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Rama Faces $25,000 in Fines

FCC says company failed to have meaningful presence at LMA station in Florida

The FCC fined Rama Communications, licensee of WRHB(AM) in Leesburg, Fla., a total of $25,000 for not having sufficient staffing at its main studio and not maintaining its public file.

The commission responded to a complaint about WRHB and inspected the station’s main studio and transmitter site in September 2009. All the staff present said they were employed by Heartbeat Radio and no one employed by Rama was there, according to a report from the Enforcement Bureau’s Tampa Office.

Heartbeat provides programming for WRHB under a time brokerage agreement with Rama; this is allowed, but FCC main studio rules require that a licensee “maintain a meaningful management and staff presence” with full-time managerial and staff at the main studio. The commission said there was no evidence that Rama ever maintained a full-time managerial and staff presence at the main studio.

Also, issues/program lists were missing from the public file after June of 2007 as was a copy of the time brokerage deal, according to the commission.

In setting the fine, the commission warned Rama that future violations may result in more severe penalties, including “significantly larger” amounts.

Rama has 30 days to either pay the fine, or seek to have it reduced or cancelled.