When Your Address Can Cost You

Posted on August 28th, 2013 by

Sooner or later, the FCC will want to contact or send a station official correspondence, and when it does, the FCC staff will look up the station’s official mailing address in the FCC’s Consolidated Database System (CDBS).  The accuracy of that address is always important, but can become critically so if the FCC is sending the station correspondence that requries a response.  Under Section 73.015 of the FCC’s rules, the FCC may require written statements of fact relelvant to a determination of any matter with their jurisdiction.  Not responding to such a request can put a station in hot water.

 A Class A television station in California recently found that out the hard way, when the FCC used its CDBS address to mail it a letter requesting information from the licensee about its failure to comply with certain public file requirements.  When no response from the licensee arrived, the FCC sent a second letter, this time to an address included in one of the station’s recent applications, as well as the CDBS address.  The licensee finally responded, explaining that the CDBS address was to the station’s former treasurer.  The FCC’s response?  A $6,000 fine because of the licensee’s failure to ensure that FCC correspondence delivered to its address on record would promptly reach the licensee.  And that amount was on top of a $10,000 fine for admitted public file violations.  Ouch.  It’s never good to get the FCC’s ire up by not responding.  Check your CDBS address to be sure it is accurate.