FCC Threatens To Revoke Radio Licenses Over Unpaid Fees

Jan 19, 2024

By Ted Hearn, Editor of Policyband

Washington, D.C., Jan. 19, 2024 – The owner of two radio stations in the Midwest is so far behind on payment of federal regulatory fees that he is in jeopardy of losing both licenses.

The Federal Communications Commission today warned the owner and licensee, Daniel S. Stratemeyer, that he could be subject to license revocation if he failed to catch up on his payments within 60 days. He also has the option to demonstrate that “payment is inapplicable or should be waived or deferred.”

“Licensee is hereby notified that failure to provide such evidence of payment or to show cause within the time specified may result in revocation of licensee’s license for the stations,” said Holly Saurer, Chief of the Media Bureau, who issued the order.

As a technical matter, Saurer’s order initiated a proceeding to revoke Stratemeyer’s licenses.

Saurer's order said Stratemeyer is the licensee of WRIK(AM) in Brookport, Il., and KZMA(FM), in Naylor, Mo.

Stratemeyer, she said, failed to pay regulatory fees in fiscal 2010, fiscal 2012 and fiscal 2013.

The FCC, she said, is owed about $22,000 net in late fees, penalties and interest.

“Additional charges will continue to accrue on these debts until they are paid in full,” Saurer said.

Radio and TV stations, plus cable TV operators, satellite TV providers, phone companies and many more, are required to pay annual FCC regulatory fees. Cable's fee is $1.23 fee per subscriber in fiscal 2024.

The fees fund the FCC’s $410.7 million budget.

An email and messages attempting to reach Stratemeyer were unsuccessful.