File under agree to decree


The FCC had some problems with the public files kept by Utica College, licensee of noncommercial WPNR-FM in Utica NY. His generally results in a $10K fine, but this time Utica College is not admitting any guilt. Both parties agree that pursuing the issue to its bitter end would be costly and time-consuming. So UC has agreed to submit to terms of a compliance plan under a consent decree, and will also make a voluntary donation to the US Treasury of $10K.

RBR/TVBR observation: Consent decrees tend to be used when the issues are highly complex, involve potentially large amounts of punitive cash payments, or involve contentious and gray-shaded areas of the rules and regulations. Public file violations, on the other hand, are depressingly routine. So the fact that a decree is being used for such a normal piece of FCC business is what makes this case unique.