FCC slams St. Louis AM quartet for multiple violations


The licensee for Talk/Oldies KZQZ-AM 1430 and three sister stations in the St. Louis market is Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis Watkins, Trustee, but it does business as the Insane Broadcasting Company. If the operators of the quarter really are insane, the FCC may have driven them to it.

KZQZ-AM is authorized to broadcast with 5 kW day and night, but the directional pattern is supposed to be adjusted when the sun goes down, and FCC agents determined that it wasn’t happening, and found out that the signal was not being monitored on a regular basis, nor was a log being kept.

The FCC also discovered omissions in the public file of the station and at KQQZ-AM 1190 Fairview Heights IL.

EMT was fined $7K for not operating as authorized, $2K each for two counts of not measuring the signal, $12K for public file omissions – all at KZQZ; and another $2K for the KQQZ public file omissions.

Moving on to the other stations, agents visited WQQX-AM 1490 East St. Louis IL and WQQW-AM 1510 Highland IL and found no public inspection files at all. It hit each with fine that upped the standard file fine from $10K to $12K for a $24K total.

In summation, the FCC issued two notices of apparent liability involving four stations and a laundry list of violations, and rang up a total of $49K in monetary punishment.

RBR-TVBR observation: This quartet is not a trust in the typical sense, that is, an entity set up to receive and operate stations in a bankruptcy proceeding of some kind. Rather, it is set up under the laws of the State of Illinois to operate as a company for the benefit of one Stephen Romanik II. Each station was bought one at a time under normal station transaction terms.

WQQW came first, as WDID, in a $450K deal with New Life Evangelistic Center on a contract dated 1/30/06. Then came KZQZ, back when it was Bonneville’s WIL, in a 12/9/07 deal worth $1.2M. Third was KQQZ, as KRFT University Park MO, in a 9/09 $600K deal with Big Stick Three. Finally, Simmons Media sold WQQX – WFFX at the time, to EMT for $450K per a 10/29/09 contract. Total value of the deals was $2.7M.