The Commission says the six groups: Alpha, Beasley, Cumulus, Entercom, iHeart and Salem, are doing much better now. The FCC’s Media Bureau says the groups will ensure timely compliance with rules requiring stations to upload to their online public inspection files records of requests for the purchase of political broadcast time. There were no fines levied.
The Media Bureau determined that the six group owners repeatedly failed to comply with their political file obligations in the past. They have all committed to adopting internal reforms and were able to demonstrate they had come into substantial compliance during the first quarter of 2020. Each company will, among other things, implement strict compliance plans at each of their stations and submit detailed compliance reports to the Media Bureau through at least December 2021, confirming all information was timely uploaded to their online political files.
Media Bureau Chief Michelle Carey said, “It is critical that information about political advertising is transparent to the public and candidates for office. Adherence to the requirements in the consent decrees will ensure compliance with the online political file rules during this election year.”
The Commission requires stations to place information about each request for the purchase of broadcast time for all candidate-sponsored advertisements and certain issue advertisements in their political files for public inspection “as soon as possible.” The Commission also requires the information to be made available for public inspection “as soon as possible,” barring any unusual circumstances.