Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting’s 105.1 KAWK Custer SD made news a few years ago when the station went silent due to lack of staffing. That ended up being a minor incident compared to what the FCC determined in deciding to cancel the station’s license this week.
After issuing a letter of inquiry to the station last fall, the agency determined the station’s license expired on October 22, 2009 and deleted the allocation. KAWK had originally applied for a Silent STA in May 2002 stating it was forced to vacate its transmitter site. After being granted an STA the following year to operate with temporary facilities (to this day a new site application was never filed), the station went silent and resumed operations nine times before claiming in September 2009 that it was resuming operations “pursuant to the specifications of its license”. In response to the letter of inquiry, Mt. Rushmore Broadcasting admitted that KAWK was actually using its temporary facilities and any reference to its licensed site was incorrect. That meant that KAWK was Silent or operating from unlicensed facilities from October 21, 2008 through April 26, 2012 or more than the one year period that automatically cancels a license. Mount Rushmore Broadcasting has seen its share of issues over the years with fines from both the FCC and US Department of Labor levied against it.