Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
Click here for NAL


This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.


Media Contact: 
Will Wiquist, (202) 418-0509
For Immediate Release
Station Failed to Renew License and Ignored FCC Warnings
WASHINGTON, May 12, 2017 – The Federal Communications Commission today proposed a 
$144,344 fine against Vearl Pennington and Michael Williamson for operating an unlicensed 
low-power television station in Morehead, Kentucky.  An FCC investigation found that these 
individuals continued to operate well after the FCC license for their station was cancelled 
following failure to file a renewal.  The proposed fine is the maximum allowed for ongoing 
violations of the Communications Act, justified by the individuals’ continued operation of the 
station for years despite repeated warnings that they were in violation of the law.  
Federal law prohibits the operation of a broadcast television station without a license issued by 
the Commission.  Congress enacted this requirement as a means of ensuring a fair and equitable 
distribution of scarce spectrum resources among entities, such as TV and radio broadcasters, 
public safety agencies, and wireless phone and data networks.  Unlicensed, or “pirate,” broadcasts
can cause interference to licensed uses, such as potentially preventing the public from viewing or 
hearing important public safety warnings. 
In 1990, Mr. Pennington was granted an FCC license to operate low-power television station 
DW10BM in Morehead, Kentucky.  Mr. Pennington renewed the station’s license in 1993 but 
failed to do so again in 1998.  In 2004, the FCC’s Media Bureau wrote to Mr. Pennington to 
inquire if he had submitted a renewal request in 1998.  Receiving no response, the Bureau 
canceled the license for DW10BM in 2004.  Mr. Pennington, joined by Mr. Williamson, 
continued to operate the station despite their lack of FCC-issued license.
After an unrelated FCC filing by another entity referenced the continued operation of DW10BM, 
the FCC’s Media Bureau informed the Enforcement Bureau, which investigated through its 
Atlanta Field Office and found that the unlicensed station was indeed operating on channel 10 in 
FCC agents met with Messrs. Pennington and Williamson during the investigation and warned 
both individuals that their unlicensed broadcasts violated FCC rules and the Communications 
Act.  The station was instructed to cease operation, warned of possible enforcement actions, and 
issued an on-scene Notice of Unlicensed Radio Operation.  Despite these warnings, the men 
continued to operate the station.  The FCC issued today’s proposed fine, formally known 
as a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), against both Mr. Pennington and 
A copy of the NAL is available at:
Action by the Commission May 11, 2017 by Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (FCC 17-
54). Chairman Pai, Commissioners Clyburn and O’Rielly approving.  Commissioner O’Rielly 
issuing a separate statement. 
Office of Media Relations: (202) 418-0500
ASL Videophone: 1-844-432-2275
TTY: (888) 835-5322
Twitter: @FCC
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action.  Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes 
official action.  See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).