It’s OK to lease programming, sales and certain other functions of a broadcast station to a second party; however, the licensee is still on the hook for ultimate management of the station and is still responsible for meeting all FCC requirements. That is why The Padner Group LLC is on the hook for a public file violation at WODR-FM Fair Bluff NC.
The station’s public file was missing issues/program lists for the better part of three years running from 2006-2008. Padner divulged this information to the FCC when applying for a license renewal. It noted that during much of this period the station was LMA’d to another party, an LMA which has since run its course. The company reinstated the practice of maintaining the lists beginning in Q4 2008. It says it’s looking for the missing lists.
Padner did not attempt to duck responsibility for the omission, and the FCC noted it had a record of compliance with FCC rules and regulations. However, the lengthy duration of the violation led the FCC to levy the full standard $10K fine.
The FCC also said that the licensee evidenced no pattern of abuse, nor was it guilty of serious violations, and that it had served the public interest, and granted it a license renewal.
The $10K levy is at the notice of apparent liability phase, and Padner does have an opportunity to respond.