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FCC Fines Unlicensed LPTV Station Operators

The FCC has returned to work armed with a fine against a low-power TV station operator.

The FCC has fined the operators of the unlicensed Kentucky TV station $144,344 after it concluded they had been operating the Morehead, Ky., LPVT for years after the FCC revoked its license for failure to file a renewal application. (https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-19-2A1.pdf)

Stations must periodically renew their licenses since they must operate in the public interest to maintain them.

In 2017, the FCC issued a notice of apparent liability to Vearl Pennington and Michael Williamson for operating the unlicensed station. They responded that they had tried to file a late renewal application in 2004, six years late (it was not accepted), but did not deny that they have since been operating the station without that license.

The FCC denied their appeal of the forfeiture, finding no reason to cancel or reduce the fine, and has now made it official.

Pennington and Williamson have 30 days to pay.


John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.