Public radio station WPPB-FM in Southampton, New York must forfeit $10,000 to the U.S. government due to public file violations. According to an order released by the FCC this week, the station, whose license is held by Peconic Public Broadcasting, neglected to maintain 13 of its quarterly issues and programs lists. After the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to WPPB in March, 2015, WPPB replied, asking for the fine to be reduced due, in part, to financial hardship.
According to the March 2015 order, Peconic Broadcasting acknowledged the missing issues and programs lists in its renewal application, stating that “In connection with this renewal process, management has overseen the transfer of this pre-existing program information from the logs into the form of thirteen (13) quarterly issues/program lists, all of which have now been placed in WPPB’s public file.”
Peconic Public Broadcasting purchased the radio station license from Long Island University in 2010. WPPB-FM, formerly known as WLIU, was located at the former Southampton College campus. Long Island University initially put the station up for sale in 2009.
In its order this week, the FCC writes, “Although we are mindful of Licensee’s efforts to preserve the Station, we reject the claim of financial hardship due to Licensee’s failure to document that claim.”
This serves as another remind that the FCC is quite serious about the importance of stations regularly maintaining public files.