We rarely see the FCC get as hot as it has in this instance. WJIF-FM, licensed to Opp Educational Broadcasting Foundation in Opp AL, was subject to a complaint back on 8/7/08 that it was not participating in EAS tests. A round of correspondences (and failures to correspond on the station’s part) resulted in a notice of apparent liability for a $19K fine, demands for an almost immediate response and threats of further punitive action.
The FCC’s first detailed LOI went out 11/4/08. According to the FCC, OEBF failed to answer “any of the inquiries” other than to say that it formerly participated in EAS tests but that its equipment was in disrepair.
On 3/4/09, the FCC followed up, requesting many details regarding the EAS situation, and says that as of 8/31/09 is has received no response.
The least of it is the EAS situation – it’s being hit for $8K on that count.
It has taken a base $4K fine for failure to respond to an FCC communication and jacked it up to $11K, and tacked on some strong language, writing, “Misconduct of this type exhibits contempt for the Commission’s authority and threatens to compromise the agency’s ability to adequately investigate violations of its Rules.”
The FCC gave it a scant ten days to respond to its latest correspondence, promising further action including possibly more fines.
RBR/TVBR observation: The language of the FCC tends to suggest over and over to those of us who read it often that it treasures candor above almost all things, even compliance – witness how it will frequently reduce a fine for a miscreant who was honest about it. And here we get a not-at-all subtle reminder that the FCC absolutely despises being ignored.