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Recent $26,000 FCC Fine Shows Importance Commission Places on EEO Enforcement

- TAB Legal Guide Explains Rules for Member Stations

The FCC has issued a $26,000 forfeiture order to Cumulus Media for late filing its 2018 annual EEO public file report for a cluster of five Georgia FM stations, some nine months after the due date.

Attorney David Oxenford of TAB Associate member law firm Wilkinson Barker Knauer said the case “shows the continuing importance that the FCC places on EEO enforcement.”

Oxenford wrote extensively about the fine and broadcasters’ need to “regularly assess the effectiveness of their EEO program” in a recent BroadcastLawBlog post.

“This decision did not cite any failure by the licensee to recruit widely when it had open positions, nor any failure of the group to conduct the required EEO non-vacancy specific outreach,” said Oxenford.

“The alleged violations cited in the decision were simply tied to the failure to upload the annual report.”

In its response to the original Notice of Apparent Liability, Cumulus said the report had been timely prepared, but not uploaded to the online station public file due to an oversight.

Reports Due April 1

TAB notes that Texas stations with five or more fulltime employees must upload their next FCC annual EEO public file reports by April 1.

Stations must also post on the station website a report regarding station compliance with the FCC's EEO Rule during the period April 1, 2023, through March 31, 2024. 

For a detailed description of the EEO Rule and practical assistance in preparing a compliance plan, Texas broadcasters can consult The

FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity Rules and Policies – A Guide for Broadcasters. 

Produced by TAB’s FCC legal counsel Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, it is available in the Member services/legal guides-hotline section of

One final note, TAB and others in the broadcast legal realm are anticipating an FCC EEO decision soon that could see a return to FCC Form 395-B (annual report on race and gender of station employees) as well as other FCC EEO requirements. 

TAB will advise stations as FCC actions warrant.

Questions? Contact TAB’s Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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