Greetings from your broadcast friends out on the Desert…
This is the BDR Newsletter 759, Volume 15, #31 for February 28, 2024
Here are some things you might want to know about:
EEO IS BACK
The FCC has issued an Order reinstating Form 395-B after two decades – this is the one where broadcasters with five or more full-time employees have to report the race/ethnicity/job category of employees. The Commission decided to add “Gender” to the form, so it will have to go through the OMB before made active, with a report date in September. The BDR Comments: As you can expect, there is strong partisan feelings on this (Who decides which group of which an employee is part? Could an employee simply decide to change his ethnicity or gender to get/keep a job? What if some community organization objects?), so the fight will likely continue.
Interestingly, although the FCC states this form will not be used for enforcement of 73.2080, they already press on stations that fail to file existing EEO material on time – a $26k fine recently, for example. Failing to advertise openings sufficiently (that means “public outreach”) can also lead to fines or held up renewals.
EAS UPDATE COUNTDOWN
(Yes, I did use “up” and “down” in consecutive words) March 12 is just ahead. If your EAS box is not updated on time, all FEMA IPAWS tests and alerts will cease. We have heard reports that more than a few stations are scrambling to get the update – and then install it.
FCC TO ADD ANOTHER EAS CODE?
Literally while you are in the process of upgrading from the last FCC changes, you might note the Commissioners now have decided to issue another EAS-based NPRM during the March 14 Open Meeting – this one adding a new code for missing and endangered persons who do not fit the “AMBER” criteria. BDR Notes: We’ll see if it comes to pass. But the series of minor changes to the EAS protocols – not to mention the push to add more languages to alerts (or the EEO reports, above) – only add to the load of the paperwork and unfunded-mandates with which stations have to deal. At some point the FCC and the PSHSB ought to include actual broadcasters to discuss these items.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS GOING ON
If you are not just a bit frustrated by the FCC’s actions, you are not alone. So, tomorrow, Thursday, we will talk about the upcoming deadline, coming changes (you know about MEP and PCA,right?), and a new triple tuner from Inovonics for EAS receivers.
As usual for the past three years, we get together at 2PM Eastern/ 11AM Pacific. Join us and learn things. Invite your colleagues and anyone that deals with EAS matters. The URL can be obtained from the info on www.theBDR.net/TLG/ or the youtube.com/thebdrnet channel.