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FCC Applies Fine to WPLY

Operating with only one tower at reduced power without permission an issue, says agency.

The FCC has proposed a $17,000 fine against Nassau Broadcasting Partners-owned WPLY(AM), Mount Pocono, Pa. for operating with only one of its four directional antennas and at reduced power without permission. The station also lacked a public inspection file at its main studio, says the FCC.

In March 2010, agents inspected WPLY’s main studio in Stroudsburg, Pa. The engineer told field agents the station was using only one of its four authorized towers with only 250 watts instead of its authorized daytime power of 1,000 watts. The engineer also told the FCC the station had no permission to do so. On April 5, 2010, Nassau Broadcasting notified the agents the company filed for an STA that day to operate WPLY at reduced power using one of its towers. The commission granted the application the next day.

Crown Castle, which maintains WPLY’s towers, confirmed to the FCC that the station had been operating with only one of its four towers for eight years, when Nassau purchased the station. The engineer and sales manager also told the FCC that Nassau had never maintained a public file for WPLY at the main studio, according to the commission’s account.

The commission told Nassau to submit a statement confirming that it has established a public file for WPLY. Nassau has 30 days to appeal.