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FCC Cuts KGNT RFR Fine to $9,200

Station cites transmitter site vandalism

The penalty against Frandsen Media Co., licensee of station KGNT(FM), Smithfield, Utah, for radio frequency exposure and power level violations has progressed to a $9,200 forfeiture.

Frandsen didn’t deny the violations, but asked for the fine to be reduced or cancelled.

The Enforcement Bureau’s Denver office originally proposed a $14,000 penalty in 2011 for not complying with the commission’s RFR maximum permissible exposure limit and operating the transmitter at an unauthorized power level. During a 2010 inspection, agents found that RFR measurements taken in an easily accessed, unfenced area at the transmitter exceeded the maximum permitted RFR exposure limits. The agents also determined that KGNT’s effective radiated power was 156% of the stations authorized ERP.

KGNT blamed vandalism at its transmitter site for the problems, telling the commission that RFR warning signs previously posted in the area were stolen before the inspection; the station also told the agency it made good faith efforts to comply with commission rules.

The agency didn’t think cancellation was appropriate, noting that while Frandsen may be right that the RFR signs were stolen in an act of vandalism, the last site inspection was at least five months before the Enforcement Bureau inspection. “Frandsen was aware since at least 2005 that a publicly accessible unfenced area existed around the KGNT transmitter that exceeded the RFR exposure limits,” noted the commission in its decision, noting the licensee gave that information to the agency as part of its license renewal paperwork that year.

However the agency did cut the fine by $2,800 based on the licensee’s past history of good compliance. Frandsen has 30 days to pay.