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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
David Ryder, Receiver File Number EB-07-TP-187
Owner of Antenna Structure Numbers NAL/Acct. No. 200832700012
1013175, 1249516, 1249517 and 1249521 )
Melbourne, FL )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: April 8, 2008
By the District Director, Tampa Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that David Ryder, Receiver, owner of antenna structure numbers
1013175, 1249516, 1249517 and 1249521, in Melbourne, FL ("Owner"),
apparently willfully violated Section 17.47(g) of the Commission's
Rules ("Rules") and willfully and repeatedly violated Section 17.50 of
the Rules by failing to post Antenna Structure Registration ("ASR")
numbers and failing to paint his antenna structures to maintain good
visibility. We conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), that Owner is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of twelve thousand
2. In addition to being the owner of the antenna structures in question,
Owner is the licensee of AM station WMEL, Melbourne, FL. On September 9,
2007, in response to a complaint, agents from the Commission's Tampa
Office of the Enforcement Bureau ("Tampa Office") observed that the paint
throughout all four of the structures in station WMEL's antenna structure
array were extremely faded and washed away in many areas of the entire
structures, making it difficult to distinguish between the alternating
bands of orange and white paint.
3. On September 10, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office observed that,
although the antenna structures were registered, the ASR numbers for
structures # 1013175, 1249516, 1249517 and 1249521 were not posted near
the bases of the structures. The agents observed that the paint was washed
away on all of the antenna structures. The agents walked to the base of
all four structures. In many areas of the structures, the agents were
unable to distinguish the alternating bands of orange and white paint.
4. On September 10, 2007, agents from the Tampa Office informed the
station manager of station WMEL that the antenna structures must be
repainted. On December 5, 2007, the station manager informed an agent of
the Tampa Office that the antenna structures were being repainted that
very day. Although the antenna structures were repainted after the agents'
inspections, no evidence was provided that the steps to repaint the
structures had been taken prior to the agents' inspections.
5. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
repeatedly fails to
comply substantially with the terms and conditions of any license, or
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of the provisions of the
Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued by the Commission
thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. The term "willful"
as used in Section 503(b) of the Act has been interpreted to mean simply
that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly. The term "repeated"
means the commission or omission of such act more than once or for more
than one day.
6. Section 17.4(g) of the Rules requires that the Antenna Structure
Registration Number must be displayed in a conspicuous place so that it is
readily visible near the base of the antenna structure. Materials used to
display the Antenna Structure Registration Number must be
weather-resistant and of sufficient size to be easily seen at the base of
the antenna structure. On September 10, 2007, none of the ASR numbers for
antenna structure #s 1013175, 1249516, 1249517 and 1249521were posted at
or near the base of the antenna structures.
7. Section 17.50 of the Rules requires that antenna structures requiring
painting shall be cleaned or repainted as often as necessary to maintain
good visibility. According to the ASR database, antenna structure #s
1013175, 1249516, 1249517 and 1249521 require paint and lights in
accordance with FAA Circular Number 70/7460-1K. On September 9 and 10,
2007, the paint on the four antenna structures was extremely faded and had
washed away completely in many areas, leaving the metal exposed and
reducing the towers' visibility. The condition of the paint on all four of
the structures was so deteriorated that it had to have occurred over more
than one day. The antenna structures were not repainted until December 5,
8. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Owner apparently
willfully violated Section 17.47(g) of the Rules by failing to post the
ASR numbers at the bases of his antenna structures and apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 17.50 of the Rules by failing to
repaint his antenna structures to maintain their visibility.
9. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the base
forfeiture amount for failing to comply with prescribed lighting and
marking is $10,000. Section 1.80 of the Rules does not establish a base
forfeiture amount for failure to post an ASR number. The Commission has
determined, however, that an appropriate base forfeiture amount for
failure to post the ASR number is $2,000 per violation. In assessing the
monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory
factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include the
nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, and with
respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, and history of prior
offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may require.
Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and
the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Owner is
apparently liable for a $12,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311, 0.314 and 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules, David Ryder, Receiver is hereby NOTIFIED of this
APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of twelve thousand
dollars ($12,000) for violations of Sections 17.4(g) and 17.50 of the
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules within thirty days of the release date of this Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, David Ryder, Receiver SHALL PAY the
full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
12. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment
must include the NAL/Account Number and FRN Number referenced above.
Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by
overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment[s] by
wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank
TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by credit card, an FCC
Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted. When completing the FCC
Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in block number 23A (call
sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in block number 24A (payment
type code). Requests for full payment under an installment plan should be
sent to: Chief Financial Officer -- Financial Operations, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington, D.C. 20554. Please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions regarding payment procedures.
13. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, Enforcement Bureau, South Central Region, Tampa Office, 2203
N. Lois Ave., Suite 1214, Tampa, FL, 33607 and must include the NAL/Acct.
No. referenced in the caption.
14. 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.
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to David Ryder, Receiver at his address of
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Ralph M. Barlow
South Central Region
Mr. Ryder is the court-appointed receiver for property owned by Twin
Towers Broadcasting, Inc. Accordingly, David Ryder, Receiver is listed in
the Antenna Structure Registration database as the owner of the antenna
structures in question.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 17.4(g) and 17.50.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
See supra note 1.
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 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 or any rule or regulation of the Commission
authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under 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."
47 C.F.R. S: 17.4(g).
47 C.F.R. S: 17.50.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
American Tower Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability, 16 FCC Rcd 1282
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 17.4(g) and
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Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission