Alabama Pirate Penalized For Faux FMs


By Adam R Jacobson

A buccaneer in the Heart of Dixie has been slapped with a steep fine for operating an FM station without a license.

In an official Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture released Thursday (Oct. 20) by the FCC from Ronald Ramage, the regional director of Region Two of the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, Michael Dudley was handed a proposed $15,000 penalty for his operation of an unlicensed facility at 103.9 MHz in the picturesque lakeside town of Guntersville, Ala.

The penalty comes as a result of Dudley’s “deliberate disregard” of warnings to shut down the facility.

“Commission action in this area is essential because unlicensed radio stations create a danger of interference to licensed communications and undermine the commission’s authority over FM broadcast radio operations,” Ramage notes.

RBR + TVBR OBSERVATION (full text for subscribers below): Boo-yah! It’s aggressive action like this from the Atlanta office that needs to come to New York and Miami. Yes, legitimate dangers exist in these big cities, where pirate radio station operators may be tied to other far-more dangerous antics. But resolving this months, not years, is just the time of “don’t F with us” action this FCC needs.

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Adam R Jacobson is a veteran radio industry journalist and advertising industry analyst with general, multicultural and Hispanic market expertise. From 1996 to 2006 he served as an editor at Radio & Records.