FCC is Making News! (Posted Aug 10)
The FCC is much in the news today—first, the Appeals Court throwing out the FCC’s indecency policy, and now a hefty fine—and more—for an LPFM (not a member of NFCB). The station is KEIF-LP in Enid, OK.
The FCC assessed a $10K fine (half for having the antenna at the wrong height) and half for the underwriting violation—which is higher than usual because this station had been previously admonished for underwriting violations.
But of greater import, attorney Melodie Virtue (of Garvey Schubert Barer) points out, is that the FCC imposed a short term renewal and onerous reporting conditions (see para. 14).
The NAL says,
“Further, beginning 180 days from the date of this NAL, and every 180 days thereafter until grant of Station’s next license renewal, if granted and if on renewal the Commission does not continue this requirement, Licensee must file with the Bureau a report containing (a) a list of all program underwriters and other persons or entities whose donations, payments, or contributions have been acknowledged on-air during the 180-day period of the report; (b) a list of the times and dates of all on-air announcements acknowledging or aired in exchange for donations, program underwriting, or other receipts of goods, services, or other consideration by Licensee; (c) the text of all on-air announcements listed in response to item (b); and (d) operating logs indicating that the Station has been operating at all times in compliance with its authorization and all applicable Commission technical rules.
Procedurally, this case arose from an objection to its 2005 renewal application.
Melodie says, “The other interesting aspect of this decision from my view is that the FCC listened to the station's stream to confirm the text of announcements contained in the petition. Also, even though you are not supposed to be penalized for not responding to a petition (see footnote 11), the FCC used the licensee's lack of response in justifying the upward adjustment of the underwriting portion of the proposed forfeiture/short-term renewal/reporting conditions.”
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