WASHINGTON and GULF BREEZE, FLA. – Vernon Watson, licensee of WBQP-CA in Gulf Breeze, has received a Notice of Apparent Liability over failing to file Children’s TV Programming Reports. The Federal Communications Commission today released the NAL, which levels a $3,000 fine against Watson.
FCC rules require commercial broadcasters to maintain file on, among other things, how much kids’ TV they have in the line-up. Lapses, intentional or otherwise, constitute a violation.
The FCC said it first sent a letter to Watson March 24, 2011, stating that the station had failed to file the kids’ TV form for WBQP for the last two quarters of 2009 and for all of 2010. The letter required the information to be filed within 30 days, pay a fine, or the station would lose its Class A status. Watson failed to respond until Feb. 29 of this year, according to the citation, when he said all the reports had been done, but could “not explain” why they were missing in the first place.
The commission determined that the failure to file the reports was an “inadvertence,” also noting that it has “repeatedly rejected human error and inadvertence as a basis for excusing a licensee’s rule violation.”
The base fine for the kids’ TV report violation is $3,000. Watson can either pay it or submit a written appeal to the commission within 30 days.
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