FCC Levies Fines on Four Stations For Failing to Keep Proper Records

This week, the FCC fined four TV stations more than $32,000
for failing to keep the proper records.

Broadcasters have a number of public filing obligations,
including on the amount of children's programming they air.

Nexstar's WQRF-TV Rockford, Ill., faces the biggest
hit--$10,000--for failure to publicize the existence and location of its kids
programming reports. Those are the ones that identify the educational/informational
programming.  Broadcasters have to air
three hours per week for all their add-supported channels, primary and

The FCC had issued a proposed fine in 2007, which was
challenged by Nexstar because it was larger than other fines for similar
violations.  But the FCC countered that
those were for omissions of shorter duration, while WQRF had failed to file the
reports over the entire length of its license.

Also fined for failing to publicize its kids programming
reports was Delmarva's WMDT Salisbury, Md. ($8,000). The company had also
challenged the proposed fine, citing differential between its fines and smaller
ones or cases in which no fine was levied. The FCC countered that the others
were for shorter periods and WMDT's had been for "almost" its entire
license term.

Delmarva argued that the kids TV rule was vague, but that
did not fly, either.

Louisiana Christian's MNCT ($8,000) and Virgin Islands
Public TV's WTJX ($7,000)  were also fined
for failing to properly maintain their public inspection file.

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.