Two radio clusters hit with FCC EEO fines


A lot of times you see small broadcasters, often very small non-profits, trip over one routine FCC regulation or another and end up getting hit with a fine. But it also happens to established radio groups operating strong clusters in decent-sized Arbitron-rated markets. Such is the case before us today, involving Max Media in Norfolk-Newport News, Clear Channel in Greenville-Spartanburg, and the FCC’s EEO rules.

The Max Media cluster, in Virginia’s biggest media market, includes WGH AM-FM, WVBW-FM, WVHT-FM and WVSP-FM. The FCC looked at public files running from 6/1/09 through 5/31/11. The FCC found that 14 positions were filled during that time period, and in five cases, Max failed to “properly recruit widely” to fill them. Twice it relied solely on internet postings to fill them, and in three other cases, web sites, word-of-mouth and employee bulletin boards were the only tactics used to fill the positions.

The result for Max is an $8K fine and reporting conditions.

The Clear Channel Greenville-Spartanburg cluster consists of WSSL-FM, WGVL-AM, WMYI-FM, WESC-FM, WLFJ-AM and WROO-FM. During the same time span, it filled 13 positions and did so eight times without proper wide recruitment. The eight hirings were the result of website or word-of-mouth efforts.

The result for Clear Channel is a $14K fine and reporting conditions.