Tennessee Station Fine Is One of Several

WIRJ faces $25,000 proposed penalty
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With the FCC apparently determined to clean out its backlog of broadcast enforcement cases, here are several more announcements from the last day or two.

- John Warmath faces a proposed $25,000 fine for allegedly failing to maintain three required things at his station WIRJ(AM) in Humboldt, Tenn., namely an enclosed fence around the AM antenna, a public inspection file and EAS gear. According to the commission summary, both Warmath and his acting chief operator admitted that EAS equipment had been missing for more than 60 days. The FCC said a contract engineer for the station later estimated that the EAS had been removed about a year prior to the inspection because it had been damaged by lightning.

- Patrick Sickafus was issued an NAL for failing to enclose two antenna towers of WWSM(AM) in Annville-Cleona, Pa. The proposed penalty is $7,000. The commission said it inspected the series-fed, three-tower array and found that the wooden gate to the center structure was off its hinges and open; the door to the center tower’s tuning hut was unlocked and open, allowing unhindered access to the live tuning coils feeding the center tower; and an enclosure for another antenna structure was missing an entire wall (not to mention that the door to the tuning hut wasn’t locked). Those enclosures have since been fixed.

- World Media Broadcast won a reduction in a previously proposed fine from $21,000 to $5,500. This case involved violations of rules on EAS equipment, transmission remote control and the public file at WCLM(AM) in Highland Springs, Va. World Media appealed based on a history of compliance, prompt action to repair its EAS equipment and inability to pay the forfeiture. The commission rejected the first two arguments but accepted the third as a reason to reduce the fine.

- And the FCC issued a $21,000 notice of apparent liability to Consolidated Radio, licensee of KVOZ(AM) in Del Mar Hills, Texas. It said the station failed to maintain a main studio in the community of license and also didn’t have a complete public inspection file available. It also operated with improper power after sunset; the FCC said the station’s technician admitted that KVOZ had operated for several months with 3 kilowatts of power at all times.

— Paul McLane

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