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College Station Signs FCC Consent Decree

KNMC in Montana acknowledges it broke two rules

KNMC event program cover
Programs for a KNMC event this month as shown in a station social media post.

Student-run noncommercial radio stations still must adhere to the FCC’s rules. The case of a college station in Montana reminds us of that afresh.

The Audio Division of the Media Bureau said it has reached a consent decree with Montana State University Northern, the licensee of KNMC(FM) in Havre, Mont., over compliance with FCC rules for filing for license renewal and maintaining an online public file.

The license renewal should have been filed by Dec. 1, 2020, but was not filed until four months later. The commission also said the station had failed to place any issues and programs lists in its online public file before this April.

In the consent decree, the school stipulates that it violated the rules and will pay a penalty of $500. It will also put in place a compliance plan that makes sure the violations don’t happen again.

If it seems like the station is getting off easier than others might, it’s because the commission has a policy about certain cases that involve first-time violations by student-run NCE radio stations. In such situations it may offer a consent decree with terms like those that KNMC agreed to.

KNMC was started by English and speech instructor W.E. “Bill” Lisenby in the early 1950s and came to the FM dial in 1978.