Plymouth Gathering, the licensee for LPFM station KELS-LP in Greeley, Colorado (Pirate 104.7), is being accused of airing over 1,600 ads over 3 months in 2018. LPFM’s are allowed to mention contributors but they are not allowed to run full-blown commercials.
The Commission says the 1,600 ads KELS-LP ran promoted the products, services or businesses of at least 14 financial contributors. “Therefore, we propose a penalty of $15,000 against Plymouth for its apparent violation of statutory provisions and the Commission’s rules prohibiting commercial advertisements on NCE stations.”
The Commission received complaints about the station airing commercials as far back as 2015, essentially operating the noncommercial station as a commercial station. Following a review of the complaints, Commission staff, including the Bureau’s Colorado Field Office, investigated and monitored the Station. On September 5, 2018, the CO Field Office conducted an additional inspection of the station and recorded a segment of station programming that appeared to include commercial announcements for 14 underwriters. The Bureau inquired about these matters on December 12, 2018, 13 to which the licensee responded on February 8, 2019. The Commission says the station acknowledged in its response that it did indeed broadcast 13 different announcements more than 1,600 times over a three-month period in late 2018, but asserts that it does not maintain records concerning the broadcast dates, times or text of the announcements.
Read the full Commission NAL HERE.