At a time in the history of broadcast television when the safeguarding of a Class A designation is of primary importance to a low power station, many have been degraded to LPTV status tracing back to inadequacies in filing required children’s programming reports. Such is not the case with WBQP-CA Gulf Breeze FL.
The station’s licensee is Vernon Watson. The community of Gulf Breeze is in the Pensacola area.
The issue with the station was failure to file five Form 398 reports with the FCC.
The FCC inquired about the failure. This is where so many Class As have run into trouble during the course of 2012, by simply failing to answer the FCC inquiry not once, but twice. That has often led to a show cause not to be degraded, also often ignored, followed by an actual degradation.
The failure to file the 398 has also often been coupled with a lack of even compiling the reports and keeping a copy of them in the station’s public file.
None of this was the case with WBQP-CA. It did respond to FCC inquiries; it did have the reports on file. It did not, however, have any idea why the failure to timely file the 398s with the FCC took place.
It has now filed the missing reports, and the FCC has hit it with a $3K fine for failure to file a required report.
It should be noted that had the reports not been in the public file, the station would likely been hit with an additional $10K in fines.
RBR-TVBR observation: Anybody can slip up. This station has demonstrated the proper way to handle such an event. It owned up to its mistake and took swift corrective measures. As a result, a spectrum-hungry FCC is not creating a potential channel hole in Pensacola area that might be filled with a wireless service of some sort. What for some Class As has been a process that could put their very existence in jeopardy has for WBQP-CA been but a minor speed bump toward what we hope will be a successful future, whatever course the station chooses to take.