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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Erald Broadcasting, Inc. ) File No. EB-00-CF-616
Glen Burnie, MD ) NAL/Acct. No.
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: February 05,
By the District Director, Columbia Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1.In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(NAL), we find that Erald Broadcasting, Inc. (``Erald'') has
apparently violated Section 73.49 of the Commission's Rules and
Regulations (the ``Rules")1 by failing to maintain an effective
locked fence or other enclosure around the base of each antenna
having radio frequency potential at the base. We conclude that
Erald is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
seven thousand dollars ($7,000).
2.Station WJRO, licensed to Erald and located at Glen
Burnie, MD, was inspected on November 21, 2000 by agents from the
Commission's Columbia, Maryland Field Office. During that
inspection, the agents discovered that the station's antennas
were not enclosed within effective locked fences or other
enclosures. Other violations related to the stations directional
antenna operating parameters were also noted.
3.A Notice of Violation was issued to Erald on November 28,
2000 detailing these violations. In a reply dated December 4,
2000, Erald referred to the failure to effectively enclose the
tower bases as ``house keeping'' items they were continuing to
work on while ``spending considerable effort'' rebuilding the
4.Section 73.49 requires that antenna towers having radio
frequency potential at the base be enclosed within effective
locked fences or other enclosures. During the inspection of WJRO
on November 21, 2000, the agents found that the door hinges to
the antenna tuning house at tower #1 were not attached to the
doorjamb, and as evidenced by the rusted hinges, had not been
attached for quite some time. The gate leading to tower #2 was
off its hinges, the hinge pins of which were not even aligned to
hold the gate there. At tower #3 the door to the tuning house
was unlocked. In reply to the Notice of Violation, Erald stated
that the gate to tower #2 was repaired the day of the inspection.
He also stated that the hinges on the door at tower #1 were
repaired the following day. The licensee further stated that the
lock on the door at tower #3 was ``cleaned, lubricated and
reinstalled'' on November 25, 2000.
5.Based on the evidence before us, we find that Erald
Broadcasting, Inc. operated in willful2 and repeated3 violation
of Section 73.49 of the Rules. The Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113
(1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303(1999) (``Policy
Statement''), sets the base amount for AM tower fencing
violations at seven thousand dollars ($7,000). 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 Act4,
that 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. Applying the Policy
Statement and statutory factors to the instant case, we believe
that a monetary forfeiture in the amount of seven thousand
dollars ($7,000) is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6.Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act5 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules6, Erald Broadcasting, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of seven
thousand dollars ($7,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating
Section 73.49 of the Rules.
7.IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules, within thirty (30) days of the date of
release of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Erald Broadcasting,
Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or
SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
8.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. 200132340002.
9.The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20554 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200132340002.
10. 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
11. 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. 20554.7
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this NOTICE OF APPARENT
LIABILITY shall be sent, by certified mail, return receipt
requested, to Erald Broadcasting, Inc., P.O. Box 159, Glen
Burnie, MD 21061
Charles C. Magin
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.49.
2 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which also
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides: ``the 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 or any rule or regulation of the
Commission, authorized by this Act or by a treaty ratified by the
United States.'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
3 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which also
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides: [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.
4 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
6 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
7 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.