Commission’s Pirate Crackdown Continues


It seems we’ve been reporting more about the FCC taking aim at illegal broadcasters under new Chairman Ajit Pai, especially the past few weeks. Thursday, another flurry of pirates were notified they had 10 days to end their operation and respond to the FCC to explain what they were doing operating radio stations without a government license. Here’s where the latest group comes from.

The first pirate was nailed in the Bronx. Sean Marshall was caught operating a radio station at 98.9 from his home on East 243rd street. Also in the Bronx, Maria Santiago was cited for operating an illegal radio station from her home on Saint Nicholas Avenue. Over in New Jersey Winston Tulloch was caught operating a radio station without a license from the home of Phillip Mahoney. Tulloch was identified as the owner of the station and Mahoney the owner of the property at East 30th street in Paterson. Both received letters from the Commission and have 10 days to respond.


  1. Folks, many of you will undoubtedly recall the recent big story in all the broadcast rags — e.g., FCC Fines LPTV Station $144,000 For Operating Without A License. Here’s a link to one of them. The story was even a bigger item in Kentucky, where articles labeling W10BM as a outright “pirate” caused locals to pull advertising from the station. Deprived of funding, the station had no choice but to cease operations.

    What’s not being mentioned here by the mainstream media reports is that many of the FCC’s allegations that the licensee never attempted to renew his license are completely false. Yes, the paper applications apparently got lost in the mail. But when the FCC gave the license a 30 day notice to file, the licensee used the CDBS filing system to not only renew his three LPTV licenses, but also to pay the $1125 fee the system said he had to pay for the renewal.

    Apparently the FCC’s CDBS filing system has a glitch. On the licensee’s side (when logged in) it shows the renewals. An attempt to refile the renewals produces a pop up advising the forms are already filed. Most importantly here, the licensee’s bank statement shows the FCC charged his credit card $1125. For reasons unknown, the FCC can’t seem to locate these filings on their side of the CDBS system. They’re also denying having received payment.

    Undoubtedly, the licensee has filed an appeal. You can read the appeal, and see all the exhibits showing the renewal applications and proof of payment of the renewal, at this link:

    Even if the appeal is granted, it doesn’t undo the unmeasurable damage the FCC has done to this licensee, his reputation, and his livelihood.


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