Doubling down on a file fine


KSJB-AM and KSJZ-FM Jamestown ND, owned by Chesterman Communications, both had program/issues lists missing from their public files for a lengthy period of time, plus deficiencies in the lists that were in the files, for identical reasons. At one point a programmer told the VP/GM that the lists were being maintained when they weren’t, and a mock inspection by the state broadcasting organization failed to uncover the omissions. Since neither is considered a viable excuse, both stations have had their original $9K fines upheld in their entirety for an $18K total to Chesterman.

RBR/TVBR observation: Is it not true that the lists could have said that no issues programming was run for every single day of the licensing period, and that would have been cool? It’s like being allowed to drive at the speed of your choice on the autobahn, but being required to sign an affidavit every day that you know there’s no speed limit, or else pay a fine. Sure, a station that does run a lot of issues programming may want to trumpet the fact in its file. But since there’s no possible foul based on a station’s programming, there’s no need for the paperwork, hence no need for enforcement.