FCC admonishes 50 stations for DTV delay

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The Federal Communications Commission Friday denied 50 stations' requests for
an extra six months to construct their digital-television facilities and issued
them letters of admonishment for missing a May 1 construction deadline.

Requests from another 191 stations remain pending, and some of those are
expected to be admonished, as well.

Stations can be fined or lose their licenses if they cannot justify failure
to construct digital-TV facilities.

The FCC can grant up to two six-month waivers if operators suffer technical
snags, zoning fights, construction delays or cannot obtain financing.

So far, the FCC has granted 602 of 843 waiver requests. Under sanction
procedures approved last month, stations that cannot justify delays will not
suffer substantial penalties for six months following date of reprimand.

Those still failing to go digital after six months will be issued notices of
apparent liability for fines and required to meet a series of 30-day
construction milestones. If stations fail to offer a digital signal a year after
admonishment, the FCC will revoke their digital-TV construction
permits.

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