FCC open season on LPTVs continues


FCCNo less than 16 Class A television stations were recently asked to show cause by the FCC as to why they shouldn’t be degraded to LPTV status after neglecting to keep children’s programming information in their public files. Now four more stations, and three licensees, find themselves in the hot seat, although in this round, the FCC is looking to levy cash penalties.

Belo’s WBXN-CA New Orleans LA was one. It said the station was used to rebroadcast another, which did have the necessary program lists filed – it simply forgot to include them in the WBXN-CA file as well. It was hit with a $3K file for failure to provide a required form and the traditional $10K for a public file violation.

A similar situation was faced by Joseph V. Earley’s Class A WOIL-LP Talledega AL, and it suffered the exact same consequence.

And it was the same story as well for licensee Glen Iris Baptist School and its two Class A stations, W15AZ Alabaster AL and W49AY Birmingham AL. The fact that this licensee in noncommercial did not get it off the hook – and since the violation occurred at two stations, the total liability is doubled to $26K.

RBR-TVBR observation: It was observed that after the first round that perhaps the FCC was looking to clear spectrum the easy way in advance of incentive auctions. But this smaller round looks much like normal if strict application of the rulebook.