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FCC Upholds $7,000 Fine For WMSR(AM)

FCC Upholds $7,000 Fine For WMSR(AM)

The licensee of Manchester, Tennessee station WMSR(AM), Coffee County Broadcasting, asked the FCC to cancel a $7,000 fine against Coffee for failing to have a meaningful staff presence at its main studio during business hours. The commission said “no” and gave Coffee 30 days to pay.
The case began in July of 2002 when a field inspector couldn’t get into the main studio and several calls were referred to an answering machine. The GM confirmed the studio remained unstaffed during the day. He told the commission he was not aware of the staffing requirements for the main studio.
Coffee says it now has full-time main studio staff during business hours and argued that paying the fine would be a financial strain. The agency said financial information provided by Coffee shows the fine would be a “small percentage” of the station’s gross revenues.