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GAP’s $65,000 Phone Call

2007 auction incident is costly for broadcaster

George Laughlin’s GAP Broadcasting is paying a heavy price for a phone call.

GAP and KM Communications each took part in Auction No. 70 in 2007. They were both bidding for a CP for an Eldorado, Texas, frequency. During the auction, Gap’s Laughlin called GAP to see if they were interested in selling any of their radio stations. Laughlin said he no longer intended to bid on the CP.

The Federal Communications Commission looked into whether the conversation amounted to collusion during the auction.

While GAP admits it didn’t disclose the call to the commission, attorney Howard Liberman tells the FCC that neither GAP nor KM “was a member of any bidding consortium or other joint arrangement in Auction 70.”

As part of a consent decree, GAP agreed to make a “voluntary contribution” of $65,000 to the U.S. Treasury and to participate in a compliance plan to include staff training on auction rules.