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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-03-AT-033
Media General Operations, Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No.200332480019
Owner of Antenna Structure )
#1058894 ) FRN 0005-7936-66
located in Beech Island, South )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: April 8, 2003
By the Enforcement Bureau, Atlanta Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find Media General Operations, Inc.
(``Media General''), apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for willful and
repeated violation of Section 17.51 of the Commission's
Rules (``Rules'').1 Specifically, we find Media General
apparently liable for failure to exhibit all required white
obstruction lighting during daylight hours and all required
red obstruction lighting during nighttime hours on the
antenna structure assigned Antenna Structure Registration
(``ASR'') number 1058894 in Beech Island, South Carolina.
2. On February 5 and 6, 2003, an agent from the
Commission's Atlanta District Office inspected the newly
erected antenna structure with ASR number 1058894 located in
Beech Island, South Carolina2. Although there was
construction still being performed on the structure, the
structure was constructed to its full height of 474 meters.
An antenna mast had been installed at the top of the
structure. On both days, the structure did not exhibit the
required white strobe obstruction lighting at the top of the
structure during daytime hours3 and did not exhibit all
required red flashing obstruction lighting on the structure
during nighttime hours.4,5 As of February 6, 2003, the
Federal Aviation Administration (``FAA'') had no record of
the lighting outage for this structure.
3. On February 7, 2003, the agent spoke with Ardell
Hill, the Media General representative in charge of this
project. Mr. Hill stated that he had spoken to Kerry Hale,
the chief operator for broadcast station WJBF, who confirmed
the light outages on the structure. On February 20, 2003,
the agent again spoke with Mr. Hill and Mr. Hale. Mr. Hill
stated that the structure had been fully constructed to its
ultimate height but was technically still under
construction. Mr. Hale stated that there had been a
lighting controller failure causing portions of the
nighttime red lighting to fail, and that he had now
installed temporary nighttime lighting at the top of the
structure. Regarding the daytime strobe lighting, Mr. Hale
stated that prior to the time of the agent's inspections on
February 5 and 6, 2003, the daytime strobe lighting operated
during the daytime but also (incorrectly) operated at night,
causing complaints from neighboring residences. As a result
of the complaints, the daytime strobe lighting had been
4. Section 17.51 requires that all red obstruction
lighting be exhibited from sunset to sunrise unless
otherwise specified and all high intensity and medium
intensity obstruction lighting be exhibited continuously
unless otherwise specified. Media General owns antenna
structure 1058894 and is required to exhibit the appropriate
obstruction lighting on the structure. This structure's ASR
requires white strobe lighting be exhibited during daytime
hours and red obstruction lighting during nighttime hours.
On February 5 and 6, 2003, Media General failed to exhibit
high intensity white strobe lighting at the top of the
antenna structure during daytime hours and red flashing
obstruction lighting at the top and on the sides of the
antenna structure during nighttime hours. Although
construction work was still being performed on the
structure, representatives of Media General confirmed that
the structure itself was constructed to its full height.
Moreover, even if the structure had not been fully
constructed, Media General was required to maintain
temporary obstruction lighting at the very top and at
intermediate levels of the structure during all phases of
construction.6 In addition, Media General failed to
immediately notify the FAA of the improper functioning of
the structure's lighting.7
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find Media
General willfully8 and repeatedly9 violated Section 17.51 of
the Rules by failing to exhibit the required obstruction
6. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,10 the
base forfeiture amount for failure to exhibit obstruction
lighting is $10,000. 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.11 Considering the entire
record and applying the factors listed above, this case
warrants a $10,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,12 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Rules,13 Media General is hereby NOTIFIED of
this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of
ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for willful and repeated
violation of Section 17.51 of the Rules by failing to
exhibit obstruction lighting on antenna structure 1058894.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NAL, Media General 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 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. 20554.14
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. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of
2002, Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the
FCC is engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the
size of entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as
a small entity and if you wish to be treated as a small
entity for tracking purposes, please so certify to us within
thirty (30) days of this NAL, either in your response to the
NAL or in a separate filing to be sent to the Technical &
Public Safety Division. Your certification should indicate
whether you, including your parent entity and its
subsidiaries, meet one of the definitions set forth in the
list provided by the FCC's Office of Communications Business
Opportunities (OCBO) set forth in Attachment A of this
Notice of Apparent Liability. This information will be used
for tracking purposes only. Your response or failure to
respond to this question will have no effect on your rights
and responsibilities pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act. If you have questions regarding any of
the information contained in Attachment A, please contact
OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL
shall be sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to Media General Operations, Inc., 333
East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Fred L. Broce
Atlanta Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 17.51.
2 The ASR specifies antenna structure lighting in accordance
with FAA circular 70/7460-1J.
3.FAA circular 70/7460-1J specifies that during daytime
hours the structure display multiple levels of white high
intensity strobe lights, evenly spaced along the length of
the structure, with one set of lights at the very top of the
structure. There were no white strobe lights illuminated at
the top of the structure.
4 FAA circular 70/7460-1J specifies that during nighttime
hours the structure display multiple levels of red
obstruction lights, evenly spaced along the length of the
antenna structure, with flashing lights at the very top and
with lower levels alternating between steady burning and
flashing lights. There were no flashing red lights
illuminated at the very top of the antenna structure. In
addition, some of the required lower-level flashing lights
were not illuminated.
5 Section 17.45 of the Commission's Rules specifies that:
``[d]uring construction of an antenna structure for which
red obstruction lighting is required, at least two 116 or
125 watt lamps (A21/TS) enclosed in aviation red obstruction
light globes, shall be installed at the uppermost point of
the structure.... In addition, as the height of the
structure exceeds each level at which permanent obstruction
lights are required, two similar lights shall be installed
at each such level.'' 47 C.F.R. § 17.45. In addition, FAA
circular 70/7460-1J, paragraph 42 (e) states that: ``As the
height of the structure exceeds each level at which
permanent obstruction lights would be recommended, two or
more lights of the type specified in the determination
should be installed at that level.''
6 See 47 C.F.R. § 17.45.
7 Owners of registered antenna structures with assigned
lighting must immediately report to the FAA any known
improper functioning of any top or flashing light. See 47
C.F.R. § 17.48(a).
8 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
9 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. § 312(f)(2).
10 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
14 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.