College station slammed for public file violation
Nine times out of ten, a station with a public file problem is missing the infamous programs/issues lists. In the case of an Orlando FL college station, it hasn’t placed one in its file since the end of 2007.
The station is WPRK-FM Winter Park FL, owned and operated by Rollins College. The FCC sent an agent to the station in response to a complaint, and discovered the omission. The station’s manager offered no explanation.
The FCC has notified the station that is now on the hook for the standard $10K fine for an incomplete public file.
WPRK is a Class A on 91.5 MHz with 1.3 kW @ 105’. It beams into parts of the Orlando market from the northeastern suburbs.
Here’s how it describes itself: “Welcome to the official website for WPRK 91.5. The best in basement radio. As a student based organization, we represent Rollins College in Winter Park while still capturing a separate identity throughout the Orlando area.
Our fan base includes a variety of people in Central Florida who enjoy musical genres ranging from rock, rap, and oldies to classical, opera, and Broadway musicals. Our unique position as a college radio station gives us the opportunity to play music that may not be heard on a regular basis. WPRK is a unique establishment; we accept diverse genres of music and appreciate the opportunity to run our very own basement radio station.”
RBR-TVBR observation: It is unfortunate how frequently college stations run afoul of the rules. It is really incumbent on the adults associated with the station to stay on top of all FCC regulatory matters; and part of the educational process should include bringing a significant number of students up to speed on this essential part of running a station.
That said, we do not believe it is in the best interests of the United States of America to siphon money out of our educational system. We would love to see a new FCC policy that gives stations such as this a freebie violation prior to hitting it up for serious cash; and maybe a separate punishment menu should be set up for all but the largest NPR-affiliated college stations that makes fines that are issued more affordable.
In fact, one RBR-TVBR reader recently suggested that ALL broadcasters get a chance to remedy a smaller violation before getting slammed – putting the FCC emphasis on willing compliance rather than punishment and the hiding of infractions. That makes sense to us as well.