Stations of all types are routinely cited for public file violations, but the problem can be particularly acute at stations licensed to colleges or universities, where operations may be in the hands of an ever-changing cast of students.
There is no clear indication if that was the case at WESM-FM Princess Anne MD, licensed to the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore – it didn’t make any excuses, and simply noted that its public file was missing issues/program lists when it was in the process of applying for its license renewal.
The station said it was trying to reconstruct the lists, but that was a problem in that there were 32 installments missing in total.
The FCC felt compelled to hit it with the full standard $10K penalty for a file violation, and also short-cycled it – it did grant a new license, but for a four- rather than an eight-year term.
WESM serves the Salisbury-Ocean City market with a Class B signal on 91.3 MHz with 50 kW @ 299’. It is oriented to the inland Salisbury portion of the market, putting only a secondary signal over Ocean City.
RBR-TVBR observation: All stations should have at least two people who are aware of the particulars pertaining to the public file. It is imperative that school-based noncoms make sure that adults in the long-term employ of the institution are dealing with FCC issues.