Students at Utica College’s WPNR are learning a lesson they’ll probably never forget: the importance of maintaining a complete and up-to-date Public File for the FCC.
AllAccess.com reports Utica College has entered into a “Consent Decree” to settle the public file violations for the non-commercial station. Rather than being ordered to pay a fine, the decree says Utica College agrees to make a $10,000 “voluntary contribution” to the United States Treasury. The decree also stipulates that WPNR will maintain a “Compliance Plan” for the next three years.
We found the complete text of the WPNR Consent Decree on the FCC website. We’re no legal experts, but it appears the station avoided harsher penalties by voluntarily bringing the Public File violations to the FCC’s attention (rather than waiting for the FCC to discover the violations itself) when WPNR applied for a license renewal in 2006. The Decree does not detail the exact nature of the violations.
Scroll further down that document and you’ll find the stipulations for the Compliance Plan. Among other things, WPNR’s Public File must be audited quarterly by either the FCC or “an authorized representative of the New York State Broadcasters Association.” Any changes made to the Public File after the quarterly due date must be accompanied by a written explanation for the tardiness.
WPNR 90.7FM is “completely run by students,” according to its webpage on the Utica College website. The staff page names a complete slate of students who manage the station, under the guidance of a faculty adviser.