Birach Faces $30K In FCC Fines
March 22, 2010 at 4:00 AM (PT)
The FCC has proposed two $15,000 fines on BIRACH BROADCASTING CORPORATION for unauthorized control of WMFN-A/ZEELAND, MI and WMJH-A/ROCKFORD, MI and failure to staff the stations with managerial and staff-level employees of its own. The stations were brokered out to third-party programmers, and FCC visits in 2005 found no BIRACH employees at the stations.
Owner/GM SIMA BIRACH told the Commission that the company has since hired a managerial-level employee to oversee the stations, and counsel submitted a letter asserting that technology allowing management to watch the station remotely has made the "meaningful presence" rule outdated. The Commission rejected the argument and the belated actions to add management for the stations, determining that control of the stations had been improperly abdicated by the licensee to the brokers. It also said that one employee is not enough to be in compliance with the rules.
[BIRACH was fined for not having it's own employees on-site. Do you think the FCC should be more vigilant in enforcing this rule? Do you think other stations violate this rule -- or come very close to doing so? Share your opinion with the ALL ACCESS community below.]