Form 323 Data Workshop

8:30 am - 4:45 pm EDT
Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street S.W., Washington, DC

On Wednesday, September 9, 2015, the FCC’s Media Bureau (“Bureau”) will host an all-day public workshop to discuss access to, and use of, the FCC’s commercial broadcast ownership data.  As part of the Commission’s ongoing outreach efforts, the goal of this workshop is to assist individuals and organizations that wish to use and study the large amount of broadcast ownership data that is available to the public on the Commission’s website.  Topics addressed in the workshop will include:  relevant data that the FCC collects, how members of the public can access those data, and mechanisms for querying, studying, and visualizing the data, including in combination with data available from non-FCC sources.

Time and Location:  The Workshop will take place on September 9, 2015, from 8:30 A.M to 4:45 P.M. in the Commission Meeting Room at FCC Headquarters, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington DC, 20554.


Revised 9/2/2015 (impacts only the order in which the topics will be covered)

The tentative agenda for the Workshop is set forth below.

8:30-9:30 Pre-workshop. Meet and greet, technical assistance for Workshop participants (if necessary).
9:30-10:45 Introduction to the Commission’s Broadcast Ownership Reports.
  • General discussion of the data the Commission collects
  • Ownership Report Basics - Discussion of Form 323 (Ownership Report for Commercial Broadcast Stations), including:
    • purpose and timing of filings,
    • distinction between biennial and non-biennial reports,
    • analysis of sample ownership reports, and
    • location of various data on reports
  • How the public can access Media Bureau data
    • CDBS Public Access
    • downloading the raw data
      • Location of files
      • Location of resources that explain the structure of the data
10:45-11:00 Break
11:00-12:30 Understanding and Analyzing the FCC’s Broadcast Ownership Data, Part 1.
  • Discussion of database elements related to broadcast ownership reports, including:
    • the tables that contain broadcast ownership data,
    • the relationships between those tables,
    • the location of relevant data within those tables, and
    • searching and otherwise studying broadcast ownership data.
  • Basic SQL queries of CDBS data.
12:30–1:30 Lunch.
  • Note:  This portion of the workshop will not be recorded, however staff will be available to answer any questions and to provide technical assistance.
1:30–2:30 Understanding and Analyzing the FCC’s Broadcast Ownership Data, Part 1I.
  • Discussion of methodology and queries to determine minority ownership status of stations, including:
    • step-by-step and automated analyses of reports via SQL and
    • potential methodologies to study other aspects of the Commission’s ownership data.
2:30–3:15 Merging the FCC’s Broadcast Ownership Data with other Data.
  • Example: Using FCC data sources to add station location data to broadcast ownership data.
  • Example: Using U.S. Census data to add community demographic data to broadcast ownership data.
  • Discussion of additional ways to merge broadcast ownership data with other data from FCC and non-FCC sources
3:15–3:30 Break.
3:30–4:00 Visualization and Mapping.
  • Example: Using results of queries from earlier in the Workshop to generate maps of stations and coverage contours.
  • Example: Using GIS software and information from earlier queries to create United States maps showing station locations.
  • Discussion of other potentially useful data visualizations
4:00-4:45 Wrap up and Q&A.

Preregistration and Computer Requirements: Much of the Workshop’s content will be technical in nature, and attendees will be encouraged to work through several examples during the event.  These examples will involve using MySQL to query and analyze the Commission’s broadcast data in various ways.  Attendees should bring their own laptop computers to the Workshop.  In addition, the Bureau will make data tables relevant to the various Workshop examples, as well as instructions for downloading and installing MySQL, available at:

In light of the technological requirements for this event, we strongly encourage attendees to preregister by visiting  Attendees also should download the data tables and install MySQL prior to the Workshop.  Due to system upgrades, the FCC’s computer systems will be unavailable from 6:00 P.M. on Wednesday, September 2, until 8:00 A.M. on Tuesday, September 8.  Workshop attendees are encouraged to preregister and download the required materials by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, September 2.

Webcast: Audio/video coverage of the Workshop will be broadcast live with open captioning over the Internet from the FCC's web page at  The FCC’s webcast is free to the public.

Reasonable Accommodations: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities are available upon request.  Please include a description of the accommodation you will need.  Individuals making such requests must include their contact information should FCC staff need to contact them for more information.  Requests should be made as early as possible.  Please send an e-mail to or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau: 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

Additional Information: For additional information, please contact Jake Riehm of the Bureau’s Industry Analysis Division at 202-418-2166 or send an email to

Materials for Data Workshop

(uploaded Aug. 27, 2015)


STEP 1:  Install MySQL

  1. Click here to download the latest version of MySQL.
  2. Double click on the downloaded MySQL installer and follow all prompts to complete installation.  Be sure to include the MySQL workbench component as part of the installation.
  3. Go to the MySQL folder and double click on the Workbench icon to enter the Workbench environment.  Follow all prompts for first-time setup.

STEP 2:  Download the Workshop Data

  1. Click here to access the folder containing the workshop data.
  2. Download the zip file by clicking the Download Zip button on the right-hand side.
  3. Create a folder called 323workshop on your C Drive.  The folder address should be the following: C:\323workshop.
  4. Unzip all workshop data files into the newly-created folder.
  5. Then, in the newly created folder, unzip the file called back into C:\323workshop.

STEP 3:  Creating the Local Workshop Database

  1. Return to the MySQL Workbench environment (see STEP 1).
  2. Click File Open SQL Script.
  3. Navigate to C:\323workshop and open Table_Create_Script.sql.
  4. Similarly, open Data_Load_Script.sql and Census_Data_Script.sql from C:\323workshop.
  5. Run Table_Create_Script.sql by clicking the yellow lightning bolt icon below the appropriate tab.  This will create a local database called form323 as well as a set of tables.
  6. Next, run Data_Load_Script.sql.  This may take a few minutes to run.  This script populates the created tables with the appropriate data from the data files you previously unzipped.
  7. Finally, run Census_Data_Script.sql.  This creates and loads in additional data tables containing census demographic information, which will be used during the workshop.

Related Documents

Public Notice, Further Details Concerning September 9, 2015, Form 323 Data Workshop, DA 15-966:  [ Word | Acrobat ]
Public Notice, Media Bureau Announces Biennial Form 323 Information Session, DA 15-938:  [ Word | Acrobat ]
Public Notice, Media Bureau Announces Workshop on Access to, and Use of, the FCC's Form 323 Data, DA 15-873:  [ Word | Acrobat ]