FCC station fines keep on coming


The licensees of radio stations could better adhere to their supply of cash if they make sure they also adhere to basic FCC rules and regulations. Yet the parade of stations that fall short of complying with two of most basic rules – public file maintenance and timely license renewal filing – continues unabated.

St. Bonaventure University failed to renew its license for WSBU-FM St. Bonaventure NY on time – an potentially existential failure. The station missed the initial deadline, four months prior to license expiration, and in this case, the license expired before the situation was corrected. Fine: $7K.

Hope Broadcasting’s WFGN-AM Gaffney SC was also late getting its renewal applications in. As with WSBU, the failure extended beyond the license expiration date. However, it was able to demonstrate a lack of means to the extent that the FCC reduced the financial penalty from $7K to $4.6K.

WPAM-AM Pottsville PA, licensed to Curran Communications, was missing five years worth of issues/programs lists in its public file. Fine: $10K. The FCC also gave it reporting conditions, directing it to submit written testimony that it is complying with the rules on penalty of perjury.

Finally there is the case of WJTB-AM Elyria OH, licensed to Taylor Broadcasting Company. On two occasions, FCC agents attempted to inspect the station; on two occasions nobody was home. After the first attempt, they were told they could gain access by using an entry buzzer, but on the second visit there was no entry buzzer to be found. Taylor was fined for failure to maintain a presence at the main studio during regular business hours. The fine: $10K plus reporting conditions.

RBR-TVBR observation: It is hard enough to make ends meet in the broadcasting business these days. That makes it more important than ever to avoid these kinds of utterly unnecessary expenses.