New Mexico FM Faces RF Fines

In potentially the first action of its kind, the FCC proposed $28,000 for FM radio station KTMN in Cloudcroft, N.M., for violations of RF frequency limits and Emergency Alert System Rules.

According to the FCC Enforcement Bureau, A-O Broadcasting's KTMN antenna, mounted on a U.S. Forest Service fire lookout, was "substantially lower" on the tower than its license authorized. RF readings exceeded exposure limits in areas accessible to the public, the bureau said. That, and other RF violations, is earning the station a proposed $10,000 fine.

Usually, for both TV and radio stations, the FCC has notified stations of violations and allowed them time to comply. But recently, the commission has warned that it may enforce its rules more stringently, including fines for RF violators.

The FCC also proposed another $8,000 forfeiture for failure to install EAS equipment, $7,000 for failure to have a main studio and $3,000 for lack of adequate transmission control.

The station may still appeal the fines.