WHDD threatens Region One over FCC Complaint
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the oversight agency concerning communications media in the United States. The agency is charged with regulating the broadcast industry and has rules it follows in doing so.
Broadcasters are aware of the rules that regulate their particular media outlet.
When a citizen perceives that the rules have be violated, they are entitled to file a complaint with the agency. Much like an arrest is not proof of guilt in the criminal system, a complaint is not affirmation that a violation has been committed.
The agency (FCC) will take statements and rebuttals. They will review evidence and even case law in order to come to a conclusion. Ultimately the FCC may chose various courses of corrective action or chose to dismiss the complaint. There is a fair process which allows all parties to present their case.
Considering this, one should wonder why the President of Tri-State Public Communications (operators of WHDD, a non commercial low power FM station licensed by the FCC) is so disturbed about the complain which has been filed by Diane Goncalves, Assistant Superintendent of Region One Schools. As Mr. Miles feels he had the right to make political candidate endorsements, Ms. Goncalves believes he violate Federal Regulations by taking such action.
By all accounts, Ms. Goncalves acted on her own in filing this complaint, although Mr. Miles would have you believe it was some great conspiracy cooked up by the Region One Board of Education.
Regardless, the FCC will make a ruling or dismiss the complaint once they have completed their investigation. Mr. Miles should know this, given his years of broadcast experience and the fact that they (WHDD) were able to reach a settlement with the FCC in December 2010 in another complaint which had been filed with the agency concerning their underwriting practices.
In that case, WHDD was ordered to file some extra paperwork with the FCC and contribute $15,000 to the United States Treasury. They also neither acknowledged or denied that they had violated underwriting regulations, a rather ‘turn you head and look the other way’ approach.
Given this process, one would think that WHDD would enlist an attorney and proceed to present their case to the FCC in a quiet manner, as they did with the other complaint.
Instead, Mr. Miles turns up at a Region One Board of Education meeting, demands answers to his questions, and eludes to some kind of ‘unseen conspiracy’. This action causes me to question his motives as well.
Mr. Miles and WHDD may now cost the Region One taxpayers money since they might have to enlist the services of Attorney Brochu ($300/hour) to help defend against Mr. Miles accusations. This will have to come from the budget which in turn will deprive our school system of funds which would better be used for educational purposes.
One might ask the logical question: Why would the Region One School System engage legal services in this matter?
Your answer lies in this threatening email communication from Marshall Miles (WHDD Radio) to Region One Representative William ‘Scooter’ Tedder (and in CC form to the rest of Region One Board Members) on January 11, 2012:
From: Robinhood Radio <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: January 11, 2012 10:33:15 AM EST
Subject: Complaint to WIlliam “Scooter” Tedder
To all Region One BOE Members, this is a letter that is being delivered to Scooter Tedder today.
Your prompt action is expected in this matter.
TO: William Tedder
Region One Board Of Education
FROM: Marshall Miles
67 Main Street Sharon, CT 06039
Here is a copy of the letter that was given to the board last night to give to you (I left one for each board member, but it’s obvious that it never got past Pat and Diane).
As I said at last night’s meeting in the public comment section, all I want right now is the following from The Region One Board:
A simple YES or NO from the board on the following question:
Yes or No, did the board give Diane permission to represent them in her personal complaint? (I have on tape Phil saying that was the first the board heard about it, and also that neither he nor the board signed the complaint).
Yes or No, did Patricia Chamberlain, Superintendent authorize or have knowledge on Diane’s complaint?
There are some very serious possible repercussions for every member of the Board, Patricia and Diane who are involved in this matter. Once my questions are answered by the board and Patricia, I will then proceed with appropriate action. It could range from a minor request, or, possible legal action either against the entire board, Diane, or the entire board, Patricia and Diane.
I suggest the board get moving on this, as I must file to the FCC no later than the 20th of January.
Thanks for your time, and your service to the community Scooter.