One Small Step for Issues and Programs

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One of the most painful radio station experiences is being forced to give away profits. Specifically, giving away cash in the form of an F.C.C. fine. Yet several times a year I am amazed to see stations forced to surrender thousands of dollars — often ten thousand or more — in fines because of missing or inadequate public files.

When assuming the management of a newly acquired station, my first action was always to examine the public file — especially the Issues and Programs section. It appears that shortcomings in the Issues and Programs List are most often the cause of commission fines. This was certainly the case with each new station I managed; the Issues and Programs List was often either sparse or absent.

The F.C.C. is reasonably clear about the requirements for Issues and Programs Lists. However, a shocking number of licensees are either ignorant or indifferent to these regulations.


At, we debated for several months over the creation of a new application designed to help stations do a better job with their Issues and Programs Lists. Our natural inclination is to stay as far away from F.C.C. issues as possible. However, the number of fines relating to Issues and Programs Lists (and the amount of those fines) finally prompted us to develop and release that new application.

The program is called QuIPList (for “Quarterly Issues and Programs List”) and is a management system designed to help you organize your community issues and responsive programs. You can read more about the program at the link, but the bottom line is that QuIPList delivers your printed Issues and Programs List in a format recommended by attorneys knowledgeable of F.C.C. requirements, ready for placing in your public file. You can optionally generate the Issues and Programs List as a PDF file, easily placed on your station’s web site (recommended by the F.C.C.). Follow the link to download QuIPList and try it free for 30 days.

Of course, you will still have to determine relevant community issues and devise responsive programming for your stations. QuIPList is not a miracle worker, but it is a management system that will help you produce the necessary documentation to avoid expensive penalties provided you supply appropriate content.

Undoubtedly, there will continue to be stations that try to skimp on their Issues and Programs Lists (such as running only Public Service Announcements in place of true issue-oriented programming). And the F.C.C. will continue to issue thousands of dollars in fines. If our QuIPList application helps you avoid even one fine, it will be a step in the right direction. And maybe that’s all we can hope for.