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Vision Latina Faces $40,000 in Fines

Commission says KBPO(AM) had incomplete public file

 KBPO(AM), Port Neches, Texas is facing a possible $40,000 in fines for violating the commission’s public file rules.

During an inspection of the Class D station’s public file in 2010, FCC agents found it lacked a current copy of the station authorization, service contour map, the most recent ownership report, Public and Broadcasting manual or any Issues Programs lists.

Licensee Vision Latina Broadcasting told the FCC the Issues Program folder was empty because of an oversight. Additionally, the broadcaster told the agency it had hired a consultant to review the public file and had received assurances the file was complete. Vision Latina certified in 2011 that the missing items have been replaced.

The FCC said in its decision this week that even after the certification submitted by the broadcaster there were missing items from the public file which the broadcaster would have caught had it “exercised even minimal diligence.” That way the licensee “would not have submitted incorrect and misleading material factual information in its certification,” stated the agency, which acknowledges the action wasn’t deliberate.

The FCC came to the conclusion that the situation merited a $25,000 penalty.

The commission also fined an additional $15,000 for not making a complete public inspection file available during the inspection. It tacked on an additional $5,000 because the agency said the broadcaster had previously been warned about public file violations. 

Vision Latina Broadcasting has 30 days to appeal or pay the fines.