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Nebraska College Station Is Fined in Public File Case

FCC finalizes decision more than 3-1/2 years later

A $7,200 fine might be small enough to be considered a “cost of doing business” at some companies. But that’s less likely true at a college station.

The FCC this week has fined Wayne State College in Nebraska that amount in a case involving proper maintenance of — you guessed it — the public file. The station is KWSC(FM).

Also of note is the time frame involved. The original notice of apparent liability for $9,000 was issued in August 2005, and the station asked for a reduction the next month.

The case involved the station’s application for license renewal in early 2005. The station reported to the FCC in its application that it had not placed quarterly issues/programs lists in its public inspection file for a period of about three years, through the fourth quarter of 2004.

After being notified of the pending $9,000 fine, the station argued that it had records of its programming, if not in the required form; that it had taken immediate corrective action when it realized its error and implemented steps to avoid it for the future; and that its budget was small and that the original fine would have a “chilling effect on [its] ability to continue full-time operations.”

The FCC rejected its arguments but noted the station’s history of compliance and reduced the fine to $7,200.