FCC EEO Audit Season Begins

Posted on April 28th, 2023 by

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced its first 2023 EEO audit for broadcast stations on April 24, 2023, identifying 254 randomly selected radio and television stations whose EEO programs will be scrutinized.  Stations must respond to the audit by uploading their audit response to the station online public inspection file no later than June 8, 2023.

Stations on the audit list may be exempt if their license renewal was granted after February 1, 2021 or if they have been audited or included in an audit response in 2021 or 2022.  The exemption is not automatic, however.  Stations in these circumstances must email the FCC at EB-EEO@fcc.gov for additional guidance on whether a response is required.  A response usually follows in a day or two.

The first action item for stations on the list (unless exempt) is to upload a copy of the audit notice to the station online public file, in the EEO Audits/Investigations/Complaints subfolder of the EEO section.

As with the Enforcement Bureau’s most recent broadcast station audits, there will be no letter issued afterward to confirm whether a station “passed” the audit.  If the staff believes something is missing or incorrect, they do reach out and request additional information.  Of course, audits can always give rise to a violation finding, and potential further enforcement action.

Before uploading an audit response, be sure that it is certified by an officer, member, partner, or other principal of the licensee.  If, for some reason, an audit response cannot be completed by the deadline, email EB-EEO@fcc.gov with an explanation, requesting additional time.  Generally speaking, short extensions of about two weeks are granted upon request.