James Ingstad owns KFGO-AM, along with a full complement of market cluster mates, in the Fargo ND-Moorhead MN market. But Clear Channel is getting hit with a $12K fine on the old phone violation rap. It seems that Sandy Blunt left a voicemail on the phone of one of the station’s air talents in March of 2006, and the recording was broadcast on several occasions – including one in December 2006 that Blunt offered the FCC as evidence. Clear Channel did not deny that the violation occurred, but did note that it is no longer the licensee of the station. The FCC said this was an insufficient explanation and, twisting the hilt a little bit, said that “Clear Channel has a history of violations relating to the telephone broadcast rule.” The fine sticks.
RBR/TVBR observation: So is it Clear Channel’s fault, even though the group no longer owns the station? Well, yes. The FCC approved the sale to Ingstad on 1/9/07; it probably closed sometime after that. That means the violation took place well in advance of Ingstad taking over, and that justice has been served.