Inspection/renewal double whammy


Access.1’s WWRL-AM New York probably thought it was out of the woods when it rectified a public file problem and paid an associated fine to the FCC. But in checking off a box on its renewal form saying that the file had been in good order throughout the previous license term, it brought on a brand new NAL. The file problem was a lack of issues/programs information which dated back to 9/20/05. WWRL believed a list of religious programs met this requirement; on finding that it did not, it did what it could to address the problem and paid a fine on 7/26/06. However, in filling out its renewal form, WWRL failed to note the violation and the period during which the file was not up to snuff, which amounts to "falsely certifying…that the station’s public inspection file was complete throughout the license term." The FCC is very touchy about candor, and noted that it "relies heavily on the honesty and probity of its licensees in a regulatory system that is self-policing." It could have hit Access.1 with a fine as high as 32.5K; it settled for only 10K and granted the station a license renewal.

RBR observation: Alrighty, then. We feel certain this did not constitute any attempt on the part of Access.1 to deliberately deceive the FCC. It probably thought the public file issue had been resolved to everybody’s satisfaction and that there was no need to dwell on it any further. So the word to the wise is that if you are ever hit with a public file rap and pay a fine on it, make sure you keep that in mind when filling out your next renewal form.