Two Cox Media Group radio stations in Atlanta have been granted a partial waiver by the FCC of its online public file requirements, allowing the pair of stations “and other similarly situated licensees” to refrain from posting issues/programs lists and EEO reports from prior renewal terms to the online public file, under certain conditions.
Licensees that take advantage of this partial waiver must retain the paper version of their issues/programs lists and EEO reports for prior pending license renewal terms in their public inspection file at the main studio until the Commission acts on the relevant pending license renewal applications.
Cox sought permission to not upload the quarterly issues/programs lists and annual EEO reports for the stations’ prior pending license renewal periods, which include one pending license renewal application for WALR-FM “Kiss 104.1” and two pending license renewal applications for WSRV-FM “97.1 The River”.
Cox timely filed license renewal applications for the two stations, and it is unaware of any objections filed against the license renewal applications. Commission action on the renewal applications has been delayed, according to Cox, due to the Commission’s continued examination of its newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule, a matter that is outside of Cox’s control.
Because the Commission has not granted WALR-FM’s 2011 license renewal application or WSRV-FM’s 2003 or 2011 license renewal applications, the Commission’s rules require station personnel to maintain public inspection files dating back to April 1, 2004 and April 1, 1996, respectively.
Cox argued that “uploading thousands of pages of quarterly issues/programs lists and annual EEO reports covering up to a 20-year period will be burdensome to the stations and will not provide any benefit to the public.”
The FCC agreed, and as a result Cox needs not worry about having a full-time station employee devote up to two weeks to scan the quarterly issues/programs lists and annual EEO reports for the prior pending license renewal terms and upload them to the online public inspection files.
The waiver request at issue herein is very similar to a waiver that the Media Bureau previously granted to permit television stations to refrain from posting issues/programs lists from a prior renewal term to the online public file, with conditions.