FCC Fines SBS $25,000 For Phone Pranks
August 22, 2012 at 12:25 PM (PT)
The FCC has slapped SPANISH BROADCASTING SYSTEM HOLDING COMPANY, INC. with a $25,000 fine for airing two phone calls on Tropical WZNT (LA ZETA 93.7)/SAN JUAN without prior notice to the parties. The incidents were part of the morning show "EL VACILON DE LA MANANA" originating at sister Tropical WSKQ (LA MEGA 97.9)/NEW YORK, and involved phone pranks by RAYMOND "MOONSHADOW" BROUSSARD, aired in 2006. Pranks on the show and on the MIAMI version of "EL VACILON" previously drew large fines for SBS at WSKQ and Tropical WXDJ (EL ZOL 95.7)/MIAMI. SBS contended that, since it had no records or tapes of the broadcasts, the Commission lacked evidentiary support for the fine, but the FCC ruled that the preponderance of the evidence supported the fine.
The Commission also proposed a $10,000 fine against BURT BYNG for operating an unlicensed station ("WEROC Radio") on 107.1 FM in MIAMI.
Also, the FCC proposed a $1,500 fine against RF SERVICES INC. for failing to file Form 301 after winning the permit for a new FM at GIDDINGS, TX in FM Auction 93, and a $3,000 fine against VALLEYDALE BROADCASTING, LLC for the same violation after winning a permit for a new FM at VAIDEN, MS in FM Auction 91.
And in the long-running battle by DAVE GAREY's FIRESIDE MEDIA/JET FUEL BROADCASTING over the cancellation of its construction permits at ANCHORAGE; LARGA VISTA, TX; PASS CHRISTIAN, MS; and WINOOSKI, VT, the Commission denied FIRESIDE/JET FUEL's request to waive or reduce the fees for processing its Freedom of Information Act request for documents and upheld its own denial of FIRESIDE/JET FUEL's requests for extensions of time to file Form 301 applications for the new stations. The Commission said in its decision that FIRESIDE/JET FUEL's petition "raises no new facts or changed circumstances since it filed its applications for review." The dispute arose in the first place when the FCC fined FIRESIDE $17,300 for pulling out of a 2004 auction when prices got too high, then hitting the company with federal debtor status for over two-and-a-half years before considering the company's appeal; FIRESIDE contended that the debtor status prevented it from getting credit to build the stations and should have tolled the permits, and that the documents it attempted to get unsealed in the FOIA petition contained complaints of illegal activities and misconduct in the auction and the FCC's disposition of those complaints.