Monday, March 31, 2014

Omaha Radio: FCC Fines KOMJ Owner $17K For Violations

The owner of Omaha AM radio station KOMJ 1490 AM has been fined $17,000 by the Federal Communications Commission for failing to operate and staff a main studio with a public inspection file, according to

Wyoming-based Cochise Broadcasting was ordered to pay the fine after the FCC last year filed an enforcement action, saying it tried and failed to locate the studio and the owner's head office.

KOMJ plays commercial-free popular music, mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. There are no disc jockeys and only occasional taped station promotional announcements.

The FCC doesn't approve of stations that dispense with studios, studio staff and an opportunity for the public to view the station's federal license and other documents.

Cochise, the FCC said in a filing last month, “willfully and repeatedly violated the commission's rules by failing to maintain and staff a main studio, and make available the station's public inspection file.”

The FCC filing last month said Cochise had until March 20 to file a statement saying it has established a studio and public inspection file for KOMJ.

Cochise's Virginia lawyer, Anne Crump, said the company has filed a timely response to the FCC in which it reported a new main studio and public file location. Crump did not disclose the location.

According to the FCC filing last month, Cochise in 2007 and 2008 rented studio space from Omaha's Journal Broadcast Group. That agreement lapsed, the filing said, to include only some storage space for Cochise files.

Cochise owner Ted Tucker told The World-Herald last year that he responded to the initial FCC inquiries and that he would not comment further. According to news reports from Arizona, Tucker has developed a reputation as a music aficionado who has digitized a large record collection and who buys small stations, spruces them up and sometimes sells them for a large profit.

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