We don’t keep track of such things, but we do see FCC actions on a daily basis, and we’d have to say that license renewals have tripped up more broadcasters lately than any other violation, even though it is easy to comply and is in fact an existential matter. Three stations were dealt with in the latest dragnet reports – one was on time but didn’t file electronically, one was late, and the third was very late.
O-N Radio Inc.’s WOON-AM Woonsocket RI was one. Its license was set to expire 4/1/06, which means its application was due 12/1/05. As far as the FCC was concerned, it didn’t file an electronic renewal application until just before the license expired. But the station said, and the FCC confirmed, that it beat the 12/1/05 deadline with a paper application. The FCC picked up the flag on the $1.5K fine for a late renewal, but admonished the station for using paper without permission.
The second was Ray R. Silva’s KMXO-AM Merkel TX. It was late, but beat the license expiration date, earning the standard $1.5K fine, since it did not have a timely paper application to point to in its defense.
The third was Pittsfield Public School Committee’s WTBR-FM Pittsfield MA. It didn’t get around to filing for renewal until over two weeks past the license expiration. That made it four months and over two weeks late in filing, and tossed in over two weeks of unauthorized operation. The standard fine for that is $7K, and that’s what the FCC is charging.