FCC taking pity on shoestring low power


Go to the bank and withdraw $7K. In one dollar bills. Put it in a big pile where your entire staff, particularly management, even more particularly administration, can see it. Spray it with lighter fluid, kiss it good buy and take a match to it. That’s what you’re doing if you don’t pay attention to renewing your license.

The FCC just announced a veritable paddy wagon full of licensees who failed in this simplest of critical regulatory compliance tasks. It once again showed that it will take pity on shoestring low power and translator operations, but even for them, they are writing an unnecessary check draining cash we’re sure they’d rather spend on something else.

* Elmira College station WECW-FM in Elmira NY failed to file on time (three months prior to expiration) – and in fact, failed to file before the license had expired, which constitutes unauthorized operation. Fine: $7K, as the FCC recognizes the College was guilty of a regulatory oversight but was not a true spectrum pirate.

* Corning Community College, licensee of Corning NY’s WCEB-FM – same as above, $7K.

* KQLO-AM Sun Valley NV, licensed to Universal Broadcasting, ditto, $7K.

* FM translator K276AW, licensed to Lusk TV Club in Lusk WY, let its lapse extend into the unauthorized operation zone, and is hit for a merciful $500 due to its secondary status (had it just been moderately late it probably would have been $250).

* WWBW-LP Higganum CT, an LPFM licensed to Connecticut River Educational Radio, also hit for $500.

* K244AR, a translator owned by Kath Broadcasting in Pine Bluffs WY is late and unauthorized — $500.

* Challis ID translator K232CL licensee North Custer Radio hit for $750 for prolonged unauthorized operation.

RBR-TVBR observation: There must be at least one person at every station who has ultimate responsibility for all FCC matters and that person must have backup – redundant back-up if at all possible.

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