Faulty equipment leads to FCC fines


FCCBefore selling five Greenville MS-area stations to Delta Radio Network, previous owner Debut Broadcasting allowed a pair of them to fall into a certain level of disrepair – and the result will be a hit to the wallet.

The stations are WNIX-AM and WLTM-FM, both licensed to Greenville. They were sold to Delta for $250K along with WIQQ-FM Leland MS and WNLA AM-FM Indianola MS in a deal filed 8/9/11.

The FCC checked out the stations in response to a complaint on 11/7-8/11 (the sale to Delta wasn’t closed until 12/21/11) and found that WNIX, a Class B on 1330 kHz licensed for 1 kW-D, 500 W-N, DAN, was not powering down or switching to its directional array after sunset.

The FCC was informed by the station manager that due to technical problems the station was incapable of either task.

In the course of checking out the AM, the agent found that neither it nor WLTM-FM had operational EAS equipment. They was said to have been piggy-backing on that of a third co-owned station, but the switching equipment making that possible was broken. The station manager said the situation had existed for “some time” but couldn’t say how long because of another violation: no EAS logs.

The failure to operate the AM as specified on the license will cost an $8K fine, and the EAS violations add up to $7K for a $15K total assessment.