KOAN heads for the checkbook for fence fine


MoneyAlaska Integrated Media was not able to successfully argue that the fence around the transmitter of KOAN-AM Anchorage was inaccessible, nor was it able to pin blame for the damage on an act of God.

It was responding to a Notice of Apparent Liability good for $7,000. FCC agents inspecting the facility found wood planking down on 3/8/12 and 3/15/12.

AIM tried several tacks to avoid the fine without success.

It said that the fence was inaccessible due to a large amount of snow. The FCC only had to point out that its own agents accessed it on the two occasions already mentioned.

AIM said the snowfall was an act of God. “The FCC countered (in so many words) that repairing such an act, no matter whose act it was, falls on the licensee.

AIM said that the FCC was in violation of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996. The FCC said it routinely applies provisions of SBREFA to its enforcement actions and did so on this occasion.

AIM said its violation was not willful, but rather the result of the storm. The will act, or lack of action, countered the FCC, was AIM’s failure to fix the fence.

However, AIM had a good record of compliance with FCC rules and regulations, and reduced the fine to $5,600. But it is no longer an NAL, but rather a forfeiture order.