FCC Dismisses KWVE EAS Fine

November 17, 2009

Washington - Nov 13, 2009 - In an order, the Federal Communications Commission reconsidered its own notice of apparent liability against Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, the licensee of KWVE-FM, for transmitting an incomplete required monthly test. The station was originally levied a fine of $5,000.

The FCC action triggered strong outcry from broadcasters who noted that EAS is prone to errors, and that the station did not intentionally improperly transmit the botched test. The station also tried to remedy the error without success.

The situation has made many stations re-evaluate their local primary status with EAS. Some station engineers told Radio magazine that they would relinquish their LP status rather than suffer potential fines.

The FCC order to set aside the fine was not a clean slate for the station, however. The FCC order adds that the station "is admonished for transmitting an unauthorized RMT of the EAS and failing to transmit the End of Message code as well as the message advising that the test had been concluded." The order also says that the "petition for reconsideration filed by Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa is hereby dismissed as moot."

Station personnel have said the station plans to file an appeal to also have the admonishment set aside.

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