Welcome the online FCC Public Inspection File

The FCC requires all full license AM and FM stations to maintain a “public inspection file” at the “main studio” for anyone to visit without prior arrangements. The content of this file has included complaint letters from crackpots, program lists, etc… virtually the only person who has ever asked to see this file is an FCC inspector who wants to fine a station for some unrelated reason that isn’t technically a violation. Failure to keep an EAS log is another way the FCC fines you to let you know who is in charge.

The unadmitted reality is few stations have an actual studio staffed during business hours (another reason for a fine!) or the office is not convenient. So the FCC modernized this requirement to allow the FCC Public Inspection File *online at the FCC*, which will make it much easier to fine the radio stations for non-compliance as the FCC shuts down many of its field offices and can’t punish in person.

I just saw the first station with this feature. It has the advantage that this is the first time the station website URL is directly available from the FCC.


These Station profiles may make this website obsolete 😉

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4 Responses to Welcome the online FCC Public Inspection File

  1. Fred Stiening says:

    The FCC has carried forward their most stupid data decision, probably made by someone who retired 30 years ago. Wikipedia carries forward the bad judgement based on the notion that “the government says so!”

    In the beginning were AM radio stations. AM radio stations have a call sign, for instance “KDKA”

    When FM radio came along, existing AM stations were given a free FM license, and the FM station callsign had “-FM” added on the end, i.e. “KDKA-FM”

    So far, so good.

    Until the owner of the FM station sold their AM station and/or the call sign changed. Or a new FM license was handed out without a related AM license.

    The stupid FCC “rule” is that the “-FM” ending on a call sign is ONLY present if there is an AM station with the same callsign to avoid ambiguity. The problem with that approach is to know whether the call sign for the FM “KDKA” is “KDKA-FM” or just “KDKA” first requires you to know if there is an AM station called “KDKA”. AM stations never have “-AM” at the end of their official call sign.

  2. Fred Stiening says:

    Also on this website (in theory) are political advertising disclosure documents. The rules requiring this were pushed by soon to be ex-Chairman Wheeler without any Congressional Authority


    Since liberal station owners might be giving lower rates to Democrats, this is not necessary a bad thing

    • Parrott says:

      Fred, maybe you should send president-elect Trump your resume and tell him you want to fix the FCC ?
      You may get a interview. Then need someone with good ideas and knows the history. I think thats the issue. The clowns they hire a lot of times have no history and don’t know what Americans want.
      They never leave the inside of the Beltway.

      I sent a Letter to Gov McDonnell here in Virginia and told him that I would help straighten out ‘VDOT’ .
      I got a thank you form letter, that may have been signed or autopen, I couldn’t tell for sure. But I understand, I’m ‘Joe-sixpack’ to them.

      You are a minor celebrity with this website, you may get a interview.

      • Fred Stiening says:

        The data side of the FCC suffers from the weight of “legacy”.

        Just as an example, let’s say John Doe is a communications attorney in DC. In 1998, he was the attorney on a station sale. Each party to an application needs a party identifier that ties to their mailing address, phone number, email address, etc.

        In 2016, he is working for a different firm, has a different phone number and has just filed another application, if you update his information, now your 1998 application is factually inaccurate.

        If you want to see this in action, type in a name of a company or person and see the chaos. “CBS” would be a good start or Raymond Benedict who does work for CBS


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