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JMK Fined $14,000

JMK Fined $14,000

The FCC fined JMK Communications $14,000 for operating WPWC(AM) at unauthorized power levels and failing to place a current ownership report and a program list in the public inspection file. Originally, the Columbia, Md. field office recommended a $22,000 fine against the station, licensed to Dumfries-Triangle, Va. During an inspection in 2003, the agent found the EAS receiver wasn’t tuned to the correct station. It was installed at the station’s unattended transmitter and its monitoring and transmitting functions were not available to the station’s operators either at WPWC or its secondary studio in Woodbridge, Va.
According to station logs, WPWC operated with its daytime power of 1,080 watts at night. The authorized nighttime power is 540 watts.
The station wasn’t powering down until 8:30, instead of its authorized 8:15 power change, according to the field agent.
JMK asked for the fine to be cancelled or reduced. It pointed out that WPWC’s EAS equipment is installed at the transmitter site and operates automatically, including a remote control override. Its set-up is consistent with FCC rules that allow automatic operation of the EAS system by stations that use remote control. Therefore, the commission reduced the fine by $8,000.
WPWC CE Al Hammond told the agency the station did power down at its authorized time and that the logs were wrong. Initially, the station said the logs were accurate. The FCC didn’t agree, and let stand this portion of the fine.
As to what was in the WPW public file, JMK said it gave the latest ownership report to the commission but did not have it in its public file.
Both JMK and the commission agreed WPWC did not have an adequately detailed community issues/program list in its public file.