FCC gets cold with Bold Gold over EAS absence


WWRR-FM, licensed to the Scranton PA portion of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton market, was found to be without operational EAS equipment by an inspecting FCC agent. The fact that co-located stations WICK and WYCK did have equipment, and an engineer was able to use it to get a test message out, did not mitigate licensee Bold Gold Media Group’s culpability in the matter in the eyes of the Commission.

The FCC visited the station 11/24/09 in response to a complaint that it was not EAS-capable.

According to the FCC’s account of the inspection, “The station engineer claimed that an EAS test for Station WWRR could possibly be transmitted by switching the audio source from its studio location in Plains, Pennsylvania to the main studio location in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then conducting the test using the EAS equipment shared by stations WICK and WYCK.  At the agent’s request, the engineer attempted to conduct a test in that manner and the test appeared to be successful. The station engineer admitted, however, that the station had never conducted any EAS tests for Station WWRR following such procedure. The station engineer also acknowledged that the studio location in Plains did not have any EAS equipment installed at the time.”

When push came to shove, the FCC determined that the station hadn’t installed the necessary EAS equipment since it acquired the station in 2006 until February 2010, and decided to take the base fine of $8K and increase it. Final assessment: $10K.