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FCC Seeks To Fine Clear Channel Chicago $20,000 For Multiple EEO Violations

According to a report published by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today, Clear Channel Radio + Media's Chicago cluster, operating under the legal name of AMFM Broadcasting Licenses, LLC, failed to comply with Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules nearly three dozen times over a two-year period. A fine of $20,000 and strict reporting conditions have been proposed against the Chicago radio stations.

The FCC did a review of Clear Channel Chicago's hiring practices over the period of August 1, 2009 through July 31, 2011. Out of the 36 full-time vacancies at their Chicago radio stations, Clear Channel allegedly did not follow the proper EEO rules for 33 of those hires. Clear Channel Chicago failed to notify numerous agencies of the vacancies, despite requests for information. The FCC's review also found that Clear Channel Chicago failed to properly self-analyze their recruitment program on an ongoing basis.

Since the FCC feels that Clear Channel Chicago violated these rules willingly, the fine (or "forfeiture") of $20,000 has been set.

The FCC's Introduction to its case against Clear Channel Chicago reads:
"In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find that AMFM Broadcasting Licenses, LLC ("the Licensee"), licensee of Illinois Stations WNUA(FM), Chicago; WGCI-FM, Chicago; WKSC-FM, Chicago; WGRB(AM), Chicago; WLIT-FM, Chicago; and WVAZ(FM), Oak Park ("the Stations"), apparently willfully and repeatedly violated the Commission's equal employment opportunity ("EEO") Rules1 by failing to comply with the requirement to notify job referral sources about vacancies and to self-assess EEO performance. Based upon our review of the facts and circumstances before us, we conclude that the Licensee is apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000). To prevent future violations of these requirements, we also impose reporting conditions on the Licensee and any successor licensee of any of the Stations, as well as on the licensee of any stations that become a part of the above Stations' employment unit during the reporting conditions periods listed below."

The full FCC report on the alleged Clear Channel Chicago violations can be read HERE.

Clear Channel Media + Entertainment's Chicago cluster is made up of WVAZ-FM, WGCI-FM, WKSC-FM, WLIT-FM, WNUA-FM, and WGRB-AM. The company also owns WVON-AM, but complete operations of that station are leased out to Midway Broadcasting. WVON-AM was not named in any of the FCC violations today.

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