Goto Section: 73.3526 | 73.3533 | Table of Contents
Revised as of October 20, 2020
Goto Year:2020 |
§ 73.3527 Online public inspection file of noncommercial educational
Link to an amendment published at 85 FR 36794 , June 18, 2020.
(a) Responsibility to maintain a file. The following shall maintain for
public inspection a file containing the material set forth in this
(1) Applicants for a construction permit for a new station in the
noncommercial educational broadcast services shall maintain a public
inspection file containing the material, relating to that station,
described in paragraph (e)(2) and (e)(11) of this section. A separate
file shall be maintained for each station for which an application is
pending. If the application is granted, paragraph (a)(2) of this
section shall apply.
(2) Every permittee or licensee of an AM, FM, or TV station in the
noncommercial educational broadcast services shall maintain a public
inspection file containing the material, relating to that station,
described in paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(11) of this section. In
addition, every permittee or licensee of a noncommercial educational TV
station shall maintain for public inspection a file containing
material, relating to that station, described in paragraphs (e)(12) of
this section. A separate file shall be maintained for each station for
which an authorization is outstanding, and the file shall be maintained
so long as an authorization to operate the station is outstanding.
(b) Location of the file. The public inspection file shall be located
(1) An applicant for a new station or change of community shall
maintain its file at an accessible place in the proposed community of
(2)(i) A noncommercial educational television or radio station licensee
or applicant shall place the contents required by paragraph (e) of this
section of its public inspection file in the online public file hosted
by the Commission.
(ii) A station must provide a link to the online public inspection file
hosted by the Commission from the home page of its own website, if the
station has a website, and provide contact information for a station
representative on its website that can assist any person with
disabilities with issues related to the content of the public files. A
station also is required to include in the online public file hosted by
the Commission the station's address and telephone number, and the
email address of the station's designated contact for questions about
the public file.
(3) The Commission will automatically link the following items to the
electronic version of all licensee and applicant public inspection
files, to the extent that the Commission has these items
electronically: Authorizations; applications; contour maps; ownership
reports and related materials; portions of the Equal Employment
Opportunity file held by the Commission; and “The Public and
(c) Access to material in the file. For any applicant described in
paragraph (b)(1) of this section that does not include all material
described in paragraph (e) of this section in the online public file
hosted by the Commission, the portion of the file that is not included
in the online public file shall be available for public inspection at
any time during regular business hours at an accessible place in the
community of license. The applicant must provide information regarding
the location of the file, or the applicable portion of the file, within
one business day of a request for such information. All or part of the
file may be maintained in a computer database, as long as a computer
terminal is made available, at the location of the file, to members of
the public who wish to review the file. Material in the public
inspection file shall be made available for printing or machine
reproduction upon request made in person. The applicant may specify the
location for printing or reproduction, require the requesting party to
pay the reasonable cost thereof, and may require guarantee of payment
in advance (e.g., by requiring a deposit, obtaining credit card
information, or any other reasonable method). Requests for copies shall
be fulfilled within a reasonable period of time, which generally should
not exceed 7 days.
(d) Responsibility in case of assignment or transfer. (1) In cases
involving applications for consent to assignment of broadcast station
construction permits or licenses, with respect to which public notice
is required to be given under the provisions of § 73.3580 or § 73.3594,
the file mentioned in paragraph (a) of this section shall be maintained
by the assignor. If the assignment is consented to by the FCC and
consummated, the assignee shall maintain the file commencing with the
date on which notice of the consummation of the assignment is filed
with the FCC. The assignee shall retain public file documents obtained
from the assignor for the period required under these rules.
(2) In cases involving applications for consent to transfer of control
of a permittee or licensee of a broadcast station, the file mentioned
in paragraph (a) of this section shall be maintained by the permittee
(e) Contents of the file. The material to be retained in the public
inspection file is as follows:
(1) Authorization. A copy of the current FCC authorization to construct
or operate the station, as well as any other documents necessary to
reflect any modifications thereto or any conditions that the FCC has
placed on the authorization. These materials shall be retained until
replaced by a new authorization, at which time a copy of the new
authorization and any related materials shall be placed in the file.
(2) Applications and related materials. A copy of any application
tendered for filing with the FCC, together with all related material,
including supporting documentation of any points claimed in the
application pursuant to § 73.7003, and copies of FCC decisions
pertaining thereto. If petitions to deny are filed against the
application and have been served on the applicant, a statement that
such a petition has been filed shall be maintained in the file together
with the name and address of the party filing the petition.
Applications shall be retained in the public inspection file until
final action has been taken on the application, except that
applications for a new construction permit granted pursuant to a waiver
showing and applications for assignment or transfer of license granted
pursuant to a waiver showing shall be retained for as long as the
waiver is in effect. In addition, license renewal applications granted
on a short-term basis shall be retained until final action has been
taken on the license renewal application filed immediately following
the shortened license term.
(3) Contour maps. A copy of any service contour maps, submitted with
any application tendered for filing with the FCC, together with any
other information in the application showing service contours and/or
transmitter location (State, county, city, street address, or other
identifying information). These documents shall be retained for as long
as they reflect current, accurate information regarding the station.
(4) Ownership reports and related materials. A copy of the most recent,
complete ownership report filed with the FCC for the station, together
with any subsequent statement filed with the FCC certifying that the
current report is accurate, and together with all related material.
These materials shall be retained until a new, complete ownership
report is filed with the FCC, at which time a copy of the new report
and any related materials shall be placed in the file. The permittee or
licensee must retain in the public file either a copy of the station
documents listed in § 73.3613(a) through (c) or an up-to-date list of
such documents. If the permittee or licensee elects to maintain an
up-to-date list of such documents, the list must include all the
information that the permittee or licensee is required to provide on
ownership reports for each document, including, but not limited to, a
description of the document, the parties to the document, the month and
year of execution, the month and year of expiration, and the document
type (e.g., network affiliation agreement, articles of incorporation,
bylaws, management consultant agreement with independent contractor).
