EEO Audits Announced

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by

On February 8, 2017, the FCC mailed Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) audit letters to several hundred radio and television stations as part of an ongoing requirement that the Media Bureau randomly audit roughly 5% of broadcast stations each year. The notice and lists of stations audited can be found here.

One interesting statement in the notice that we don’t recall seeing previously is a reminder that stations with a website that have five or more full-time employees must place their most recent EEO public file report on their website, and that this will be examined as part of the audit. In other words, an FCC staffer will be accessing your station’s website to find the most recent report, and if it is not there, the EEO rule has been violated and the station is subject to sanctions. The FCC’s reminder goes on to state that if a station does not have its own website, but the licensee’s corporate website contains a link to a site pertaining to the station, then the station’s most recent EEO public file report must be linked to either the station’s linked site or the corporate website. In other words, there is no dodging the website posting requirement by using a corporate website with station links.

Stations have until March 28, 2017 to respond to the audit. If additional time is needed, we’ve found the FCC’s EEO staff to be very accommodating, granting short-term extensions via email.