Station owner says power compliance is too expensive


KCKX(AM) Stayton OR operates on 1460 kHz, and is licensed for 1 kW during the day but only 15 Watts at night. An FCC field agent out of the Portland OR office took field strength measurements and found on two occasions that the night time power reduction wasn’t happening. The owner said it was to expensive to make the switch.

The agent first showed up on 4/22/10, and took measurements before and after sunset about 1 kilometer from the station. Measurement was repeated the next day with the same results. A visit to the station on 4/26/10 resulted in a conversation with a technical representative and a call to a consulting engineer and a subsequent failed attempt to bring the night time power down to the licensed level.

The station’s licensee is Donald D. Coss. According to the FCC, “During an interview with the Portland agent, the owner of Station KCKX(AM) stated that he was aware of the requirement to reduce the operating power to the authorized power levels for nighttime operation but stated that it was too expensive to maintain the calibrated time-keeping devices, power switching devices, and other equipment necessary to effect the timely change in power.”

Not only was the immediate violation repeated for at least two days, Coss had a prior violation back in 2000. Therefore, the FCC took the base fine for the offense, $4K, and adjusted it upward to $6K. He is also required to make a sworn statement within 30 days that the problem has been corrected and put on notice that a similar violation in the future may result in sterner enforcement measures.