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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Emmis Television License ) File Number EB-02-OR-053
Corporation ) NAL/Acct.No. 200232620004
Owner of Antenna Structure No. ) FRN 0002-8842-52
New Orleans, LA )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: May 31, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, New Orleans Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, we find that Emmis Television License
Corporation (``Emmis''), owner of antenna structure no.
1022410, willfully violated Sections 17.47(a)(2) and 17.57
of the Commission's Rules (``Rules''),1 by failing to
provide a properly maintained automatic alarm system
monitoring its tower lights, and failing to notify the
Commission using FCC Form 854 of a change in tower
ownership. The violation of Section 17.57 of the Rules also
is a repeated violation. We conclude that Emmis is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of five
thousand dollars ($5,000).
2. On or about April 1, 2002, the FCC Enforcement
Bureau's New Orleans Field Office (``New Orleans Office'')
received a report of an unlit top beacon on the tower used
by WVUE(TV) located in Chalmette, Louisiana. The Antenna
Structure Registration Number for this tower is 1022410 and
it is located at N29°57'14'' x W089°56'58''. On April 4,
2002, a New Orleans Office agent inspected the antenna
structure and determined that the top beacon was not capable
of operation due to a blown fuse. However, the structure's
automatic alarm system failed to detect the malfunction. It
was later determined that a faulty limit set point on the
remote control was responsible for the automatic alarm
system failure. In addition, although an assignment of
license to Emmis occurred in December 20002 and Emmis owns
the structure, the Antenna Structure Registration ownership
information for antenna structure no. 1022410 was never
updated and still showed SF New Orleans License Subsidiary,
Inc. as the structure owner.
3. Section 17.47(a)(2) of the Rules requires that the
owner of an antenna structure which is registered with the
Commission and has been assigned lighting specifications
shall provide and properly maintain an automatic alarm
system designed to detect any failure of such lights and to
provide indications of such failure to the owner.3 On April
4, 2002, Emmis' automatic alarm system was improperly
maintained resulting in failure of the alarm system to
notify Emmis of a lighting failure on its antenna structure.
4. Section 17.57 of the Rules requires that the owner
of an antenna structure must immediately notify the
Commission using FCC Form 854 upon any change in structure
height or change in ownership information. Emmis failed to
update the antenna structure ownership information from the
time Emmis became owner of the tower on or about December 6,
2000, until at least April 23, 2002.
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Emmis willfully4 violated Section 17.47(a)(2) of the Rules
by failing to provide a properly maintained automatic alarm
system for its antenna structure lighting, and willfully and
repeatedly5 violated Section 17.57 of the Rules by failing
to notify the Commission using FCC Form 854 of a change in
antenna structure ownership.
6. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Commission's
Rules, the base forfeiture amount for failure to properly
maintain an automatic alarm system for antenna structure
lighting is $2,000 (failure to conduct required monitoring),
and for failure to notify the Commission of a change in
antenna structure ownership is $3,000 (failure to file
required forms or information).6 Section 503(b)(2)(D) of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),
requires us to take into account ``...the nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation, 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.''7 Considering the entire
record and applying the statutory factors listed above, this
case warrants a $5,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,8 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Commission's Rules,9 Emmis Television License
Corporation is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR
A FORFEITURE in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000)
for willful violation of Section 17.47(a)(2) of the Rules
and willful and repeated violation of Section 17.57 of the
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the
release date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Emmis
Television License Corporation SHALL PAY the full amount of
the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
9. Payment of the forfeiture may be made 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 must include the FRN and NAL/Acct. No.
referenced in the letterhead above.
10. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Technical & Public Safety Division, and MUST INCLUDE THE
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced in the letterhead above.
11. 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 (``GAAP''); 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
12. Requests for payment of the full amount of this
Notice of Apparent Liability under an installment plan
should be sent to: Federal Communications Commission, Chief,
Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.10
IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF APPARENT
LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Emmis Television License Corporation at 3500
West Olive Avenue, Suite 300, Burbank, California 91505.
James C. Hawkins
District Director, New Orleans
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.47(a)(2), 17.57
2 The license for WVUE(TV) was assigned from SF New Orleans
License Subsidiary, Inc., to Emmis TV License Corporation of
New Orleans on June 23, 1998. A subsequent assignment of
license to Emmis Television License Corporation occurred on
December 6, 2000. The Antenna Structure Registration
database still showed SF New Orleans License Subsidiary,
Inc. as owner at the time of inspection on April 4, 2002.
3 Alternatively, the owner may make observations of the
antenna structure's lights at least once each 24 hours
either visually or by observing a properly maintained
indicator designed to register any failure of such lights.
See 47 C.F.R. § 17.47(a)(1)
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. §312(f)(1), which
applies equally 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
5 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which
applies equally 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.''
6 47 C.F.R § 1.80(b)(4)
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D)
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)
9 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80
10 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914