Illinois News

FCC says Carthage radio station operating without license

By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Dec. 23, 2017 1:10 am Updated: Dec. 23, 2017 1:26 am

CARTHAGE, Ill. -- The owner of Carthage-based radio station WCAZ has told The Herald-Whig's news-gathering partners at WGEM that the station will cease operating this month after the Federal Communications Commission terminated its license.

Ralla Broadcasting Co. owner Robin R. Dunham told WGEM on Thursday that he plans to cease operations at 5 p.m. Dec. 31.

"We've received permission to air until then," Dunham said.

The FCC Enforcement Bureau reportedly issued a notice of unlicensed operation Dec. 8 after the FCC denied a renewal to Ralla Broadcasting Co. to operate the station because the company had allegedly failed to pay a debt owed to the FCC.

The delinquency is said to stem from a $3,500 fine imposed upon the station by the FCC on Jan. 31, 2007, for apparently failing to file a license renewal on time. The FCC renewed the station's license Feb. 9, 2007.

Documents on the FCC's website indicate that the commission had notified WCAZ on June 10, 2015, and on Dec. 6, 2016, of the delinquency, but the FCC reportedly did not receive a response after either notification.

The station was to cease broadcasting on AM 990 and stop using its call letters April 21, 2017. The station has continued to broadcast using its call letters on that channel.

FCC attorney Margo Davenport acknowledged the FCC notified the station in April that it could no longer broadcast. Davenport said the FCC has received no written correspondence from the station since April.

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