WMAF Fined $8,000

FCC says station had no working EAS gear
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The FCC fined the licensee of WMAF(AM), Madison, Fla. $8,000 for not having working EAS equipment nor keeping records indicating why EAS tests were not received.

The FCC fined Geneva Walker, licensee of WMAF(AM), Madison, Fla. $8,000 for not having working EAS equipment nor keeping records indicating why EAS tests were not received. Walker must also submit within 30 days a sworn statement indicating WMAF has installed operational EAS gear.

Responding to a complaint that the station was not in compliance with EAS requirements, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s Tampa office inspected WMAF’s main studio and transmitter site in Madison last July.

The agents saw the EAS encoder/decoder wasn’t connected to the transmitter. The general manager said the equipment had been taken out of service a year earlier. During the inspection, he was able to send a test message, however he said the decoder didn’t work.

The station had no EAS logs or any records of an EAS test being sent after September 2010 and no records of WMAF ever having received an EAS test.

Required monthly and weekly tests originate from EAS local or state primary sources and must be retransmitted by a participating alerting station. It’s also up to stations to determine why they can’t send or receive an alert and note that in the station log.

Walker has 30 days to appeal or pay the penalty.

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