By John Wells King and Erwin Krasnow
“Revocation” is perhaps the deadliest word to a television or radio station. Applied to a station’s license, it sounds the cataclysmic death knell of a broadcast operation that can render a multi-million-dollar investment worthless.
Industry observers, watchdogs, and community groups may argue that the FCC’s penalty of revocation of a broadcast license is a toothless bear that rarely attacks anymore. Often this stance is accompanied by the claim that the agency is in the pocket of the industries it regulates.
Could your station lose its license? Or (…wishful thinking) has the FCC lost its taste for the ultimate sanction?
Our review of the Commission’s revocation actions over the past 75 years has enabled us to compile a sure-fire list of ways for a radio or television station to lose its license. Regardless of your take on the composition of the Commission and its contemporary sociopolitical agenda, we offer a money-back guarantee that any of the following activities will earn the dreaded result: revocation.