Cumulus/Tallahassee Public File Problems Lead To Proposed Fines
July 27, 2007 at 11:33 AM (PT)
CUMULUS has been slapped with a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for $20,000 for falsely certifying -- in the renewal applications of Urban AC WHBX (96.1 JAMZ)/TALLAHASSEE and Urban WWLD (BLAZIN 102.3)/CAIRO, GA-TALLAHASSEE -- that the stations' public files were complete, although the Commission also granted the stations' license renewals. Upon a complaint by PETER B. FULTON that he had found some quarterly issues/programs lists missing, the Commission's inspectors confirmed that the files were incomplete, making the licensee's certification false.
CUMULUS had also claimed that, for WWLD, PSAs qualified as "programs" for purposes of fulfilling the station's responsiveness to community issues, a claim with which the Commission agrees but notes that copies of the PSAs do not suffice as "issues/programs lists." In the WHBX case, CUMULUS asserted that the files were complete as of SEPTEMBER 2001 and that after FULTON's visit, when it tried to reprint the missing files, the computer hard drive had been destroyed by a lightning strike. The Commission rejected the arguments and noted that the company was relying on unsupported interpretations of the rules to claim that its certifications were correct when filed.