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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the matter of )
Morradio, Inc. ) File Number:
Greenwood, SC ) NAL/Acct. No.:
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: March 30, 2000
By the Enforcement Bureau, Atlanta Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find that Morradio, Inc. (``Morradio'') has
apparently violated sections 73.1690(b), 73.3538(a)(4) and
11.35(a) of the Commission's Rules1 for failure to license
changes in the antenna structure location and failure to install
and maintain emergency alert system (``EAS'') equipment. We
conclude that Morradio is apparently liable for forfeiture in the
amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000).
2. Radio station WLMA(AM) is licensed to broadcast on 1350
kHz in Greenwood, SC. On October 27, 1994, an agent of the
Commission's Atlanta Office inspected WLMA(AM) and found several
violations. An Official Notice of Violation (NOV) was issued to
Morradio on November 3, 1994, for violations found during the
inspection. Among other violations, Morradio was cited for
failure to install and maintain Emergency Broadcast System (EBS)2
equipment and for failure to license changes in the antenna
structure location.3 On October 21, 1998, a NAL was issued to
Morradio for failure to license changes in the antenna structure
location. On March 31, 1999, the Commission found Morradio
liable for a forfeiture amount of $4,000 for failure to license
changes in the antenna structure location.4
3. On January 21, 2000, agents from the Enforcement
Bureau's Atlanta Office inspected Station WLMA(AM) and found
several violations. On February 2, 2000, the District Director
of the Atlanta Office issued an NOV to Morradio, citing all
violations found. Among other violations, Morradio was again
cited for failure to license changes in the antenna structure
location5 and for failure to install and maintain EAS equipment.
On March 16, 2000, the Atlanta Office received a response letter
from Morradio indicating that some of the violations had been
corrected and that the other violations would be corrected on
4. Morradio, as the licensee of the broadcast station
WLMA(AM), is responsible for knowledge of, and compliance with,
the applicable sections of the Commission's rules. Both Sections
73.1690(b) and 73.3538(a)(4) state that changes in antenna
location may be made only after the grant of a construction
permit. As revealed in the January 21, 2000, inspection,
Morradio had relocated the tower to a site approximately 0.6
miles from the licensed site, without obtaining Commission
authority. Morradio's response to the NOV asserted that Morradio
``had understood that because of the very short distance of the
move from the licensed site, that a new application was
unnecessary.'' Morradio further promised to remedy the violation
with the filing of a ``proper site change application.'' Lack of
knowledge of the rules and remedial action to correct a violation
are not sufficient justifications for not imposing a forfeiture,
particularly since the licensee has a history of committing this
same type of violation.
5. Section 11.35(a) states that stations must have EAS
encoders, EAS decoders and attention signal generating and
receiving equipment installed and operating during times the
broadcast station is in operation. The rules further stipulate
that broadcast stations were to have the EAS equipment installed
by January 1, 1997. When the station was inspected on January
21, 2000, there was no EAS equipment installed at the station and
there was no EAS log demonstrating that the station had ever
installed EAS equipment since the January 1, 1997, deadline. The
licensee told inspectors that he had ordered EAS equipment, but
blamed the EAS manufacturer for non-delivery. No evidence was
provided to corroborate this claim. In the response to the NOV,
the licensee stated that ``[Morradio] is accepting bids and
gathering information about the EAS systems and expects to order
the system on or before April 1, 2000, and have [it] completely
installed and fully operational by April 15, 2000.'' Remedial
action to correct the violation is not sufficient justification
for not imposing a forfeiture, particularly since the station was
knowingly in violation for over three years and the licensee has
a history of similar violations.6
6. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended (the ``Act''), 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1),7 provides that any
person who willfully8 and repeatedly9 fails to comply with the
terms and conditions of his license or the Commission's rules
shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. Based on the above
evidence, we find that Morradio willfully and repeatedly violated
Sections 73.1690(b), 73.3538(a)(4) and 11.35(a)10 of the
7. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement
and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''), the base
forfeiture amounts are $4,000 for the construction and operation
at an unauthorized location and $8,000 for the failure to have
EAS equipment installed.11 In assessing the monetary forfeiture
amount, we must also take into account the statutory factors set
forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, which include the
nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation(s),
and with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any
history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters
as justice may require.12 Morradio's violations were repeated
and willful, and the licensee has a prior history of similar
violations. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement and
statutory factors to the instant case, a $12,000 forfeiture is
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the communications Act of 1934, as amended13, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules14,
Morradio, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for
violating the Commission's rules.15
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules16, within thirty days of the released date
of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Morradio, Inc., SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
10. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by credit card
through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management Center at
(202) 418-1995 or by mailing a check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission, to
the Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. The payment should note the NAL/Acct. No. X3248002.
11. The response if any must be mailed to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, Atn: Enforcement Bureau -TPSD,
NAL/Acct. No. X3248002, and must include the NAL/Acct. No.
12. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices ; or (3)
some other reliable and objective documentation that accurately
reflects the petitioner's current financial status. Any claim of
inability to pay must specifically identify the basis for the
claim by reference to the financial documentation submitted.
13. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.17
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Morradio, Inc., at 207 Wingert Road, Greenwood, SC
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Fred L. Broce
District Director, Atlanta Office
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.1690(b), 73.3538(a)(4) and 11.35(a).
2 EBS is the predecessor to the current EAS.
3The licensee had relocated the station's antenna tower to a site
10 miles from the licensed site without obtaining Commission
authority. The new site was determined by Global Positioning
Satellite to be located at coordinates 34° 21' 26'' N and 82° 05'
52'' W. The licensed site was for coordinates 34° 13' 06'' N and
82° 08' 00'' W.
4 The Forfeiture Order was adopted March 31, 1999 and Released
April 2, 1999. The Forfeiture Order also granted Morradio a
special temporary authority to commence operating at its
originally licensed site, 34° 13' 06'' N and 82° 08' 00'' W.
5 The licensee had relocated the station's antenna tower to a
site 0.6 miles from the licensed site. The new site was
determined by Global Positioning Satellite to be located at
coordinates 34° 13' 25'' N and 82° 07' 30'' W. The licensed site
was for coordinates 34° 13' 06'' N and 82° 08' 00'' W.
6 On November 3, 1994, Morradio was issued an NOV for failure to
have EBS equipment installed at the station. On December 23,
1996, Morradio was issued an NOV for failure to send EBS tests
and for failure to maintain EBS logs.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1). See also Section 1.80(a)(1) and (2), 47
C.F.R. § 1.80(a)(1) and (2).
8 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
`willful', when used with reference to the commission or omission
of any act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or
omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any
provision of this Act ....'' See Southern California
Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
9 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he term
`repeated', when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, means the commission or omission of such act
more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
for more than one day.''
10 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.1690(b), 73.3538(a)(4) and 11.35(a)
11 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. Denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D). See also Forfeiture Policy
Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-01 (discussion of upward and
downward adjustment factors).
13 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
14 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
15 47 C.F.R. §§ 73.1690(b), 73.3538(a)(4) and 11.35(a)
16 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
17 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.