And the fish the FCC found in its web are big ones – Cumulus in Kansas City MO, Cox in Miami-Ft. Lauderdale FL and – perhaps surprisingly — Entravision in McAllen-Brownsville TX. Fines ranged from $3K to 12K and all three companies were placed on reporting conditions.
For Cumulus, it had 14 vacancies during a roughly five month period. Two organizations which had asked to be notified were omitted – one all 14 times, and the other 13 times. It’s liable for a $3K fine. Stations involved include KCMO-AM Kansas City; KCMO-FM Shawnee; KCFX-FM Harrisonville; KCJK-FM Garden City and KMJK-FM Lexington,all in MO.
Cox had 25 openings over two years and had a number of violations, including using only internet and internal postings combined with employee referrals or walk-ins on seven occasions, and is liable for $9K. Stations involved include WFLC-FM, WHQT-FM, WEDR-FM, and WHDR-FM. WHQT is licensed to Coral Gables FL; the other three to Miami.
Over a year, Entravision did almost no recruiting, relying on on-air announcements, the internet and referrals and other similar techniques, and was hit with a $12K fine. Stations involved include KFRQ-FM, Harlingen; KNVO-FM, Port Isabel; KVLY-FM Edinburg; and KKPS-FM, Brownsville, all in TX.
RBR/TVBR observation: Some may be surprised to see an Hispanic broadcaster get nailed on an EEO charge, but we’re not, because we’ve seen it before. For the FCC, it’s not about the ethnicity of the licensee, it’s about following the rules as written. We suspect that minority broadcasters can get lulled into a false sense of security when it comes to EEO compliance. Don’t – failure to comply can cost you some cold hard cash.