FCC Cancels Fine Against WV Station
March 5, 2013 at 4:12 PM (PT)
The FCC has canceled a $7,000 fine against WKLC, INC. for late covering license application filing and unauthorized operation of Rock WKLC/ST. ALBANS, WV and has granted the station's renewal and license applications.
The station's tower site was destroyed in 2004, and the licensee filed for new facilities. After getting a construction permit, the station failed to file a covering license application on time and the permit expired. Four years later, the licensee filed a license application.and was fined for being late and operating the station without authorization, but the licensee asserted that the FCC erred in failing to grant a waiver of its rules and an intervening Supreme Court ruling (in FCC v. Fox, the "fleeting expletives" case) meant that "the Bureau cannot impose its 'newly articulated' waiver policy without first providing notice of its 'significant departure from past Commission practices.'" The Commission noted that its policy to issue fines for failure to file a required form came after the permit's 2007 expiration, meaning that WKLC did not have notice of a change in policy.
However, in canceling the fine, the Commission said, "Going forward, we will only waive the automatic expiration provision of Section 73.3598(e) and accept a late-filed covering license application where: (1) the permittee demonstrates conclusively that construction in accordance with the construction permit was complete and the station was 'ready for operation' by the permit expiration date; and (2) the covering license application is filed within 30 days of the expiration date."