The Society of Broadcast Engineers is completing its work to publish new, updated Broadcast Station Self-Inspection Guidelines. The Federal Communications Commission published a series of checklists many years ago, but they have not been updated in decades. The SBE has considered this issue for several years, and will release updated guidelines in early 2024.
Broadcast stations use the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program to ensure compliance with FCC Rules. The former FCC checklists provided a guide for stations to follow. Since the FCC-published lists have lost their relevance because of rule changes and technology advances, broadcasters have sought a replacement. The SBE has provided the answer.
The SBE Government Relations Committee, chaired by Charles “Ched” Keiler, CPBE, 8-VSB, ATSC3, CBNE, formed a working group of SBE members in April 2022 to develop an updated set of guidelines. That group includes Steve Campbell, Entronics; Jeff Juniet, CBTE, Cox Media Group/WFTV; Jason Ornellas, CBRE, Bonneville International Media; David Ratener, CPBE, CBNT, Salem Media; Tom Ray, CPBE, AMD, DRB, Tom Ray Broadcast Consulting, LLP; and Shane Toven, CPBE, DRB, CBNE, Educational Media Foundation. The SBE also worked with the National Association of Broadcasters and the Federal Communications Commission to develop the Guidelines.
The first Guidelines will cover the major broadcast services: AM, FM, and digital television. The SBE is continuing work on other broadcast services. SBE Government Relations Committee Chair Ched Keiler said, “It’s important that broadcasters, as a self-regulating body, adhere to common codified standards: the FCC Rules and Regulations. These documents have been developed to assist broadcast station management and engineers in conducting a self-inspection of their station, providing an opportunity for the broadcaster to review and correct any deficiencies associated with the operation of a station without an actual, on-scene visit by the FCC.”
SBE President Andrea Cummis, CBT, CTO, added, “The SBE is committed to improving licensee’s compliance with the broadcast regulations contained within the FCC Rules and Regulations. This is an educational effort that many within the SBE and the broadcast industry support.”