Station not only survives, it gets big discount


Boston area station WDIS-AM Norfolk MA, licensed to Discussion Radio Inc., was not only looking at a $16.5K fine, it was facing an existential threat as the FCC said that a laundry list of violations “were particularly egregious to the extent that the Commission found that renewal of the WDIS license presented a ‘very close question.’” The violations included problems with its license renewal, unauthorized operation of the stations and its public file. The station not only survived that, it has produced tax records for the years 2001 through 2003 and convinced the FCC to lower the fine, all the way down to $1.2K.

RBR/TVBR observation: Filing renewal apps late is a fairly common oversight. The FCC expects that paperwork to be submitted well in advance of the license expiration date, and most violations involve submissions in between. If a station fails to get the paperwork in prior to expiration and keeps broadcasting anyway, it is legally no different than a spectrum pirate. So WDIS does seem lucky to have gotten through this relatively unscathed, although nobody can take much pride in escaping a fine on grounds of overall poverty.