CPB fines WJFF $15,000 for open-meeting violations

By Andrew Lapin

Jefferson Hydroelectric provides electricity that keeps the studios lit at WJFF. (Photo: WJFF)

CPB has ordered Jeffersonville, N.Y., community radio station WJFF to pay a $15,000 penalty for failures to comply with open-meetings requirements dating back to 2011.

The penalty follows up on a September 2013 report from CPB’s Inspector General. The IG found the station had not properly announced board meetings, maintained records of attendance at meetings or prepared written policies about complying with such regulations. CPB had warned the station about these shortcomings in November 2011, and the station’s failure to heed that advice was cited as the reason for the $15,000 fine.

The station has endured a tumultuous period in recent years, with listeners protesting changes in programming implemented by Winston Clark, a former g.m. Clark resigned in April 2013, and all but one of the station’s board members followed suit the next week.

CPB informed WJFF of the fine in March, and the station appealed for a reduction April 4. It pointed out that the g.m. and board members responsible for the violations had resigned and that new management had taken steps to bring the station back into compliance. CPB rejected the appeal April 21.

CPB will deduct the penalty from WJFF’s next Community Service Grant payment, in the second half of fiscal year 2014.

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