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Hawaii FM Owner to Pay $10K in Consent Decree

Control of the licensee changed twice without the required FCC OK

The licensee of an FM station in Hawaii has agreed to pay $10,000 as part of a consent decree with the FCC in a case involving improper transfer of control of the company.

The Audio Division of the Media Bureau adopted the consent decree with Hochman Hawaii Five Inc., licensee of KRYL(FM) and its President George Hochman. The Class C1 station airs on 106.5 MHz in Haiku on the island of Maui.

According to the commission, this case arose when the FCC was asked to approve a transfer of control from the initial shareholders of HHFI to Hochman. In the course of considering it, the staff found that a stock transfer agreement submitted with the application revealed that Hochman had acquired control of HHFI in 2020 without prior authorization and that another shareholder had previously acquired control in 2017, also without authorization.

It turns out that in 2011, when HHFI acquired the station license, the company was owned by four shareholders including George Hochman, each with 25% of its voting stock. But one of them, William Mays, died in 2014 and his estate in 2017 transferred its voting stock to a third investor, William Poorman, giving him 50% ownership and negative control of the company without required commission consent.

Then in 2020, Poorman agreed to transfer all of his voting stock to Hochman, again without FCC involvement.

Under the consent decree, the company states that it violated the relevant rules and agrees to pay the $10,000 civil penalty.

Assuming that is paid and no other issues arise, the bureau agrees to grant the transfer application.

[Read more regulatory and business news.]