WASHINGTON, DC—Radio stations should be on notice for the 2020 election advertising cycle: the FCC is serious about enforcing its rule that political advertising requests must be immediately uploaded to the FCC’s online public files.  

In a new Radio Ink article, Womble Bond Dickinson Telecom attorney John Garziglia writes about the latest developments. The FCC required six radio station ownership groups to enter into a consent decree carrying extensive compliance conditions promising to address their failures in uploading political time purchase requests “as soon as possible.” The consent decrees came during the FCC’s consideration of the stations’ license renewal applications.

Garziglia said that the FCC’s recent online public files allow the Commission to track political time purchase requests and subsequent reporting uploads to the minute. Stations are supposed to file this information “immediately absent unusual circumstances.”  Garziglia said the FCC’s actions show the agency takes this reporting obligation very seriously. 

He also said the six sanctioned companies must be careful to avoid any future violations. 

“Unless FCC strict policies change with respect to political file violations, any future violations can be expected to be dealt with harshly by the Media Bureau,” he said. “For all other broadcasters, these six political file Orders and Consent Decrees serve as a pointed reminder of the seriousness that the FCC takes its political file rules, at least as to the timeliness of political file uploads.”

Click here to read “FCC Politically-Incorrect Inaction” by John Garziglia in Radio Ink

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.