FCC finds Miami LPTV station in apparent violation of power, EAS rules

The parent company of a low power television station in Miami, FL, is apparently liable for a forfeiture of $12,000 for failing to install EAS equipment and exceeding its authorized maximum effective radiated power, the commission said last week.

The FCC published a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture May 10 finding Caribevision Station Group, owners of digital LPTV station WFUN-LD, apparently in violation of its rules. The agency adopted the notice May 6.

According to the commission, its Enforcement Bureau office in Miami received a complaint Dec. 18, 2009, that WFUN-LD was exceeding its authorized power. A Jan. 7, 2010, inspection of the station’s transmitter site revealed the station was operating at 3.565kW with an ERP of 41kW. The station is licensed to operate with a total power output of .498kW with an ERP of 15kW. A transmitter engineer adjusted the total power output to .498kW, thus demonstrating the equipment was operational.

The following day, an attorney representing the owner told the FCC agents that a problem existed with the license and provided engineering data for the station showing WFUN-LD should operate at 1.34kW with an ERP of 15kW — still less than the total power output and ERP measured Jan. 7. Since then, the licensee has applied for and been granted a modification to its license to reflect the total power output of 1.34kW, the commission said.

During an inspection of the station’s studio Jan. 7, the enforcement agents also found WFUN-LD lacked an EAS decoder, the FCC notice said.

In the notice, the FCC ordered Caribevision to forfeit $12,000 for the apparent violations of its rules within 30 days. The broadcaster can ask the commission to reduce or cancel the forfeiture if certain, specific conditions are met demonstrating financial hardship.