Filer unable to transfer renewal failure blame to FCC


UA-ASU-TSU Educational Radio Corporation, the licensee of WAPR-FM in Selma AL has been hit with a late filing fine. The station license was scheduled to expire 4/1/04, producing a renewal filing deadline of 12/1/03. WAPR beat the April deadline, but not the December deadline.

An engineer who handled the filing said he executed it online prior to the December date, and only noticed in January that the station’s renewal filing wasn’t included in the FCC’s database. He immediately refiled, getting it in on 1/21/04, early enough to avoid a full-bore $7K late filing fine, but not early enough to avoid the $1.5K intermediary fine.

The engineer noted that the FCC was having trouble with its database shortly before WAPR’s deadline; but the FCC allowed a filing extension for affected stations to redress that problem. The engineer also pled that he successfully filed renewal apps for other stations at about that same time, indicating his diligence and good intent, but the FCC said that was no excuse for the WAPR failure.

The FCC noted that a screen shot sent in by the engineer as evidence showed that the renewal application was “created” on 11/25/03 but not filed until the January date. The FCC said that seems to show that the engineer failed to hit the “File Form” button back in November, an error on his part and not on the FCC’s part – and that the $1.5K fine stands.