SPECIAL ADVISORY FOR COMMERCIAL AND NON-COMMERCIAL BROADCASTERS

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This Advisory is designed to aid commercial and noncommercial radio and television stations
in complying with the FCC’s Public Inspection File rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.3526 and 73.3527. This
Advisory discusses the content, retention, and organizational requirements of these regulations.
Previous editions of this Advisory are obsolete and should no longer be used.

September 2022

The FCC requires every applicant, permittee, or licensee of a full-power AM, FM, or TV station or of a Class A TV station to maintain a Public Inspection File. For decades, the FCC required that these files be kept at a station’s main studio in paper or electronic form. Starting in 2012, the FCC began to “modernize” the broadcast disclosure rules by requiring station licensees to make Public Inspection File information available online in a Commission-hosted database. As of March 2020, all licensee Public Inspection File documents were required to be maintained in the FCC’s online Public File database at https://publicfiles.fcc.gov/. Applicants for a new station or change of community of license, however,
must still maintain a Public Inspection File “at an accessible place in the proposed community of license.” Every station required to maintain an online Public Inspection File must provide a link to its Public Inspection File on the home page of its website if it has one. It must also provide contact information on its website “for a station representative that can assist any person with disabilities with issues related to the content of the public files.” Click here to read more. . .

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