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Helpful Tips, Form 396

Q.  Who must file Form 396?

A.  All full-power radio and television stations, Class A TV, and Low-Power TV stations, regardless of size.

Q.  If I have five or fewer full-time staff, do I need to fill out the entire form?

A.  No.  You need to fill out only the first part of the form down to the signature line, but be sure to check the boxes asking about discrimination complaints and station size.  If you have had any discrimination complaints, be sure to attach an exhibit to explain them.

Q.  What must I fill out if I have five or more full-time staff?

A.  You also must include a narrative statement on Form 396 and attach your two most recent EEO public file reports.  This applies even if you recently acquired your station.  Any report or reports should include only your ownership period.  We do not need any information from the prior licensee.  If you owned your station for fewer than the most recent 24 months, please explain this in your report or reports so we know why you have fewer than 24 months reflected.  It would also be helpful if you use a religious qualification for any hires if you would indicate that in a narrative or on the public file report so we know to apply the religious broadcaster standard for those hires.   

Q.  If I had no hires, do I still need to provide a yearly EEO public file report?

A.  Yes.  The information in the public file report shows us what general outreach initiatives (training, job fairs, interns, etc.) you completed or if you had no reportable activity.

Q.  How many initiatives do I have to complete if I have fewer than 11 full-time employees and are in a smaller (fewer than 250,000 people) market?

A.  You have to complete only two initiatives in two years, but if this is all you did, please note your small size and market size so we'll know why you didn't complete four initiatives.  If you are a religious broadcaster under our rules and use the qualification for ALL hires, you do not need to do any general outreach initiatives, but please tell us this in the report or narrative so we will know this.  If I owned my station for only the last year, how many initiatives do I have to complete?

You need to complete only two initiatives if large, or one, if small and in a small market.

Q.  What areas in the public file report should I make sure not to overlook?

A.  Make sure to list your full-time hires, showing referral sources used for openings, referral source of each person hired, contact information for each source used and number of referrals coming from each source.  We do not need names of hires, just job titles.  Also include the total number of interviewees and explanations of each initiative that are complete enough for us to know what you actually did.  Be sure to include ALL initiatives, such as training, mentoring, interns, and the like.

Q.  Should I include my contact information?

A.  Yes.  Please include your email address if you have one.  This will make it easy for us to contact you if we have questions.  If we do have questions, please give us the information we’ve requested as quickly as possible.  If your response is not received in a timely manner, it may cause a hold or delay in granting your renewal.  Renewals are only granted after EEO staff has finished reviewing your Form 396 and cleared it. 

For more information pertaining to the Policy Division, please call:  (202) 418-2120.

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