FCC throws the book at OK LPFM


KEIF-LP, a low power FM station licensed to Enid Public Radio Association, is being hit with a fine for a number of offenses, including broadcasting with too much power, from too high an antenna, and with advertising included, a no-no for the entire LPFM sector, which is entirely noncommercial.

According to the FCC, the station’s antenna is 203’ HAAT, about 75’ taller than it should be, and it’s using 155 Watts, 73 Watts more then it is licensed for and 55 Watts above and beyond the maximum power for an LPFM.

Violations at the station were brought to the FCC’s attention by Chisholm Trail Broadcasting Company, which also alleged that EPRA was involved in an unauthorized transfer of control and that it was selling advertising.
While it appears that two directors resigned, changing the alignment of the station’s governing board, the FCC said that this was not the sort of change that constitutes a transfer of control.

However, Chisholm Trail was able to produce a rate card “…setting forth several ‘Sponsorship Clubs and Categories,’ each of which sets forth the number of announcements per day and days per week, along with weekly and monthly amounts for such announcements.” It also produced transcripts of ads and a wealth of additional material indicative of an active advertising program. Among them, a rate card which indirectly identities the LPFM that “…sets forth rates for ‘commercial’ spots as well as ‘ads’ on the day of an on-air interview, also stating that the ‘classic rock’ format offers ‘great results for your advertising dollar.’”

The station had previously been admonished for underwriting violations.

The FCC, noting that the licensee’s actions show “evidence a pattern of abuse,” hit it with fines totaling $10K. It approved a conditional and truncated license renewal for six years backdated to 6/1/05 and expiring 6/1/11, and included reporting conditions since “the licensee cannot be relied upon to operate [the station] in the future in accordance with the requirements of its licenses and the Commission’s Rules.” It has 90 days to demonstrate technical compliance.