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Estate Executors Beware

Estate Executors Beware

Executors of estates for late broadcast licensees may be held liable for the mistakes of those licensees if problems remain unresolved. Take the case of the late Carlos Ortiz, licensee of low-power TV station KCOS in Phoenix. The FCC has fined his widow, Aracelis Ortiz, the executrix of his estate, $12,000. Violations include failure to have working EAS equipment at the station and failure to have a main studio within the KCOS Grade B contour.
The original fine was $15,000; however the commission found Aracelis Ortiz’s lease for a main studio evidence of good faith to comply with the rules, so it reduced the fine. She had also ordered and paid for EAS equipment but it hadn’t arrived by the time of the field agent’s inspection. That fine was cut also.
The agency noted, however that Aracelis Ortiz had two years between her husband’s death and the issuance of the original fine to become aware of her responsibilities as a broadcast licensee.