

Radio and television station employment units (SEUs) located in North Carolina, South Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin, and California with five or more full-time employees must prepare by Monday, August 1, 2016 an annual EEO Public File Report (PFR). The report must be placed in the public inspection file of each station in the SEU. (For full-power and Class A television stations as well as commercial radio stations in the Top 50 Nielsen markets, this means the PFR must be uploaded to the station's online public inspection file hosted by the FCC.) The PFR must also be posted on the website belonging to each station in the SEU.

The PFR should summarize the SEU's recruitment activity from August 1, 2015 through July 31, 2016, including full-time positions filled, the recruitment sources used to advertise those job openings, and the total number of interviewees and hires produced by each recruitment source. The PFR must also include a summary of the SEU's recruitment initiatives.

FCC Form 397 Broadcast Mid-Term Report

Licensees that have reached the mid-point of their eight-year license term must file a FCC Form 397 Broadcast Mid-Term Report for a substantive review of their recruitment activity. Television SEUs with five or more full-time employees in North Carolina and South Carolina and radio SEUs with 11 or more full-time employees in Illinois and Wisconsin must file their Forms 397 on Monday, August 1, 2016. (Note: Television SEUs with four or fewer full-time employees and radio SEUs with 10 or fewer full-time employees and are not required to submit a Form 397.)

The Form 397 requires filers to identify the individual responsible for EEO matters and to submit the SEU’s two most recent PFRs as attachments. Those SEUs with a August 1, 2016 deadline must include PFRs covering August 1, 2014 – July 31, 2015 and August 1, 2015 – July 31, 2016. Once filed with the FCC, the Form 397 must be placed in the public inspection file of each station in the SEU. (For those full-power and Class A television stations as well as commercial radio stations in the Top 50 Nielsen markets with online public inspection files hosted by the FCC, the FCC automatically uploads the Form 397.)

If you have any questions about the Form 397 or FCC EEO compliance in general, please contact the Wiley Rein attorneys listed.