FCC Plans Vote on Excising EEO Midterm Report

Before sending nonessential staffers home for the government shutdown Thursday (Jan. 3), the FCC released its tentative agenda for the Jan. 30 public meeting, which included a report and order (final vote) on the proposal to no longer require broadcasters to file midterm EEO reports.

Ordinarily that meeting agenda would not have been released until Jan. 9, but the chairman's office is getting what it knows it wants to vote on to the public before the shutdown started affecting the commission, which it did as of Thursday. The commission included the caveat that more items could be added if the shutdown ends before that Jan. 9 date, which is three weeks before the meeting.

Related: FCC Votes to Move EEO Oversight to Enforcement Bureau

The EEO item would eliminate the requirement that broadcast stations file the midterm report--in approximately year four of an eight-year license term--because almost all the information in that report about broadcasters' compliance with EEO rules is available in the FCC's online public inspection file.

The only information from the report not online is whether a radio station has enough employees to be subject to the midterm review to cover that base, the report and order requires TV stations to provide info on staffing size before uploading the online EEO public file report. FCC chair Ajit Pai usually blogs about the items on the tentative agenda, but there was no blog Thursday and the FCC's Web site will generally not feature new material during the shutdown.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.