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FCC Reduces Fine to $5,600 for Texas AM Station

The FCC has reduced the fine of a Texas station by $1,400 following the station’s response to the commission’s original Notice of Apparent Liability issued earlier this year.  Rufus Resources, LLC, licensee of KMFR-AM Pearsall, has been ordered to pay $5,600 for “willfully violating Section 73.3539 of the FCC’s rules.”

The FCC said the station failed to timely file a license renewal application, and also violated the Communications Act of 1934 “by engaging in unauthorized operation of the Station after its authorization had expired.” 

The FCC initially issued a $7,000 NAL in April, saying KMFR failed to file a timely license renewal application four months prior to its license expiration on Jan. 26, 2017.  The commission said Rufus Resources, LLC “continued operating the station without authorization, then filed a request for STA on February 15, 2017, seeking authority to remain on the air despite the expiration of its license.  Rufus subsequently filed the Application on March 3, 2017. 

The STA expired on September 2, 2017, but Rufus did not request an extension of it until May 17, 2018, a month after the NAL was issued.”  Rufus responded in May to the NAL by requesting a reduction of the proposed monetary forfeiture, citing an unusual license expiration date and issuance of the license renewal letter to another firm.  Rufus “filed the STA Request when it realized that it had missed the renewal filing deadline and failed to request an extension of that STA because it was focused on the operation of its other stations during and after Hurricane Harvey.”

The company said it had no history of prior FCC violations, a fact that should also be considered.  The FCC rejected most of KMFR’s response but did “find that Rufus’s history of compliance warrants a forfeiture reduction.”  This month the commission reduced the penalty to $5,600 and said it would “withhold grant of the application until Rufus has completed payment of the forfeiture.”

Questions?  Contact TAB's Michael Schneider or call (512) 322-9944.

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