Advice to small broadcasters: Stay on top of your FCC paperwork

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Whether virtual or not, every entity that holds an FCC license is responsible to follow the rules and regulations, and it is responsible to be aware of just what those rules and regulations are. One of the most basic responsibilities is to make sure the station license is renewed on time. Time and time again stations trip over this requirement, and this time a low power FM was the tripee.


WKHP-LP of Keene NH is the station, and the licensee is Keene Foursquare Church d/b/a Hope Chapel. As is the case with all LPFM licensees, it is a non-profit organization.

In this case, the renewal application was due 12/1/05, four months prior to the license expiration date of 4/1/06. The station missed by a wide margin – it finally got around to filing for a new license on 1/30/08.

The FCC pointed out that a full power station could have been fined $3K for failing to file the renewal form on time, and another $10K for subsequent unlicensed and hence unauthorized operation.

Thankfully for the station, the FCC has adopted a policy of leniency for the licensees of low power broadcast facilities, so each fine was reduced to $250, adding up to a $500 total Notice of Apparent Liability.

The station still has a chance to appeal for a reduction or cancelation of the fine, and its license was renewed.