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Clarion Loses Appeal in Post-Sunset Case

Case involves how long the FCC has to send an NAL

A Pennsylvania station received an NAL from the FCC for a violation that occurred more than a year earlier. The broadcaster argued the FCC took too long under the rules.

Now the FCC says no to the appeal.

Clarion County Broadcasting is the case at hand. It will have to pay a $4,000 fine in a post-sunset authorization case.

The company, which owns WKQW(AM/FM) in Oil City, Pa., received a notice of apparent liability in March 2010 from the Enforcement Bureau, for operating beyond its post-sunset authorization on 21 days in the fall of 2008.

Clarion argued that based on the rules, the FCC was required to issue an NAL within a year of the date of the first violation.

But the FCC said Clarion was misreading the rules, and that although the NAL was not in fact issued within a year, the rules still permit a fine because the violations happened during the station’s current license term.

Clarion also argued that its good compliance record meant the fine should be reduced. But the FCC rejected that, citing a Notice of Violation in 2010 for problems found during an earlier inspection.