FCC Fines Pirate, Denies Four Appeals
January 18, 2008 at 12:00 PM (PT)
The FCC has fined NICOLAS PAULA $17,000 for running a pirate station at 94.5 FM in the BRONX. The fine is larger than the usual pirate fine because PAULA failed to allow the FCC to inspect the station.
The Commission also denied CRAM COMMUNICATIONS' appeal of a ruling that denied tolling of its construction permit for new AM WVOA-A/DEWITT-SYRACUSE, NY. The CP is for 720 AM with 2,500 watts days and 390 watts nights, with an application for 10,000 watts days and 390 watts nights from a different site; the problem arose when local authorities imposed a building moratorium that delayed the station's construction and led to a lawsuit challenging a subsequent zoning ordinance. The Commission and CRAM disagreed on when the tolling started and an intervening problem with using ONONDAGA NATION land complicated matters. CRAM continues to hold the permit for the originally-authorized facilities with 131 days to build.
Similarly, the Commission denied JNE INVESTMENTS, INC.'s appeal of a denial of additional time to build AM station KSDG-A/JULIAN-SAN DIEGO, CA, which has been deleted. The permittee had been denied three tolling requests and the CP had expired, and the permittee argued that litigation filed in 2004 by AMADOR BUSTOS, who was working with JNE to build the station, challenging a county requirement for a major use permit for a second transmitter site, tolled the construction period. The Commission disagreed, noting that the litigation did not result from a matter beyond JNE's control, did not relate to a necessary government requirement for construction (at the original CP site), and was not shown to cause delay construction.
A-O BROADCASTING CORP. was also turned down by the FCC in its appeal of the license expiration and deletion of FM station KTMN/CLOUDCROFT, NM. The station lost its original site and was off the air for more than 12 months, but claimed to have returned for "signal tests" in late 2002, which the Commission staff determined were equipment tests that did not qualify as returning to the air for purposes of maintaining the license.
And EAGLE BROADCASTING GROUP, LTD. gets denied in four petitions for reconsideration of the deletion of its license for KVEZ/PARKER, AZ. The Commission ruled that resumption of operations from an unauthorized facility did not qualify to maintain the license.