Broadcasting basics: Protect your license


And that means filing for you license renewal in a timely manner. Of all the fines we see coming out of the FCC, late filing penalties are dominating the flow. This time, KCMM(FM) Belgrade MT is the miscreant.

The station, licensed to Gallatin Valley Witness Inc., was in the Class of April 2005. That’s when its license was due to expire, and it requires filing for renewal four months in advance, or on December 1, 2004. The application didn’t come until 6/23/05.

Gallatin tried to duck the fine by claiming ignorance of the FCC’s electronic filing requirement. That trick, of course, never works – licensees are expected to know and abide by the rules, and the application was late regardless.

It also claimed financial hardship, but provided as evidence tax returns from 2002 and 2005. The FCC said financial records from non-consecutive years do not allow it to accurately guage the licensee’s financial health, but added that if it accepted the documents submitted, showing revenues of about $325K in 2002 and about $265K in 2005, it would have deemed them sufficient to support a $7K fine, which is what the licensee will be required to pay.