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FCC Reduces EAS Fine

FCC Reduces EAS Fine

The FCC upheld an EAS fine for KZBN(AM), Santa Barbara, Calif., but reduced the dollar amount.
The case stems from an inspection in 2002, when a field agent found no EAS equipment installed. The GM told the agent the unit was out for repair.
Originally the station was fined $8,000 for not having a working EAS encoder/decoder and for log entries that did not mention whether the unit had been installed, was working or that it was out for repair.
FCC rules allow a station to operate without defective EAS equipment for 60 days, but the station log must indicate when the unit was removed for repair. Should the repair take longer, the station must seek permission for additional repair time from the nearest field office.
The licensee, Rotijefc Inc., does not dispute that its EAS unit repair took longer than 60 days, and that it did not have agency approval for the extra time. It argued that it had a good record previously, and paying an $8,000 fine would be a financial hardship.
The commission reduced the fine because the station did send the unit out for repair, but said the penalty was justified because the licensee violated its EAS rules.