What’s worse than a public file fine?


FCCAnswer: Two public file fines – that’s what happens when the same FCC sin is duplicated at both parts of an AM-FM combo. And it gets worse yet: it does more than simply take a standard fine and cause it to be doubled.

The stations involved this time are WCSM AM & FM in Celina OH, owned by Hayco Broadcasting. The stations serve a portion of the state to the southwest of Lima.

And it seems that the issues/program lists for the period between Q4 2004 and Q4 2006 are missing from the public file of both stations.

Hayco said that the lists were properly prepared and filed, but at some point were removed from the files and can no longer be located. It also noted that it had maintained a history of compliance with FCC rules and regulations, a state that often leads to a reduction in any penalties levied by the FCC for a violation.

In this case, the standard fine for each public file omission is $10K, and both stations were hit with it, for a total penalty of $20K.

And guess what? Neither station is considered to have a clean record because of the penalty levied against the other. In other words, because WCSM-AM now has a violation on its record, WCSM-FM is not eligible for a history-of-compliance fine reduction, and vice versa.

However, the violations are not deemed to gravely serious and the FCC has found them to have operated in the public service, and has therefore renewed each license.

The levy is at the notice of apparent liability stage – Hayco still has an opportunity to appeal.