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2009 Fourth Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations

December 2009
The next Quarterly Issues/Programs List (“Quarterly List”) must be placed in stations’ local public inspection files by January 10, 2010, reflecting information for the months of October, November and December 2009.

Content of the Quarterly List
The FCC requires each broadcast station to air a reasonable amount of programming responsive to significant community needs, issues, and problems as determined by the station. The FCC gives each station the discretion to determine which issues facing the community served by the station are the most significant and how best to respond to them in the station’s overall programming.

To demonstrate a station’s compliance with this public interest obligation, the FCC requires a station to maintain, and place in the public inspection file, a Quarterly List reflecting the “licensee’s most significant programming treatment of community issues.” By its use of the term “most significant,” the FCC has noted that stations are not required to list all responsive programming, but only that programming which provided the most significant treatment of the issues identified.

Given the fact that program logs are no longer officially mandated by the Commission, the Quarterly Lists may be the most important evidence of a station’s compliance with its public service obligations. The lists also provide important support for the certification of Class A compliance that is discussed below and which must be produced by Class A applicants and licensees.

A PDF version of this entire article can be found at 2009 Fourth Quarter Issues/Programs List Advisory for Broadcast Stations.