Josh Stearns of Free Press journeyed to Miami to check the political files of a trio of Hispanic television stations. Despite the controversy associated with the political file debate, Stearns gave both stations high grades from his watchdog perspective.
The online political advertising posting requirement only involves big four affiliates in the top 50 markets. Although Miami is certainly a large enough DMA, the Univision, Telefutura and Telemundo affiliate Stearns wanted to visit are exempt for now.
The three stations were all O&Os: Univision affiliate WLTV and sister Telefutura WAMI; along with NBCUNiversal’s Telemundo WSCV affiliate.
Stearns visited WSCV first, was given a cubicle which accommodated his laptop, scanner and supply of manila folders, and provided him with all the information he requested.
“On my way out the door,” wrote Stearns in an article published on the Free Press website, “I commented to an NBC staffer that the stations’ files were very thorough and well-organized. The files even included some of the obscure but important forms many stations omit. She sighed with relief and let me know that both stations are currently applying for their FCC license renewals.”
Stearns has a similar experience at the Univision stations, and even had a unique feature. Wrote Stearns, “This was the first station I visited that had hallway signs with arrows pointing the way to the public and political files. The files here, like those at NBC/Telemundo, were well-organized, accessible and included all the right forms for the most part.”
RBR-TVBR observation: If you have to do it, you might as well do it right. At a time when public-file-seeking watchdogs are only too happy to report being entangled in red tape before being led to a lung-threatening dusty catacomb to wade through a poorly-organized collection of rusted file cabinets, we commend these Univision and NBCUniversal stations for taking their FCC responsibility seriously and getting an excellent review from one of broadcast’s harshest critics.