An unusual agree to decree arrangement


Generally, when the FCC and a licensee enter into a consent decree, at dispute is a matter that is both serious and often in a gray area — like for example a matter of indecency enforcement where the rules are subject to interpretation. Public file issues are usually a bit more cut and dried — either the files are in compliance of not. But it is precisely a public file issue which has the FCC and Bilbat Radio agreeing to decree for WHHO-AM and WKPQ-FM, both of Hornell NY. The precise nature of the dispute was not revealed in documents released by the Commission, but the terms are pure consent decree style. The two parties agree that battling this out to the bitter end "would be time consuming and require a substantial expenditure of public and private resources." So Bilbat admits to no wrongdoing, and gets both licenses renewed. It will also donate 10K per station to the US Treasury and institute various policies and undertake to train and educate its staff, to assure that its public files are in compliance in the future.