FCC Calls Dogs Off KITV-TV

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission has ended an investigation involving a Hearst-owned TV station in Hawaii. The investigation focused on the unauthorized operation of a fixed satellite earth station. Hearst and the FCC came to terms on incident, which cost the broadcaster $7,500.

Hearst owns KITV-TV, the ABC affiliate in Honolulu, as well as two full-power satellite TV stations, KMAU in Wailuku and KHVO in Hilo, and a receive-only earth station E060301. Around August of 2009, Hearst determined that its transportable fixed satellite earth station used for newsgathering was not authorized. It shut the station down immediately and filed a new license application for the facility on Aug. 31, 2009. Hearst notified the FCC of the goof Sept. 2, 2009. The commission subsequently investigated and reached a deal with Hearst.

The broadcaster agreed to a compliance plan managed by its vice president of engineering. The plan requires Hearst to train its engineers on FCC compliance within the six months, and to file periodic compliance reports up to two years out. Hearst was not officially fined, but instead agreed to make a “voluntary contribution” to the U.S. Treasury in the amount of $7,500.
-- Deborah D. McAdams