Radio public file fines reduced but FCC will not take them to zero


All broadcast stations are required to keep a public file, with certain required information present for public inspection at any time. Failure to comply with this rule can result in a fine of up to $10K. Three radio stations managed to get reductions, but will still have to pay up.

Two of the stations are licensed to Siloam Springs AR, in the Fayetteville AR market, and were co-owned when the file violations took place. John Brown University is still the licensee of KLRC-FM, but has since sold KUOA-AM.
Both had serious file omissions, and both confessed on their own – for that, they were granted a $1K deduction from the standard fine, down to $9K. But they wanted more shaved off.

They researched other cases that involved file infractions of one sort or another, but the FCC found that none of the cases cited were duplications of the infractions committed at KLRC and KUOA and declined to consider them precedential insofar as granting the licensee a further reduction.

The FCC did give each station a further $1.8K reduction based on a prior record of compliance with FCC rules and regulations, bringing the total liability down to $7.2K each.

The third station was KSJS-FM San Jose CA, licensed to San Jose State University. It was also assessed $9K at the outset, and also sought further reductions. In addition to citing other cases, it also pleaded inability to pay.

It received the same denial of reduction on the case citations as did John Brown U. As for the financial distress claim, it did not provide sufficient evidence, of the type the FCC prefers, to get out of the fine. It did, however, receive a $1K reduction for past compliance, resulting in a final liability of $8K.