FCC lowers the plank for Florida pirate


Frankie Grover of Lakeland FL admits to broadcasting without a license just below the regularly-licensed FM dial at 87.9 MHz – he was even using US-style call letters WGBC-FM – and claims some unidentified person at the FCC told him it was OK as long as he didn’t interfere with another station and nobody complained.

Somebody did complain, and FCC field agents tracked his signal to the Kingston Lakeside Inn in Lakeland. The agents also couldn’t help but notice Grover’s utter lack of guile. At his home, his personal vehicle had vanity plates “WGBC 1,” and advertisements for the “Frankie Grover Morning Show” for “WGBC FM.BIZ.”

Grover’s contention that he was unaware that his station was illegal of course did not wash with the FCC, who hit him with the standard $10K fine. However, he was able to demonstrate his inability to pay that much, and the FCC reduced the fine to $2.5K.