Two ways to reduce an FCC late renewal fine


Hawkins Broadcasting Company, licensee of WWHN-AM Joliet IL, and Communications Systems Inc., licensee of WFMI-FM Southern Shores NC, both failed to timely renew their broadcast licenses and were fined. Both managed to get a reduction.

WFMI had a lesser infraction – it missed the application deadline, which is four months prior to license expiration, but managed to get the application in to the FCC on 11/21/03, over a week prior to the 12/1/03 expiration date. That earned a fine of $1.5K. The licensee was able to get a $300 discount thanks to a clean record of compliance with FCC rules and regs, bringing its liability down to $1.2K.

WWHN missed both the application deadline and the license expiration date. That tacks an unauthorized operation fine on to the late filing fine, and the FCC hit the station with a Notice of Apparent Liability for $7K. The station pleaded poverty, and provided federal tax returns to support its case. The FCC agreed that a reduction was in order, and issued a forfeiture liability total of $4K.