LPFM hit for overwrought underwriting


Like all low power FMs, the one licensed to the Payson Council for the Musical Arts, Inc. – KRIM-LP – is noncommercial. It has arrived at a consent decree with the FCC concerning underwriting announcements that allegedly slipped over the line into the realm of full fledged advertisements.

The Payson AZ station is in the Phoenix area.

The FCC was responding to 3rd party complaints about the announcements lodged on two separate occasions, and PCMA supplied transcripts of the material in question. PCMA also documented its shoestring financial position.

The FCC noted that it is often difficult to precisely draw a line between a permissible and an impermissible underwriting announcement, and only went so far as to say that PCMA “may have violated” the rules. It also said PCMA provided adequate financial documentation.

The consent decree spares both parties any further time and expense pursuing the matter; PCMA will institute a compliance plan to keep its announcements on the correct side of the divide in the future; it will make a voluntary $7K contribution to the US Treasury and will have all complaints against it dismissed.

In consideration of its modest budget, the FCC is allowing the PCMA to contribute on an installment plan, sending in $700 monthly for 10 months.

RBR-TVBR observation: The FCC action serves as fair warning – it will take into account the low income of a typical LPFM operation, but the rules still apply, and violations will be followed by repercussions of one kind or another.