EEO Is Moving

Posted on March 28th, 2019 by

On March 15, 2019, the FCC Media Bureau EEO functions were officially moved to the Enforcement Bureau. EEO Audits and any enforcement actions will now be handled there. The FCC had voted for this move last year, but certain procedural steps were not completed until now.

Broadcasters should not notice a difference in the way they interact with the FCC on routine EEO matters. EEO public file requirements and website posting requirements will remain the same. EEO audits are now responded to by simply uploading materials to the online public file, so that won’t change either.

One possible wrinkle could occur at license renewal time. Review of a station’s EEO compliance for the prior two years will by done by Enforcement Bureau personnel, with Media Bureau folks handling the rest of the renewal process. In the past, when the Media Bureau had to coordinate with Enforcement related to a complaint that Enforcement may have been handling, it usually meant a delay in license renewal, sometimes just for coordination purposes.

While the Media Bureau will be granting license renewals, it must first get an “all clear” from Enforcement on EEO for each station. We are hopeful that the EEO team in Enforcement will be able to complete reviews for EEO compliance in a timely and responsive manner so that renewal delays can be avoided.