Two Broadcasters Enter Into Consent Decree With FCC

Stations agree to pay $8k for violating sections of the Communications Act and FCC rules
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Optima Communications and Pikes Peak Television agreed to pay an $8,000 fine for violating sections of the Communications Act and the FCC Rules regarding the transfer of ownership of an FM station.

In June 2006, a time brokerage agreement for station KRDO(FM) in Security, Colo., was originally executed between Optima and Pikes Peak Broadcasting Co. — which assigned its rights under the TBA to Pikes Peak Radio, an affiliated corporate entity of Pikes Peak Television. On April 23, 2015, Optima and Pikes Peak jointly filed an application looking for commission consent to assign the KRDO station license from Optima to Pikes Peak; the TBA was included in this application.

In response, commission staff began an investigation into the TBA. The Media Bureau found that Optima improperly delegated its core licensee financial responsibilities by allowing an affiliated corporate entity of Pikes Peak to make direct payments of certain station obligations and expenses — including a debt owed to a third party, its site lease and the station’s telephone line.

FCC ownership rules require that participating licensees maintain ultimate control over their facilities and essential station matters, such as programming, personnel and finances.

Following the investigation, the two organizations agreed that they each violated sections of the Communications Act and the FCC rules by allowing Pikes Peak to assume control of KRDO without prior commission authorization as part of the TBA.

As has been the case with other consent decree orders, the two parties and the Media Bureau acknowledged that proceedings from these violations might be time-consuming and require a substantial expenditure of public and private resources. To resolve the matter, the three parties entered into the Consent Decree. Optima and Pikes Peak agreed to collectively pay an $8,000 fine handed down by the Media Bureau. The organizations have 30 days to submit payment.

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