FCC fines show that tardiness is a matter of degree


Four radio stations were nailed by the FCC for late license renewals. But a quick glance reveals that all late renewals are not created equal. One of the stations is being hit with a $7K fine, and two more are facing a $1.5K kick in the wallet. But the latest of all only will pay $500.

The key is when the renewal was filed in terms of the license expiration date. The due date for the application is four months prior, so that the FCC has time to process the it before the license goes out of effect.

The big hit is being taken by Colby Community College, licensee of KTCC-FM Colby KS. It failed to file a license renewal until after the license had expired, which constitutes unauthorized operation. That is basically the same thing as being a spectrum pirate, but the FCC recognizes this particular version of piracy is not at all the same, and the fine is $7K.

Little Miami Local Schools, licensee of WMLH-FM Morrow OH, and Barnesville Broadcasting Inc., licensee of WBAF-AM Barnesville GA, both filed after the due date but prior to expiration. Operations were never unauthorized, and the fine is only $1.5K.

Finally, Kane County Special Service District #1 was over two years late filing for renewal, but was hit with only a $500 fine because of the FCC’s policy of leniency for low power licensees, and this station – K269DQ of Orderville UT, is a mere FM translator.