Goto Section: 73.3526 | 73.3533 | Table of Contents

FCC 73.3527
Revised as of December 6, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 73.3527   Local public inspection file of noncommercial educational
stations.

   (a) Responsibility to maintain a file. The following shall maintain for
   public inspection a file containing the material set forth in this
   section.

   (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
   as follows:

   (1) For radio licensees, a hard copy of the public inspection file
   shall be maintained at an accessible place in the community of license
   until March 1, 2018, except that, as discussed in paragraph (b)(2)(ii)
   of this section, any radio station may voluntarily place its public
   inspection file in the online public file hosted by the Commission
   before March 1, 2018, if it chooses to do so, instead of retaining the
   file at an accessible place in the community of license. An applicant
   for a new station or change of community shall maintain its file at an
   accessible place in the proposed community of license. If as of January
   8, 2018 a broadcast station maintains a hard copy of all or a portion
   of its public inspection file at a main studio that either complied
   with the Commission's main studio rule (47 CFR 73.1125 (2016)) but is
   not within the station's community of license, or was deemed a
   permissible location for the station's public inspection file pursuant
   to a waiver of the main studio rule, and if the station retains that
   studio, then that studio is a permissible location for the station's
   hard copy public inspection file. Any reference in this section to “an
   accessible place in the community of license” shall be deemed to
   include such a studio.

   (2)(i) A noncommercial educational television 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, with the exception of the political file as required
   by paragraph (e)(5) of this section, which may be retained at the
   station in the manner discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section
   until July 1, 2014. Effective July 1, 2014, any new political file
   material shall be placed in the online public file hosted by the
   Commission, while the material in the political file as of July 1,
   2014, if not placed in the Commission's online public file, shall
   continue to be retained at the station in the manner discussed in
   paragraph (b)(1) of this section until the end of its retention period.
   However, any noncommercial educational station that is not required to
   place its political file in the online public file hosted by the
   Commission before July 1, 2014 may choose to do so instead of retaining
   the political file at the station in the manner discussed in paragraph
   (b)(1) of this section. For purposes of this paragraph (b)(2)(i), the
   “manner discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section” refers to
   maintaining a hard copy of the public inspection file at the main
   studio of the station as described in paragraph (b)(1) prior to January
   8, 2018. See 47 CFR 73.3527(b)(1) (2016).

   (ii) Beginning March 1, 2018, noncommercial educational radio station
   licensees and applicants shall place the contents required by paragraph
   (e) of this section in the online public inspection file hosted by the
   Commission. For these stations, effective March 1, 2018, any new
   political file material shall be placed in the Commission's online
   public file, while the material in the political file as of March 1,
   2018, if not placed in the Commission's online public file, shall
   continue to be retained at an accessible place in the community of
   license in the manner discussed in paragraph (b)(1) of this section
   until the end of its retention period. However, any radio station that
   is not required to place its public inspection file in the online
   public file hosted by the Commission before March 1, 2018, may choose
   to do so, instead of retaining the public inspection file at an
   accessible place in the community of license in the manner discussed in
   paragraph (b)(1) of this section.?>

   (iii) A station must provide a link to the online public inspection
   file hosted by the Commission from the home page of its own Web site,
   if the station has a Web site, and provide contact information for a
   station representative on its Web site 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. To the extent this section refers to the local public
   inspection file, it refers to the public file of an individual station,
   which is either maintained at an accessible place in the community of
   license or on the Commission's Web site, depending upon where the
   documents are required to be maintained under the Commission's rules.

   (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
   Broadcasting”.

   (c) Access to material in the file. (1) For any applicant, permittee,
   or licensee 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, permittee, or licensee 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, permittee, or
   licensee 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.

   (2) The applicant, permittee, or licensee who maintains its public file
   outside its community of license (see paragraph (b)(1) of this section)
   shall:

   (i) Make available to persons within its geographic service area, by
   mail upon telephone request, photocopies of documents in the file (see
   § 73.3527(c)(1)), excluding the political file (see § 73.3527(e)(5)), and
   the station shall pay postage;

   (ii) Mail the most recent version of “The Public and Broadcasting” to
   any member of the public that requests a copy; and

   (iii) Be prepared to assist members of the public in identifying the
   documents they may ask to be sent to them by mail, for example, by
   describing to the caller, if asked, the period covered by a particular
   report and the number of pages included in the report.

   Note to paragraph (c)(2): For purposes of this section, geographic
   service area includes the area within the protected service contour in
   a particular service: Grade B contour for TV, 1 mVm contour for all FM
   station classes except .7 mV/m for Class B1 stations and .5 mV/m for
   Class B stations, and .5 mV/m contour for AM stations.

   (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
   or licensee.

   (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 contracts
   listed in such reports in accordance with § 73.3615(d)(3), or an
   up-to-date list of such contracts. Licensees and permittees who choose
   to maintain a list of contracts must provide a copy of any contracts to
   requesting parties within 7 days.

   (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 requesting
   mandatory carriage on any cable system pursuant to § § 76.56, 76.1614,
   76.1620, and 76.1709 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
   applies.

   (13) [Reserved]

   (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.).

   Note 1 to paragraph (e): 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.

   Note 2 to paragraph (e): 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 the rules 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]

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Goto Section: 73.3526 | 73.3533

Goto Year: 2018 | 2020
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