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Being Honest Costs WBNI-FM Roanoke, IN $10K


The bad news...the violation will cost the station $10K. The good news...the station will get to keep its license. On the license renewal form stations are required to certify they have the required documentation in the public file. WBNI answered "No" to that certification, for 2009-2011, with an explanation attached, blaming the failure to follow the rules on management turnover. The station said it was also trying to recreate the missing information.

At the time of license renewal, the station file did not contain any of the missing information and it was fined $10,000. The commission called the violations extensive, citing the two years of missing issues/programs lists. The commission decided to grant the station its license renewal because: the commission found that, "the station has served the public interest, convenience, and necessity; there have been no serious violations of the Act or the Rules; and there have been no other violations which, taken together, constitute a pattern of abuse." The commission went on to say, "if the licensee fails to meet that standard, the Commission may deny the application – after notice and opportunity for a hearing under Section 309(e) of the Act – or grant the application “on terms and conditions that are appropriate, including a renewal for a term less than the maximum otherwise permitted. We find that Licensee’s apparent violations of Section 73.3527 of the Rules do not constitute “serious violations” warranting designation for evidentiary hearing. Moreover, we find no evidence of violations that, when considered together, evidence a pattern of abuse."

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