Absent owner slammed for absent public file documents


FCC agents visiting KBPO-AM Port Arthur TX during a week-and-a-half-long stretch of December 2010 found various levels of staffing, including no staffing, and also found a public file that was missing a number of key documents, when it was presented for inspection at all.

The station is licensed to Vision Latina Broadcasting Inc.

An agent first visited the station’s main studio 12/2/10, and despite repeated visits, never did find anybody there.

Coming back 12/9/10, the agent found an announcer, but no management presence, and was informed that the company president was visiting Mexico and would be back on 12/13/10.

The agent also asked to see the station’s public file, and found it to be full of gaping holes. Among the missing required elements was a current copy of the station authorization, service contour map, the most recent ownership report, Public and Broadcasting manual, or any issues-programs lists. The announcer had no idea where the missing elements were.

An agent visited yet again on the 13th hoping to find the company president, but learned from three individuals described by the FCC as disc jockeys that the president was still in Mexico. Further, none of the three was willing to produce the public file at all.

The FCC said the standard fine for lack of a management presence is $7K, and the public file shortcomings were worth $10K. But since the station allowed the faults to persist uncorrected over the course of several FCC visits, it decided to jack the fines up to $10K and $15K respectively for a grand total of $25K.

The action is a Notice of Apparent Liability, which Vision Latina has the right to appeal.