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Sun Valley Loses Its Public File Appeal

Three years down the road, FCC says owner will have to pay in Issues and Programs violation.

You can turn yourself in but you’re still gonna hafta pay.

Sun Valley Radio has lost a three-year-old appeal to the FCC and will be fined a total of $18,000 in two cases involving improperly maintained public files.

The commission fined it $9,000 for KBLQ(FM) in Logan, Utah, and the same amount for KKEX(FM) in Preston, Idaho.

In 2005, when filing for license renewals at both stations, Sun Valley told the FCC on its applications — as required — that it had just discovered the stations were missing Quarterly Issues and Programs lists for several earlier quarters. It said it recreated the missing lists and placed them into the public files; but the FCC staff ruled later that year that Sun Valley was apparently liable for a fine for the missing lists.

Sun Valley argued among other things that the fines were higher than those given to other stations in similar situations; that its co-owned stations were in compliance; that no one had been harmed because no member of the public had tried to see the files; and that voluntary disclosure earned it a reduction.

The FCC now has rejected the appeal.