The limits of good faith


Three California stations owned by Lazer Licenses LLC were hit with public file violations and fined a total of $12K. The licensee was able to get that total reduced to $8K but in so doing has apparently exhausted the FCC’s forgiving nature. At issue were the issues/program lists for the stations, which were in the files when an FCC agent requested them. Lazer had been maintaining the lists, but they were not in the file and not readily locatable, Lazer explained, due to staff turnover.

The FCC took into account the company’s good faith effort to adhere to the public file rules, and reduced the fine. Lazer asked that since it had taken remedial steps to avoid a future occurrence of the violation that the fine should be dropped in its entirety. That is a place the FCC does not go – a licensee is expected to follow the rules, and is not rewarded for following them, and it especially is not rewarded for following them after having broken them.

The stations involved in the proceeding are KSBQ-AM Santa Maria, KLMM-FM Morro Bay and KLUN-FM Paso Robles, all in California.

RBR/TVBR observation: Lazer may want to take its savings and pipe down. As it pointed out itself, public file violations routinely draw $10K fines. This incident could easily have started at $30K rather than $12K.