The FCC can and will bring the hammer down on a station that fails to bring its power down, if a night time power-down is called for in the station’s license. Such is the case with WOIR-AM Miami FL, a station an FCC agent found to be operating at full daytime power after the sun had gone down.
The station is licensed to ERJ Media Inc. The 1430 kHz facility has 5 kW at its disposal during the day, but must cut that by a factor of 10 at night, when its license specifies broadcast with 500 Watts.
The FCC said it was checking out a complaint when it sent an agent to check out the situation. On two consecutive nights – 2/10/12 and 2/11/12 – the agent said there was no discernable difference in the station’s output after it should have dropped down to the lower power.
ERJ had no explanation for the failure to power down when it was inspected 2/13/12.
The station was hit with a Notice of Apparent Liability for $4K fine and put on reporting conditions, being required to attest under penalty of perjury that it is operating according to the terms of its license.
RBR-TVBR observation: We have a vague recollection of reading a particular Superman comic during our misspent youth. Although our memory of the plot line is spotty, we recall that for some reason Superman had to establish bona fides with the wild youth of the day, and to that end he became a boss jock going by the moniker Clark the K. To make sure he became an overnight sensation, without authorization, he used his super powers to radically boost the power of the station. It had the desired effect – Clark the K was a hit! Knowing what we know now, we have to wonder what the FCC thought about that plot line…