Translator-Monger Runs Afoul of Piracy

Earlier this month the FCC issued three Notices of Apparent Liability to a “Best Media, Inc.,” whose primary business model involves throwing up FM translator stations and then leasing them out to interested broadcasters. It would seem that Best Media is relatively new to this game: the licenses of three of the translators it received permits to operate in 2003 expired in 2004, and the company forgot to renew them for more than a year.
When the FCC twigged to the problem and opened an inquiry, Best Media sheepishly filed for license renewals. Not quick enough to avoid $21,000 in judgments – of which $9k is for muffing the paperwork and the balance for technically running pirate translators. Operating three unlicensed translator stations, therefore, is somewhat less egregious than running a single live-and-local pirate station, for which the FCC’s base fine begins at $10,000.