AM gone wild


Problems with 1150 WNDB-AM Daytona Beach FL were causing it to wander up and down the dial of a standard car radio operated by FCC field agents, and to interfere with stations located on 1070 kHz and 1230 kHz. The station was improperly attenuated. While explaining the problem to employees of licensee Black Crow Radio, the agents further discovered that the fencing around the station’s two towers was not effectively locked. The total damage to the Black Crow bank account for these problems, which were first discovered 2/26/08 and were still not corrected two days later, was $23K. BCI paid $12K but asked to be excused from the remainder, saying it had been victimized by vandals. It also argued that it didn’t have the proper equipment to detect its spurious emissions and relied on annual measurements from consulting engineers. The FCC countered that simply using a standard radio as its agents did was all BCI need have done to discover that the problem existed and/ or had not been corrected. The FCC did give the company a discount for past compliance, reducing the balance owed from $11K to $6.4K, resulting in a total fine of $18.4K.