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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
East Tennessee Radio Group, L.P. )
) File Number EB-02-AT-231
Owner of Antenna Structure )
Registration No. 1063413 in ) NAL/Acct. No.200232480010
Sevierville, Tennessee )
) FRN 0005-0880-67
Dalton, Georgia )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: June 27,
By the Enforcement Bureau, Atlanta Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that East Tennessee Radio Group, L.P. (``East Tennessee''),
owner of antenna structure no. 1063413 in Sevierville, Tennessee,
willfully violated Sections 17.4(g), and 17.57 of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules''),1 by failing to display the
Antenna Structure Registration (``ASR'') number, and failing to
notify the Commission of a change in ownership of the structure.
We find East Tennessee Radio Group, L.P. apparently liable for
forfeiture in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000).
2. On May 15, 2002, an agent of the FCC Enforcement
Bureau's Atlanta Field Office (``Atlanta Office'') inspected the
antenna structure of WSEV(AM) in Sevierville, Tennessee.2 The
agent observed no posting of the ASR number on or near the tower,
its fence, building, gate, or anywhere on the property.
3. On May 15, 2002, the agent inspected radio station
WSEV(AM) at its studios in Sevierville, Tennessee. The agent
advised East Tennessee that the antenna structure registration
number was not posted. The agent subsequently interviewed the
station's chief engineer who stated that the ASR posting had been
vandalized some time ago and had not been reposted. FCC records
indicated that the owner of the antenna structure was Dollywood
Broadcasting. However, East Tennessee advised the agent that
they are the owners of the antenna structure and that Dollywood
Broadcasting was the previous owner of the antenna structure.
4. Section 17.4(g) of the Rules requires the ASR Number be
displayed in a conspicuous place so that it is readily visible
near the base of the antenna structure. The antenna structure
was observed on May 15, 2002, and no ASR number was posted.
Section 17.57 of the Rules requires the owner to immediately
notify the Commission using FCC Form 854 upon any change in
ownership. Commission records reflect the structure's previous
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find East Tennessee
willfully3 violated Sections 17.4(g), and 17.57 of the Rules by
failing to post the ASR number and failing to report changes in
6. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,4 the base
forfeiture amount for failure to file required forms or
information (e.g., failure to notify the Commission of a change
in ownership information) is $3,000. The Rules do not establish
a base forfeiture amount for failure to post the antenna
structure registration number.5 The Commission has determined,
however, that an appropriate base forfeiture amount for failure
to post the ASR number is $2,000 per violation.6 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
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''), which include
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 factors listed above, this case warrants a $5,000
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
Rules,9 East Tennessee Radio Group, L.P. is hereby NOTIFIED of
its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of five
thousand dollars ($5,000) for willful violation of Sections
17.4(g) and 17.57 of the Rules, by failing to display the Antenna
Structure Registration number, and failing to notify the
Commission of a change in ownership of the structure.
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, East Tennessee Radio Group,
L.P. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
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 should note the
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced above. Requests for payment of
the full amount of this Notice of Apparent Liability under an
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
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. referenced 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. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this Notice of
Apparent Liability shall be sent by regular mail and Certified
Mail Return Receipt Requested to East Tennessee Radio Group,
L.P., P. O. Box 1284, Dalton, GA 37862.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Fred L. Broce
Atlanta Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R §§ 17.4(g), and 17.57.
2 East Tennessee is the licensee of radio station WSEV(AM) as
well as owner of the antenna structure.
3 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under
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).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
5 See The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''), 12 FCC Rcd 17087
(1997), recon. denied 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999). The Forfeiture
Policy Statement states that ``... any omission of a specific
rule violation from the ... [forfeiture guidelines] ... should
not signal that the Commission considers any unlisted violation
as nonexistent or unimportant. Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12
FCC Rcd at 17099. The Commission retains the discretion,
moreover, to depart from the Forfeiture Policy Statement and
issue forfeitures on a case?by?case basis, under its general
forfeiture authority contained in Section 503 of the Act. Id.
6 American Tower Corporation, 16 FCC Rcd 1282 (2001).
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.