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FCC Hands Two FM Translator Licensees $1,500 Forfeitures

The commission said the licensees failed to file license renewal applications on time

The Media Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission continues to remind licensees of their duty to file their license renewal applications on time.

The bureau said licensees from the California cities of Moreno Valley and Death Valley were both liable for a monetary forfeiture of $1,500 for not submitting a license renewal on the fourth full calendar month before the expiration of their FM translator license. 

In both cases —for K204BW, which is licensed by the Death Valley Natural History Association, and K293CF, licensed by RFEngineers Inc. — the bureau said the licensees should have renewed their license by Aug. 2, 2021. That day was the first business day of the fourth full month prior to the stations’ license expiration date. 

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In both of these cases, the applications weren’t submitted until Nov. 29, 2021, only two days before the license was set to expire on December 1.

Neither licensee gave a reason for the late filing, the bureau said. 

As a result, the bureau moved to penalize the two licensees and looked to its own forfeiture policy for guidance. According to the rules, a base forfeiture for failing to file a required form is $3,000. The bureau does have the ability to adjust that base forfeiture up or down considering the nature of the violation. In both of these cases, the licensees did file their applications prior to the expiration of the station’s license; however, applications were still filed late. 

Since the service that a translator provides is considered a secondary service, the bureau said both licensees are required to pay a $1,500 forfeiture instead of the full $3,000. Each licensee has 30 days to pay the forfeiture or file a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.