Regardless of which of these two options the permittee or licensee
chooses, it must update the inventory of § 73.3613 documents in the
public file to reflect newly executed § 73.3613 documents, amendments,
supplements, and cancellations within 30 days of execution thereof.
Licensees and permittees that choose to maintain a list of § 73.3613
documents must provide a copy of any § 73.3613 document(s) to requesting
parties within 7 days. In maintaining copies of such documents in the
public file or providing copies upon request, confidential or
proprietary information may be redacted where appropriate.
(5) Political file. Such records as are required by § 73.1943 to be kept
concerning broadcasts by candidates for public office. These records
shall be retained for the period specified in § 73.1943 (2 years).
(6) Equal Employment Opportunity file. Such information as is required
by § 73.2080 to be kept in the public inspection file. These materials
shall be retained until final action has been taken on the station's
next license renewal application.
(7) The Public and Broadcasting. At all times, a copy of the most
recent version of the manual entitled “The Public and Broadcasting.”
(8) Issues/Programs lists. For nonexempt noncommercial educational
broadcast stations, every three months a list of programs that have
provided the station's most significant treatment of community issues
during the preceding three month period. The list for each calendar
quarter is to be filed by the tenth day of the succeeding calendar
quarter (e.g., January 10 for the quarter October-December, April 10
for the quarter January-March, etc.). The list shall include a brief
narrative describing what issues were given significant treatment and
the programming that provided this treatment. The description of the
programs shall include, but shall not be limited to, the time, date,
duration, and title of each program in which the issue was treated. The
lists described in this paragraph shall be retained in the public
inspection file until final action has been taken on the station's next
license renewal application.
(9) Donor lists. The lists of donors supporting specific programs.
These lists shall be retained for two years from the date of the
broadcast of the specific program supported.
(10) Local public notice announcements. Each applicant for renewal of
license shall, within 7 days of the last day of broadcast of the local
public notice of filing announcements required pursuant to § 73.3580(h),
place in the station's local public inspection file a statement
certifying compliance with this requirement. The dates and times that
the pre-filing and post-filing notices were broadcast and the text
thereof shall be made part of the certifying statement. The certifying
statement shall be retained in the public file for the period specified
in § 73.3580 (for as long as the application to which it refers).
(11) Material relating to FCC investigation or complaint. Material
having a substantial bearing on a matter which is the subject of an FCC
investigation or complaint to the FCC of which the applicant,
permittee, or licensee has been advised. This material shall be
retained until the applicant, permittee, or licensee is notified in
writing that the material may be discarded.
(12) Must-carry requests. Noncommercial television stations shall, no
later than July 31, 2020, provide an up-to-date email address and phone
number for carriage-related questions and respond as soon as is
reasonably possible to messages or calls from multichannel video
programming distributors (MVPDs). Each noncommercial television station
is responsible for the continuing accuracy and completeness of the
information furnished. Any such station requesting mandatory carriage
pursuant to part 76 of this chapter shall place a copy of such request
in its public file and shall retain both the request and relevant
correspondence for the duration of any period to which the request
(14) Information on Third-Party Fundraising. For noncommercial
educational broadcast stations that interrupt regular programming to
conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a third-party non-profit
organization pursuant to § 73.503(e) (FM stations) or § 73.621(f)
(television stations), every three months, the following information
for each third-party fundraising program or activity: The date, time,
and duration of the fundraiser; the type of fundraising activity; the
name of the non-profit organization benefitted by the fundraiser; a
brief description of the specific cause or project, if any, supported
by the fundraiser; and, to the extent that the station participated in
tallying or receiving any funds for the non-profit group, an
approximation of the total funds raised. The information for each
calendar quarter is to be filed by the tenth day of the succeeding
calendar quarter (e.g., January 10 for the quarter October-December,
April 10 for the quarter January-March, etc.).
(f)(1) For purposes of this section, a decision made with respect to an
application tendered with the FCC becomes final when that decision is
no longer subject to reconsideration, review, or appeal either at the
FCC or in the courts.
(2) For purposes of this section, the term “all related material”
includes all exhibits, letters, and other documents tendered for filing
with the FCC as part of an application, report, or other document, all
amendments to the application, report, or other document, copies of all
documents incorporated therein by reference and not already maintained
in the public inspection file, and all correspondence between the FCC
and the applicant pertaining to the application, report, or other
document, which according to the provisions of § § 0.451 through 0.461 of
this chapter are open for public inspection at the offices of the FCC.
[ 63 FR 49499 , Sept. 16, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 35947 , July 2, 1999;
65 FR 7457 , Feb. 15, 2000; 65 FR 36378 , June 8, 2000; 65 FR 53614 ,
Sept. 5, 2000; 73 FR 15450 , Mar. 24, 2008; 73 FR 36283 , June 26, 2008;
76 FR 71269 , Nov. 17, 2011; 77 FR 27656 , May 11, 2012; 81 FR 10123 ,
Feb. 29, 2016; 82 FR 21136 , May 5, 2017; 82 FR 57883 , Dec. 8, 2017; 82 FR 59987 , Dec. 18, 2017; 83 FR 5545 , Feb. 8, 2018; 83 FR 65558 , Dec.
21, 2018; 84 FR 45668 , Aug. 30, 2019; 85 FR 21078 , Apr. 16, 2020]
Goto Section: 73.3526 | 73.3533
Goto Year: 2020 |
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