WKCR Fined $10k For Being Lazy

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Not these kind of records

Update, May 29th, 3:57 pm: According to WKCR’s Publicity Director, Thuto Somo, the trustees will not pay the fine. Rather, “WKCR will pay for the fine out of the money it earns through fundraising. Recent FCC fines against WCKR have been dealt with by the station, and with listener support.” In addition, we’d like to clarify that the fines in question penalize the station for gaps in its records from 1998 to 2005; in recent years WKCR has been more responsible.

Bad news, Phil Schaap enthusiasts: According to Media Decoder, the FCC fined our own WKCR $10,000 “for failing to maintain a public inspection file, a collection of public correspondence and other records that all stations are required by federal law to keep current and make available to the public.” The FCC’s order judges the station’s lax record-keeping “a pattern of abuse.”

The FCC isn’t taking any chances—their order further stipulates that the “Trustees of Columbia University in New York SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture,” rather than the donation-driven radio station.

Easy photo opp via Wikimedia Commons

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  1. um....  

    The reason the Trustees will pay is because they own the FCC license.

    Maybe now the Trustees have the ammunition they need to make it a real student station and not the weird community jazz odyssey it has become...

    • WKCR Alum  

      What makes WCKR great is that it ISN'T some generic college radio station. People tune in to listen to the great jazz, American, and arts/news programming—not to listen to some college student's iTunes playlist. Between when I left Columbia and came back for grad school, I met quite a few people in the city (with no connection to Columbia) that love WKCR for what it is.

      That being said, I'm sad to hear this. HBA, crack the whip and get everyone's shit together!

  2. Anonymous

    Kickstarter, problem solved. WCKR has enough fans to raise that money.

  3. Thanks Bwog

    Pretty low blow, it's not laziness, so much as it is lack of manpower. Running a pro station with no one but part time volunteers occupied with school and/or careers, that receives little funding from the university isn't -surprise- particularly easy.

    • Anonymous

      Better headline then:

      WKCR Fined $10k for Being Incompetent

    • Anonymous

      Do you mean like Bwog, which is run entirely by "no one but part time volunteers occupied with school and/or careers?" That doesn't excuse Bwog when it fails to meet the standards imposed by its readers, yet we're supposed to excuse WKCR when it can't meet an FCC standard?

      • Anonymous

        You said it yourself: bwog's standards are imposed by its readers— not to mention the fact that it goes into "break mode" when we are not in school. Now, are you seriously comparing the FCC to bwog readers?

        • plenty  

          of volunteer organizations at this school function full time without continual oversight. CAVA is a prime example. Spec, Bwog, Nightline for a good amount of time, etc. No excuse for this, if it was too much to handle they should have reached out for help or shut down. Granted I do not know a lot about radio stations...

      • Anonymous

        actually, the infrastructure of bwog is an ill maintained mess riddled with troves of holes. surprised it hasn't been rooted already.

  4. The Gonest  

    A point of clarification: the lax record keeping in question only took place between 1998 and 2005. This is mentioned in the NYT article, although it's not entirely clear from the Bwog post. As someone who's worked at WKCR the past couple years, I can attest that the current staff has been a doing a much better job keeping the public file up-to-date.

  5. Anonymous

    Hmm makes me reconsider starting my own business. Filling out e-forms and space requests for the smallest events is not something I want to repeat in the real world on a daily basis.

  6. Anonymous  

    what the fuck? you get fined for being lazy? shit!

  7. Le Libertarian

    Can someone please explain to me the need for these FCC regulations? I am, as per usual, rather skeptical anytime the government sticks its nose into people's affairs.

    • Anonymous

      "In exchange for obtaining a valuable license to operate a broadcast station using the public airwaves, each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license."

      And the public inspection file is a way to make sure stations fulfill that promise. If you can't maintain records, why should you be entrusted with a portion of the public airwaves?

  8. ...  

    there surely has to be some crappy software out there that makes the compilation of these documents annoying but hard to avoid.

  9. GUYS!!

    When is PBK out??

    • !!

      Does anyone know where I can get tickets for class day?

      • hEY :)

        I think they'll give the graduating people a certain number. But usually that's early may I'm guessing. Maybe if you befriend anyone in the class of 2013 really early u can snag a tic come May. Otherwise, I don't know about any independent Ticketmaster type of sales going on. Of course, if you're graduating then it probably won't be as difficult to get one.
        Bottom line, I don't think they are sold year round-- You will have to wait some months but u can get started if you "network" with someone who will graduate in 2013. Fortunately I have lots of 2013 friends

  10. chaim lazaros

    chaim lazaors' show is awesome!

  11. Anonymous  

    Where's the support for your fellow Columbians, guys? This is ridiculous!

  12. seas '12  

    someone better be getting sued for this shit goddammmnnn

  13. dr. jekyllope

    speaking of "lax record-keeping" where the hell is "Sternklang"? how am i supposed to fill 4 hours of Transfigured if not with Stockhausen i mean come on

  14. Anonymous  

    This is the best thing to happen to WKCR in a dog's age. There are 26 unique comments on this post even though WKCR has 3 student listeners, tops.

    • Anonymous

      WKCR is a new York institution, with listeners all over the city.

      • Columbia_Neighbor

        I agree. Change the headline. obviously, something fell through the cracks. I remember when Phil Schaap ran the Jazz Room at the West End, yep I'm that old. Its not just a student station and thats what makes it GREAT!

    • Windy  

      Actually, this is the best thing to happen to WKCR in a dog's age:

      from NYT...

      ★ Han Bennink 70th Birthday Concert (Saturday) If you’ve been listening to WKCR, 89.9 FM, this week, you know that Mr. Bennink, the eminent Dutch jazz drummer, just turned 70; you also know that his art is as much about flourish as it is about tempo (though he can swing on a dime). This concert, the culmination of WKCR’s marathon birthday broadcast, will feature him in the company of some prominent collaborators, including the multireedist Michael Moore, the keyboardist Richard Teitelbaum, the trombonist Ray Anderson, the trumpeter Thomas Heberer, the violinist Mary Oliver, the bassist Mark Dresser and the pianist Uri Caine. At 7:30 p.m., Italian Academy at Columbia University, 1161 Amsterdam Avenue, Morningside Heights, (212) 352-3101,; $25. (Chinen)


  15. don't hate me

    hey bwog, could you post the cum laude list?

  16. I know you gotta job Ms. Cheney

    But your husband's heart problem is complicated

    So the F-C-C won't let me be

    Or let me be me so let me see

    They tried to shut me down on M-T-V

    But it feels so empty without me...

  17. Anonymous

    We want more content!

    Come on, Bwog, you can't all seriously have better things to do with your summers than find stupid things to tell us about.

  18. ahmet

    bwog should be interested in this stuff rather than the shit it chooses to post.

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