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FCC Changes Course on KWVE EAS Fine

Broadcasters had worried about impact on LP-1s

The Federal Communications Commission has reversed itself in a case that raised broadcaster hackles, and rescinded a $5,000 levied on KWVE(FM), San Clemente, Calif.

Instead, the commission has now admonished the Calvary Chapel station for transmitting an unauthorized Required Monthly Test of the Emergency Alert System.

The Enforcement Bureau reconsidered its earlier fine from this September against the station and set that aside because of the unique circumstances at hand, “including the voluntary and critical nature of the service provided by local primary stations in enabling statewide EAS activity.”

Fifty state broadcast associations had protested the fine and asked the agency to reconsider or cancel the penalty, fearing that it might deter other stations in the EAS chain from volunteering as Local Primaries because of fear of penalties for errors made during good faith operation.