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LPFM Denied Due to Pirate History

FCC upholds decision to deny Florida entity due to prior unauthorized operations

Past deeds can come back to haunt you, particularly when a deed allegedly involves operating a radio station without a license.

WKMJ Radio Live The People Station Inc. asked the FCC to reconsider a ruling in which the commission had denied the group’s application for an LPFM station in Pinellas Park, Fla. The application was rejected, the commission said, because Kervenson Joseph, chief executive officer of WKMJ, was found to have operated a pirate station.

In 2013, officers from the Pinellas Park Police and field agents from the FCC discovered Joseph engaging in unlicensed transmissions at his office in Pinellas Park, Fla., according to a commission account.

In its request that the FCC reconsider its LPFM application, WKMJ did not dispute those findings or deny that Joseph had operated an unlicensed station, the commission said. The group argued that the application should be reinstated because the police account was an “unsworn, unauthenticated“ report and because the state attorney for Pinellas County did not prosecute Joseph.

No luck, said the FCC. The commission will only reconsider a petition if there’s an error in the original order or if additional material facts are raised, the agency said. The commission found that WKMJ did not meet this burden, and as a result it denied the petition and affirmed its dismissal of the application.