FCC Proposes Fine On Centennial Over Noncompete Injunction
May 8, 2008 at 11:06 AM (PT)
The FCC has approved the sale of WINC-A and WINC-F/WINCHESTER, VA; WFVA-A and WBQB/FREDERICKSBURG, VA; WWRE/BERRYVILLE, VA; and WWRT/STRASBURG, VA by MID ATLANTIC NETWORK, INC. to CENTENNIAL LICENSING II, LLC but has proposed an $8,000 fine against CENTENNIAL for unauthorized control of WBLT-A/BEDFORD, VA.
The case stemmed from the sale of WLNI/LYNCHBURG by GARY BURNS to CENTENNIAL BROADCASTING with a format non-compete, and then, when BURNS' 3 DAUGHTERS MEDIA bought WBLT and installed a Talk format CENTENNIAL thought was too similar to WLNI's, CENTENNIAL's resorting to court action for an injunction against BURNS operating the station. The Commission ruled that CENTENNIAL did violate the rules by proscribing BURNS from programming the station with a Talk format, constituting an impermissible unauthorized assumption of control, but decided that a fine was the appropriate remedy.