LPTVs are under no compunction to follow rules pertaining to children’s programming, but Class As must follow the full-power rules. Many of them have failed in that endeavor and some have been busted down to LPTV status – here are three more merely facing a fine.
Each had varying degrees of culpability and ended up getting hit with different sized fines. In general, information one children’s programming is supposed to be placed in the station’s public file, a quarterly report is supposed to be filed with the FCC, and public notice is to be made noting the existence of the reports.
Many Class As failed to follow one or all of these requirements, and then compounded the error by failing to respond to FCC inquiries on the matter. In fact, this happened so frequently during the course of 2012 that many of us, including this publication, speculated that the FCC was using the requirement as a means to clear television spectrum in advance of the impending incentive auctions.
For the record, it is never a good idea to ignore a request from the FCC. And the Commission has FCC has clearly shown that as long as a Class A does take the time to respond and redress the situation, it will issue a fine but leave the station’s all-important Class A status intact.
The status is important because Class As are a protected class and can expect to survive repacking, and further have the right to participate in the auctions. LPTVs as yet have no guarantee of survival and are not invited to the auction.
Briefly, the stations caught up in the latest dragnet are these:
* WHDT-CD Miami FL and WYDT-CA Naples FL, licensed to Guenter Marksteiner. They are liable for a fine of $12K.
* W39CA Fulton MS, licensed to Unity Broadcasting Inc., liable for a $15K fine.
* K48MR-D Brentonville & Rogers AR, licensed to Victory Communications Inc., liable for a $20K fine.