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WWPT Is Fined, But License Is Renewed

Oops! Station operated for three years without license renewal

Someone at the Westport Board of Ed may need to keep a better eye on their radio station paperwork.

WWPT(FM), licensed to the school board in Westport, Conn., has been hit by the FCC Media Bureau with a notice of apparent liability for a $7,000 fine because the station failed to file for renewal — and subsequently operated for three years before filing last summer, when it also asked for an STA so it could stay on the air while its application was considered.

To make matters worse, when that STA expired earlier this month, the board did not file for an extension, according to the commission.

For these sins, the FCC Media Bureau now has issued a notice of apparent liability for a $7,000 fine, out of a possible $13,000 based on the circumstances.

The rules require that applications for renewal must be filed “not later than the first day of the fourth full calendar month prior to the expiration date of the license sought to be renewed.” An application should have been filed by Dec.1, 2005, four months prior to the April 1, 2006, license expiration date, but was not.

The board did not file its renewal application until August of 2009, when it also filed the request for STA, saying its failure to file had been inadvertent.

The commission staff ultimately found no reason to deny the station’s license renewal.