FCC pulls license on felony conviction


Terry Keith Hammond was convicted of felony theft back in 2004. Among the penalties incurred for that infraction is the determination by the FCC that he is unfit to remain licensee of KBKH-FM in Shamrock TX. And the license has indeed been revoked.

The felony actually occurred in 2002. Before he was the station’s licensee, Hammond was convicted of altering checks received by the station and depositing them into a bank account that he controlled. His attempt to reverse the conviction failed and he served time in prison.

The FCC also found some unrelated priors, though the violations were of FCC rules. “The Commission’s records reveal that Mr. Hammond engaged in multiple instances of unauthorized operation of unlicensed radio broadcast stations in California, Louisiana, and Texas prior to his acquisition of the Station.”

The matter had been designated for a hearing. Hammond faced three FCC charges that carried maximum fines of $325K apiece, with the burden of evidence and proof on the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau. Hammond was served with notice of the hearing and warned that if he did not appear, “the Station’s renewal application would be dismissed with prejudice for failure to prosecute, his right to a hearing would be deemed waived,” and the Commission would resolve all other matters.

The FCC wrote, “We find that this criminal misconduct justifies a finding that Mr. Hammond has demonstrated his propensity to evade, rather than comply with laws and regulations that would include the Communications Act and the Commission’s rules and policies. Our finding in this regard is reinforced by the additional instances in which Mr. Hammond was warned or cited for unauthorized and unlicensed operation of broadcast stations prior to his acquisition of the Station.  For these reasons, we find that Mr. Hammond does not possess the character qualifications required by this Commission to be or remain a licensee.

If there is a silver lining for Hammond, the FCC considers the license revocation to be a serious enough punishment that it is not pursing any of the monetary liabilities Hammond was facing.

KBKH-FM operates on 92.7 MHz. Shamrock is located on the eastern side of the Texas panhandle, far removed from the nearest Arbitron market.

RBR/TVBR observation: If Hammond had already had numerous run-ins with the FCC for unauthorized operation, you have to wonder how he was able to acquire the license for KBKH-FM in the first place.