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Florida Stations Penalized in Public File Case

Sister stations each face $10,000 fines

Two Horton Broadcasting stations in Florida face $10,000 FCC fines each in a public file violation case.

In applying for renewal of the licenses, WSBH(FM) in Satellite Beach, Fla. and WHLG(FM) in Port St. Lucie, Fla. answered “no” to the question on the FCC form about whether all the necessary documentation had been placed in their public inspection files.

The stations explained that their files contained a complete listing of PSAs but that the staff had been “unaware that issues-programs reports were to be prepared and placed in the file on a quarterly basis.”

The employees have since been trained, the broadcaster said, and were reconstructing the missing information.

As it has done in other such cases, the FCC has announced a proposed penalty, saying that the stations self-reported only because they were compelled to do so by license renewal. Further, the commission staff considers the violations “extensive” — in the case of WHLG, occurring over a period of more than five years and involving at least 22 issues/programs lists.

The stations have 30 days to pay or appeal.

The FCC said the violations were not serious enough to jeopardize the stations’ pending license renewals.