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Radio News: Largest possible fine for Miami pirate

Jan 01, 2018 10:50 pm
Nate Anderson at Ars Technica reports that a Haitian pirate radio station near Miami, Radio Touche Douce (90.1-FM), has received the largest possible fine from the Federal Communications Commission, $144,344. The Miami Herald says, the station is, "the pulse of the Haitian music industry in Miami, organizing some of the most popular big-ticket parties while promoting bands and guiding konpa music fans to the next hit." The station has a website, Facebook page, and an internet webstream on the TuneIn app. FCC records indicate they've been chasing the station's signal at least since 2012. DJ Polynice was fined $25,000 in 2013 for the station's illegal signal. The Miami Herald reports that the Radio Touche Douce studio is "located in a North Miami storefront," while the transmitter is nearby in a backyard shed that belongs to Harold and Veronise Sido. The trio were hit with the joint fine of $144,344 this past September. FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn supported the fine but gave reasons why the three might have taken to the pirate radio movement. "According to US Census data, there are 213,000 foreign-born Haitians living in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area," she wrote. "This represents nearly four percent of the metro area population yet, research by my staff found just a single FM station serving the Haitian community of the almost 60 FM stations in south Florida. If these unlicensed operators were ever afforded the opportunity to transition to a licensed station, would they take it? Unfortunately, in most large media markets, that opportunity may never exist, both because of the lack of an available license and high financial hurdles." A local musician agrees in the Miami Herald. “We need it,” said Wilky “Kikko” Saint-Hilaire, a songwriter for several konpa musicians. “This was probably the only station that played our music genre, konpa, exclusively on a daily basis.”