Nexstar Pays $100K Fine to Resolve FCC Investigation

The FCC has resolved its investigation into a couple of Nexstar stations, which follows its dismissal of a retrans complaint against the broadcaster, which comes in the context of FCC chair Ajit Pai's circulation of an item approving Nexstar's merger with Tribune. 

The commission likes to resolve pending issues with a merger party that could impact its standing as a licensee before deciding whether to let it own more stations. 

That comes thanks to a consent decree executed by Nexstar--the FCC was looking into whether its KARK-TV Little Rock and KFDX-TV Wichita were meeting their KidVid requirements--specifically whether they had filed the requisite quarterly reports. Nexstar will pay a fine of $109,076. 

The FCC concluded that Nexstar had failed to follow the commission's processing guidelines, but that the broadcasters monetary settlement and pledge to adopt a compliance plan to avoid similar omissions in the future were sufficient to justify the Media Bureau renewing the two station's licenses, which it has directed the bureau to do, conditioned on that compliance, and end the investigation. 

The FCC requires stations to file quarterly reports on their efforts "to serve the educational and informational needs of children."

The FCC concluded that "there are no substantial or material questions of fact as to Nexstar’s qualifications to remain a Commission licensee."

The FCC also said that, due to the settlement, it does not have to determine "if Nexstar has committed 'serious violations' of our rules or violations that constituted a pattern of abuse 

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.