Give the FCC credit – it has been giving Class A television stations with violation issues every opportunity to cure their deficiencies, and in the case of Abundant Life Broadcasting’s K20JX-D Sacramento CA, that included a laundry list of violations and failure to respond to not one but two letters of inquiry.
The violations concerned the public file, including having a useful address for the station on its online file, and the timely filing of certain certifications.
ALB admitted that it had not properly handled these items, although it did prepare and maintain all required documentation. It called its sin on of oversight.
It did not receive two letters on inquiry on the matter because the address the FCC was using, the one it had most recently used to successfully contact the station, belonged to the station’s former treasurer and no longer applied to K20JX-D in any way.
It was not until ALB was ordered to show cause that the station should not be busted from Class A to LPTV status, forfeiting a smorgasbord of regulatory protections and the right to participate in the incentive auction program were the Class A status to go away.
In the end, the FCC decided it was in the public interest for the station to remain in the Class A category. Instead of a crippling demotion, ALB will instead pay a fine of $16K, including $10K for public file violations and $6K, upped from a $4K base fine, for failure to respond to FCC communications.