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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-02-AT-243
Lighthouse Broadcasting ) NAL/Acct. No.200232480014
Licensee of WBIC(AM) in Royston, )
Georgia ) FRN 0007-3941-09
Canon, Georgia )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: July 30, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, Atlanta Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find Lighthouse Broadcasting, licensee of radio
station WBIC(AM), Royston, Georgia, apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of twelve thousand dollars ($12,000) for
willful and repeated violation of Sections 11.35(a) and 73.1745
of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 Specifically, we find
Lighthouse Broadcasting apparently liable for failing to maintain
operational Emergency Alert System (``EAS'') equipment and
operating with excessive power during post sunset hours and then
failing to discontinue operation at night.
2. On June 18, 2002, an agent of the FCC Enforcement
Bureau's Atlanta Field Office (``Atlanta Office'') monitored
WBIC(AM)'s signal from before sunset, through sundown, and into
the nighttime hours until 11 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time
(``EDT'') when the station discontinued operation. The agent
conducted field strength measurements of the station's signal
during this time period and determined that WBIC(AM) failed to
reduce power in accordance with its post sunset authority and
failed to discontinue operation at 10:45 p.m. EDT in accordance
with its station authorization.2
3. On June 19, 2002, the agent monitored WBIC(AM)'s signal
and conducted field strength measurements and determined that the
station again failed to reduce power according to its post sunset
authority and discontinue operation at 10:45 p.m. EDT. The agent
noted that, although the station signed off the air at 11:23 p.m.
EDT, the station continued to transmit an unmodulated carrier
until at least midnight.
4. On June 20, 2002, the agent inspected WBIC(AM)'s EAS
system. The inspection was conducted with Louis Hawkins, general
manager. At the inspection, the EAS encoder/decoder unit was
turned on, but station staff could not demonstrate equipment
operation. Mr. Hawkins provided invoices indicating that a new
EAS power supply was ordered on May 9, 2002, and installed on May
16, 2002, but there was no evidence that any tests or alerts had
been received or sent since that date. There were no logs or
other evidence to indicate that the unit had ever been in
operation and no log entries indicating that the unit was taken
out of service. The agent also found that the unit appeared to
be incapable of receiving two EAS sources. Furthermore, the
engineer indicated in the May 16, 2002, invoice for installation
of the power supply, that reception was ``very poor on the two
monitored stations'' and that ``better receivers and an outside
antenna'' should be installed.
5. On July 8, 2002, the Atlanta Office received a copy of
a report dated July 5, 2002, written by WBIC's contract engineer.
The report indicated that two new FM receivers were installed,
but that there was still an apparent problem with the EAS
encoder/decoder and that it was being taken out of service for
further trouble shooting or repair.
6. On July 9, 2002, the agent interviewed by telephone
WBIC's owner, Mr. Joseph Hood of Lighthouse Broadcasting. Mr.
Hood admitted that the EAS unit had been broken several months
prior to when Mr. Hawkins, the new general manager, had started
employment at the station in May, 2002, but Mr. Hood said that he
could not afford to have the unit repaired. He did not have any
logs or other evidence to indicate that the unit had ever been
operational or that the EAS equipment had been taken out of
service for repair.
7. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires that broadcast
stations maintain operational EAS encoders, decoders and
attention signal generating equipment and receiving equipment so
that monitoring and transmitting functions are available during
times the stations are in operation. On June 20, 2002,
WBIC(AM)'s EAS unit was not functional. Although there had been
recent attempts at repairing the EAS unit prior to the
inspection, there was no evidence or logs that the unit had been
functional at any time, nor were there log entries indicating the
equipment was under repair.3 The station owner admitted that the
EAS equipment had been non-operational since at least prior to
8. Section 73.1745 of the Rules states that ``[n]o
broadcast station shall operate at times, or with modes or power,
other than those specified and made a part of the license, unless
otherwise provided in this part.'' WBIC(AM)'s license authorizes
daytime-only operation and the station must either discontinue
operation at sunset or reduce power to the minimal levels
specified in its post sunset authority at the times indicated.
WBIC(AM) has no nighttime authority and is not permitted to
operate past the two hours indicated in its post sunset
authority. On June 18, 2002 and June 19, 2002, WBIC(AM) failed
to reduce power to the levels indicated in its post sunset
authority, remaining on daytime power throughout this time
period. Furthermore, WBIC failed to discontinue operation after
the post sunset authority time-period and continued to operate on
the first night for at least 15 minutes, and on the second night
for at least 1 hour and 15 minutes, past the time to discontinue
9. Based on the evidence before us, we find Lighthouse
Broadcasting willfully4 and repeatedly5 violated Sections
11.35(a) and 73.1745 of the Rules by failing to maintain
operational EAS equipment and failing to reduce power at sunset
and then discontinue operation after the post sunset authority
10. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,6 the base
forfeiture amount for failure to maintain operational EAS
equipment is $8,000, and for operation with excessive power
during post sunset hours and failure to discontinue operation
after post sunset hours is $4,000. 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 $12,000
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. 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 Lighthouse Broadcasting is hereby NOTIFIED of this
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of twelve
thousand dollars ($12,000) for willful and repeated violation of
Sections 11.35(a) and 73.1745 of the Rules by failing to maintain
operational EAS equipment and operating with excessive power
during the post sunset authority hours and then failing to
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NAL,
Lighthouse Broadcasting SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
13. 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 NAL under an installment plan should be
sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445
12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.10
14. 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.
15. 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
16. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL shall be
sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested
to Lighthouse Broadcasting, 2735 Bryant Park Road, Canon, GA
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Fred L. Broce
Atlanta Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.35(a) and 73.1745.
2 WBIC(AM) is a daytime-only station, licensed to operate at 230
watts. The station has post sunset authority in the month of
June of 3.5 watts from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. EDT and then 1.8 watts
from 9:45-10:45 p.m. EDT. The station has no authority to
operate beyond 10:45 p.m. EDT.
3 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.35(a)-(b).
4 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 4387-88 (1991).
5 The 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.'' 47 U.S.C. §
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.