Hearst agrees to decree with FCC on earth station misunderstanding


The FCC and Hearst Stations have agreed to call off the dogs and enter into a finding-free compliance program regarding use of a newsgathering earth station used by the television group in relation to its ABC KITV-TV Honolulu and two island satellite stations.

The FCC said operation of the earth station at some point in the year 2009 was unauthorized, that Heast figured that out on its own and shut it down immediately. It immediately applied for a new license and disclosed the possible infraction.

Rather than pursue a punitive action, the FCC and Hearst agreed to a consent decree under which Hearst maintains a clean record on the matter, puts a compliance officer in place to make sure such an incident does not recur (among other things), and makes a voluntary contribution of $7.5K to the US Treasury.