Fines and Consent Decrees Continue for License Renewal Applicants

Posted on February 23rd, 2021 by

Over the past two weeks, the FCC has issued several consent decrees and monetary forfeitures to license renewal applicants.

The consent decrees – a few of which are available here and here, are being issued to applicants whose political files have political ad time requests uploaded late.  Typically, stations signing these consent decrees agree to several measures designed to educate staff and ensure timely uploads are made.  Those include the appointment of individuals to monitor programs, periodic reporting to and reviews by the FCC via a detailed spreadsheet, voluntary reporting of violations, and the potential for further action by the FCC if compliance is wanting.  To date, stations signing consent decrees receive renewal grants, and do not have to pay monetary fines (due to COVID impacts).

The monetary fines issued to renewal applicants have all been due to missing the deadline for filing renewal applications.  Those decisions – examples are here and here – usually result in fines of $3,000 for full power stations and $1,500 for LPFM and FM translator stations.  As a reminder, license renewal applications must be filed four months prior to the date a station’s license expires.  For example, a station with an August 1, 2021 license expiration date must file its license renewal application no later than April 1, 2021.