A troubled station, KTMN-FM Cloudcroft NM, was apparently having difficulty running a full operation schedule, and eventually allowed its license to expire 11/8/02 and was deleted from the FCC list of approved stations. But its owner, A-O Broadcasting Corporation, thought it was still in good stead since it had been on the air “at least once” in the year prior to losing the license, and argued that therefore its license should not have been “automatically” rescinded by the FCC. It also argued that it applied for a renewal, and was therefore entitled to be on the air while consideration of that renewal was pending.
The FCC is not buying that argument. Licensees don’t get to determine when they are or are not entitled to operate legally, and since the FCC deleted the station that was the end of the matter. When the station was indeed found to be on the air in April 2004, it was essentially no different than a typical spectrum pirate. It was fined $25K at one point, an amount that was subsequently reduced to $10K. The $10K has been taken away due to the A-O’s being basically out of business, with the company getting off with a simple admonishment.
RBR/TVBR observation: We’d like to try this line of reasoning the next time we are pulled over. “Excuse me officer, but I have appealed the DMV’s posted speed limit on this stretch of highway as unjustifiably sluggish, and that appeal is pending. I will observe my suggested 80 MPH limit until such time as I have been notified of DMV’s decision.”