The FCC has proposed an $18,000 fine against Encino Broadcasting for filing its license renewal paperwork late and operating its stations after their licenses expired.
Encino owns three Texas AMs: KELG in Manor, KOKE in Pflugerville and KTXZ in West Lake Hills.
The renewal paperwork for the stations was due by April 1 of this year but was not filed. So the Media Bureau staff wrote to Encino, telling the licensee that its authority to operate the facilities would end Aug. 1 and the calls would be deleted from the FCC’s database. Any operation after Aug. 1 was unauthorized, the commission says it told Encino.
On Aug. 8, the broadcaster filed renewal applications and on Aug. 12 it filed requests for Special Temporary Authority to continue the station’s operations pending consideration of the renewal requests. Encino also sought reinstatement of the station licenses and call letters.
Encino manager and owner Jose J. Garcia Jr. admitted he was late with the paperwork; he told the commission he’d had a number of “serious and debilitating illnesses” since 2008 and could not fully complete his broadcast duties. He told the commission his health is now improving and he hopes to take on more duties.
Taking into account the circumstances, the agency did knock off $3,000 from the total and proposed an $18,000 fine. Encino has 30 days to appeal or pay the penalty.
The Media Bureau found no pattern of abuse and reinstated the call letters. In the Media Bureau decision, the commission says it will grant the license renewals once the forfeiture proceeding is completed.