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STL Snafu May Cost Four Corners

Colorado broadcaster is assessed $25,000 penalty

A Colorado broadcaster that apparently moved three STL transmitters from one location to another several years ago now faces a costly fine as a result.

Four Corners Broadcasting has been assessed $25,000 in proposed penalties by the FCC for allegedly operating the STL facilities from the wrong spot. The commission took the extra step of increasing the fines due to “the deliberate nature of the violations and the long duration” of its operation.

The commission issued the notice of apparent liability to Four Corners for operating studio-transmitter links for stations KIQX(FM), KRSJ(FM) and KIUP(AM) in Durango, Colo., “from a location not authorized by their respective FCC licenses.” An inspection last year found that the three STL transmitters were situated at the main studio on Turner Drive in Durango, whereas they are licensed to a location about a half mile away. The commission said that the company director of engineering had told an agent earlier that the STLs relocated in 2007.

According to the FCC summary, the company did not deny the violations in a response but said that remedial actions had been completed and modification applications had been filed. Yet the FCC said the subsequent requested approvals had been dismissed, and in a followup inspection in July of this year, it found that the STLs were still at the wrong location.

The base forfeiture for operating at an unauthorized location is $4,000, which would have produced a $12,000 total proposed fine; the commission said the nature of the violation merited an increase to $25,000.

The company has 30 days to pay or appeal.