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Main shock-jock station still on air without FCC license

Main shock-jock station still on air without FCC license

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Pirate Radio still sails, but with one less vessel.

The third of four stations tied to Metro East shock jock Bob Romanik seems to have silenced its signal, but the flagship frequency of the group, KQQZ (1190 AM), still is on the air.

KQQZ is the station that airs Romanik's "Kool Killer Kountry" show live from 10-11 a.m. weekdays. The show repeatedly has come under fire for making racist, homophobic and misogynistic slurs.

Because of action taken last month by the Federal Communications Commission, the four stations' licenses expired on March 20 and "all authority to operate the four stations ... ended and the call signs will be deleted."

Two stations went off the air quickly, but KQQZ and KZQZ (1430 AM) continued to operate. After this bureau wrote last week about the stations' apparent violations, KZQZ stopped broadcasting.

But as of Wednesday, KQQZ still remained on the air. Wednesday's fare included a rebroadcast of an old Romanik show.

FCC spokesman Will Wiquist said the commission does not comment about specific cases. Romanik has been unavailable for comment.

A tougher pirate-radio law was enacted in January and gives the FCC authority to levy fines of up to $100,000 per violation and $2 million in total.

The FCC also can refer cases to a U.S. attorney’s office, which can order the U.S. Marshals Service to seize radio equipment.

The FCC's actions were spurred by St. Clair County Chairman Mark Kern, who argued that Romanik was hiding ownership of the stations behind an entity called Entertainment Media Trust.

Romanik is effectively prohibited from holding a license because of a previous felony conviction for bank fraud. A former Washington Park police chief, Romanik also obstructed justice during a federal organized crime probe in the 1990s.

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