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Mississippi AM Is Hit With $15,000 Fine

FCC says WTKN didn't air IDs, violated main studio and antenna enclosure rules.

The FCC has fined the owner of an AM station in Mississippi $15,000 in a case involving proper enclosure of the antenna and its main studio and station ID rules.

The licensee is Perihelion Global; the station is WTKN(AM) in Corinth.

The FCC New Orleans office responded to a complaint last February alleging several violations including lack of a main studio. The commission said multiple calls to the station from an agent were not returned. It monitored the station several times over three days and heard no station IDs. Further, an agent went to the transmitter site and found a large hole in the locked gate for the protective fence surrounding the antenna structure. The FCC could identify no main studio or contact station personnel, on site or by phone.

The commission said it then heard from the station’s attorney, who asked to modify a previously submitted STA request to allow the station to operate without a main studio. The attorney stated the studio was at the transmitter site but that weather had rendered an access path impassable a majority of the time.

In issuing its fine the commission ruled, among other things, that it had been unable to determine whether the station was equipped with the required production and transmission facilities or find any evidence that WTKN employed local staff. It also said the station facility was inaccessible to the public, in a pasture and not visible from the road, marked with no signs.

Perihelion did not dispute the FCC’s findings but said it had been the victim of sabotage to devalue the company and claimed someone intentionally programmed its computer to remove the station IDs. It also asked to pay its fine in six installments but the commission said it had failed to provide the requested documentation or good faith payment.