A ‘Pioneer PBS’ OPIF Flub Could Be Costly


When it comes to the timely placement by every noncommercial educational TV licensee of an issues/programs list detailing shows ” that have provided the station’s most significant treatment of community issues during the preceding three month period,” the FCC isn’t fooling around with its Online Public Inspection File deadline enforcement.

Just ask the individuals who run Pioneer PBS. They’ve just been handed a monetary forfeiture notice from Video Division Chief Barbara Kreisman.



Based in Granite Falls, Minn., Pioneer PBS began its operations in February 1966 at KWCM-TV in Appleton, Minn., under what was then-known as West Central Minnesota Educational TV Corp.

That legacy continues through the licensee name of KWCM, which is being fined $3,000 for “willfully and repeatedly violating” the quarterly issues/programs lists. And, in an increasingly common situation, knowledge of the rule violation was presented to the FCC’s Media Bureau by Pioneer PBS itself.

On November 30, 2021, the KWCM operator filed a license renewal application, in which it shared details of its transgressions. Specifically, KWCM’s owner failed to upload copies of its
issues/programs lists for a total of 12 quarters by the deadline established.

The FCC confirmed that Pioneer PBS uploaded nine lists between one month and one year late and three lists between one day and one month late. Why? Pioneer PBS says it was an “oversight.”

As the FCC has established, that’s no excuse for tardiness.

The owner of KWCM-TV now has 30 days to pay up or seek a fine reduction or cancellation.


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