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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Metropolitan Radio Group, Inc. )
) File Number EB-03-TP-357
Licensee of AM Radio Station )
WBRD, ) NAL/Acct.No.200432700013
Palmetto, Florida )
) FRN 0007-0069-84
Springfield, Missouri )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: March 11, 2004
By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find Metropolitan Radio Group,
Inc., licensee of AM radio station WBRD, Palmetto, Florida,
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of seven
thousand dollars ($7,000) for repeated and willful violation
of Section 73.49 of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1
Specifically, we find Metropolitan Radio Group, Inc.
apparently liable for failure to maintain an effective
locked fence around the base of its AM antenna towers.
2. On December 23, 2003, two agents from the
Commission's Tampa Field Office inspected Metropolitan Radio
Group, Inc.'s antenna towers for station WBRD(AM) in
Palmetto, Florida. The agents found the station's AM antenna
towers were not enclosed within an effective locked fence.
The property was accessible by large gaps in the property
fencing and the individual fences around the base of two
towers were found unlocked and opened. The agents notified
the station's contract engineer about the condition of the
base fences. The contract engineer stated that he was aware
of the base fence problem, had previously notified station
management of the fences' condition, and that the problem
had existed for approximately 3 years.
3. On March 9, 2004, two Tampa Office agents again
inspected the perimeter and base fences for WBRD(AM). The
agents found the perimeter fence still allowed unrestricted
access to the property at various points. One tower's base
fence was found unlocked and open. The gate of the second
tower's base fence was unhinged and leaning against a post.
4. Section 73.49 of the Rules requires antenna towers
having radio frequency potential at the base (series fed,
folded unipole, and insulated base antennas) must be
enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures.
On December 23, 2003, and March 9, 2004, the WBRD AM antenna
towers were not enclosed within an effective locked fence,
allowing unrestricted access to the base of the structures.
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Metropolitan Radio Group, Inc., repeatedly2 and willfully3
violated Section 73.49 of the Rules by failing to maintain
an effective locked fence around the base of its AM antenna
6. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,4 the
base forfeiture amount for failing to maintain effective
locked AM tower fencing is $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
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.''5
Considering the entire record and applying the factors
listed above, this case warrants a $7,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,6 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Rules,7 Metropolitan Radio Group, Inc., is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE
in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for
repeated and willful violation of Section 73.49 of the Rules
by failing to maintain an effective locked fence around the
base of its AM antenna towers used by station WBRD.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this Notice of Apparent Liability, Metropolitan Radio Group,
Inc. 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. Request for payment of the full amount of NAL under
an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and
Receivable Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20554.8
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-
Spectrum Enforcement 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 Spectrum
Enforcement 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 Notice
of Apparent Liability shall be sent by regular mail and
Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Metropolitan
Radio Group, Inc., 318 E. Pershing Street, Springfield, MO
Ralph M. Barlow
District Director, Tampa
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.49.
2 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which
applies equally to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that
``[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.''
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 47 U.S.C. § 503 (b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
8 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.