Townsquare Media Resolves Political Rule Violations With FCC Consent Decree


One of the nation’s largest owners of radio stations has resolved FCC rule violations as it pertains to on-air sponsorship identification and the maintenance of its online political file by entering into a Consent Decree that “reinforces” the Media Bureau’s “commitment to ensuring compliance with the two regulatory policies.

While Townsquare Media has not received a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, it will be paying $500,000 to have the Bureau’s investigation into the matter — which involves two AM radio stations in Idaho — closed.

The issues Townsquare Media is resolving with the FCC’s Media Bureau, led by Chief Holly Saurer, are associated with KLIX-AM in Twin Falls, Idaho and sibling KIDO-AM in Nampa, Idaho, serving the Boise market.

Two problems were found by the Bureau:

  • Each of the AMs violated section 73.1212(a) of the Commission’s rules, relating to on-air sponsorship identification announcements
  • Violations of sections 315(e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and
    73.1943 of the Commission’s rules, relating to the maintenance of online political files, were also found to have occurred at KLIX-AM and KIDO-AM

The Media Bureau’s investigation revealed that Townsquare failed to provide on-air sponsorship identification announcements for multiple episodes of, and numerous advertisements promoting, a paid-for political program that the company led by CEO Bill Wilson broadcast over the two stations between October 2021 to March 2023.

“The format of each episode nominally resembled a news interview/public affairs
program produced and presented by the stations,” the Bureau said. “In fact, however, all episodes of the program were paid political presentations.”

The programming was paid for by the Idaho Republican Party, and later by Tom Luna on behalf of a company doing business as Tom Luna and Associates. Further, Mr. Luna and Ada County, Idaho Republican Party Chairman Victor Miller were wholly responsible for the show’s content. However, this was not disclosed to neither KLIX-AM nor KIDO-AM listeners.

The Bureau investigation further revealed that Townsquare failed over the same period of time to upload records of multiple episodes of the program featuring uses by legally qualified candidates for public office and communicating messages relating to political matters of national importance to the stations’ respective online political files.

Rather than receive a NALF, and what would likely be an Order after Townsquare were to seek a reduction or cancellation of any proposed fine, a U.S. Treasury payment is being made. Thus, it is not a fine, but a payment as part of a Consent Decree.

In the Decree, Townsquare is agreeing to implement a comprehensive plan to ensure
its future compliance with its sponsorship identification and online political file obligations, submit annual compliance reports to the Bureau through the remainder of the current license terms of the two stations.

“After reviewing the terms of the Consent Decree and evaluating the facts before us, we find that the public interest would be served by adopting the Consent Decree and terminating the referenced investigation regarding Townsquare’s compliance with its sponsorship identification and political file obligations,” Saurer said.


KLIX-AM was ranked No. 5 in the Twin Falls, Idaho, ratings as measured by Eastlan in October 2023, the most recent data for the market that includes Burley, Idaho.

KIDO-AM is ranked No. 14 in Boise, according to Nielsen Audio ratings for Spring 2023.