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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number: EB-01-TP-020
Mega Communications of St. )
Petersburg Licensee, L.L.C. ) NAL/Acct. No.: 200132700005
Antenna Structure Numbers )
St. Petersburg, Florida
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: April 25,
By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we find
that Mega Communications of St. Petersburg Licensee, L.L.C.
apparently violated Section 17.51(a)1 of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules'') for failing to exhibit all red obstruction lights
from sunset to sunrise. We conclude that Mega Communications of
St. Petersburg Licensee, L.L.C. is apparently liable for
forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
2. On January 8, 2001, the Commission's Tampa Field Office
received a telephone call from the FAA office in Tampa, Florida,
reporting that they had received information that antenna
structure light outages had occurred in Largo, Florida. The
antenna structures were alleged to be used by radio station
WMMG(AM). The tower owner was determined to be Mega
Communications of St. Petersburg Licensee, L.L.C., licensee of
3. On January 9, 2001, agents from the Tampa Office conducted
an inspection of the station and the associated towers. The
agents found that the tower owner was in violation of several of
the Commission's Rules relating to marking and lighting of
4. During the inspection on January 9, 2001, the FCC agents
determined that no one at the main studio was in charge of the
technical operation of the station. Mr. Joshua Mednick, VP and
General Manager, explained to the agents that the person in
charge of monitoring the operating parameters, including the
antenna structure lights operation, was Mr. Robert Hailey. When
the agents met with Mr. Hailey at the transmitter site, he
explained that he was not the chief operator, but that he worked
for the station on a part time basis. Mr. Hailey explained that
he used a beeper to receive indications of out of tolerance
situations from the station's remote control system. However,
Mr. Hailey was not aware of the antenna structure lights failure
on tower #2. The agents determined that the lights for towers #1
and #2 were not functioning. Although Mr. Hailey advised he was
aware of the outage on antenna structure #1 and that he had
notified FAA, there was no evidence that FAA had been notified.
Mr. Hailey notified FAA of both outages during the inspection.
5. On March 26, 2001, a check of FCC's antenna structure
registration database showed the owner of the tower to be Clear
Channel Communications. Mega confirmed that they owned the tower
in question and filed the appropriate forms after they were
advised of the discrepancy.
6. Section 17.51(a) requires that all red obstruction lighting
shall be exhibited from sunset to sunrise unless otherwise
specified. FCC agents confirmed the allegation about antenna
structure light outages. The antenna structure owner failed to
exhibit the red obstruction lights as required.
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4)2 of the Commission's Rules,
the base forfeiture amount for failure to comply with prescribed
lighting and/or marking is $10,000. Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
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.''3 Considering the entire record and
applying the statutory factors listed above, this case warrants a
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 503(b)
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended4, and Sections
0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules5, Mega
Communications of St. Petersburg Licensee, L.L.C. is hereby
NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount
of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for willful6 violation of
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules8, within thirty days of the release date of
this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Mega Communications of St.
Petersburg Licensee, L.L.C. SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10. 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. referenced in the letterhead above.
11. 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 in the letterhead above.
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 (``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 submitted.
13. 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. 20554.9
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt
Requested to Mega Communications of St. Petersburg Licensee,
L.L.C., 8121 Georgia Avenue, 10th Floor, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
Tampa Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 17.51(a)
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4)
3 47 U.S.C. § 503 (b)(2)(D)
4 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
5 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
6 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 (1991).
7 47 C.F.R. § 17.51(a)
8 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.