Public file violations tripped up two broadcasters recently.
In both cases, licensees were fined $10,000 each for missing quarterly radio issues/programs lists from their station public file. The fines have now progressed to forfeiture orders.
Stephen Peters, former licensee of WHAW(FM), Lost Creek, W.Va., was originally fined in 2011 after a station inspection. The FCC said he told the agent during the WHAW inspection the missing lists couldn’t be found because they were drying out from water damage during a storm — one that that also blew the roof off the studio and destroyed a lot of equipment. The commission didn’t believe that. It also didn’t agree with Peters, who thought the fine was “excessive.” He has 30 days to pay.
Peters is also the general manager of WVRW(FM). The two stations share the same main studio in Weston, W.Va.
The commission also upheld a $10,000 fine for WVRW licensee Della Jane Woofter.
Woofter, too, claimed water damage ruined the lists. However, during the inspection, FCC agents noticed other parts of the public file were intact and dry. The commission didn’t believe her account, either and said Woofter is liable for a $10,000 fine and must pay within 30 days.