The Federal Communications Commission cut a $7,000 fine against an LPFM station down to $500. The penalty was imposed for not filing its station renewal application on time and operating an unauthorized station.
Soul’s Harbor Assembly of God Church is the licensee of WRDS(LP) in Rosecommon, Mich. On June 1, 2004, the WRDS renewal application should have been filed but was not, according to the commission. The station’s license expired Oct. 1, 2004. WRDS filed for renewal Oct. 29 and did not ask for special temporary authorization to continue station operations while the commission considered its late renewal application.
In 2007, the FCC fined the church $7,000. The church argued that its late renewal application was “inadvertent,” according to the commission. The licensee also said it didn’t have enough money to pay the fine and asked that it be reduced or eliminated.
The commission said this week in its decision it doesn’t matter if a violation was inadvertent, you must still pay the fine. The agency said the documents provided by the church were insufficient to support its inability to pay. However, the commission did reduce the fine to $500 based on a previous LPFM case in which a late-filed renewal application fine was reduced from the original $1,500 to $250.