Late, later and latest


Two AM stations and an FM translator all failed to get their renewal applications in on time. In fact, two of them were so late they lapsed into de facto piracy for a time. But strangely enough, the fines assessed to the three happened to come home in reverse order of the severity of the offense.

Christian Radio Translator Association/Salmon, Inc.’s K257DJ in Salmon ID had a license expiration date of 10/1/05, meaning its renewal application was due 6/1/05. The FCC received it 10/18/05, after the license had expired. As usually happens in these cases, the tardy station also failed to apply for an STA to operate an unlicensed station, essentially making it a spectrum pirate. It was hit with a $7K fine, reduced to $500 not because of the checking account statements the licensee sent (it should have sent tax returns), but due to a spirit of leniency of late with FCC translator violations.

Jack W. Ivy, licensee of WRMG-AM Red Bay AL, had a 4/1/04 expiration date, requiring a renewal application in the FCC’s hands by 12/1/03. The licensee did not apply before the FCC notified it that it was in fact no longer a licensee, on 3/17/05. After several rounds of back and forth including assessment of a $7K fine, the FCC allowed the station to live and canceled the fine, hitting Ivy with an admonishment instead.

Cactus Communications, licensee of KKAY-AM White Castle LA, faced a license expiration date of 6/1/04, requiring an application at the FCC no later than 2/1/04, but did not file until 3/31/04. It thus avoided becoming a de facto spectrum pirate, and was hit with the standard $1.5K fine. Ironically, although its offense was the least egregious of the three detailed in this article, it will end up paying the highest fine, simply because it is able to.