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                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Truth Broadcasting Corporation  )    File No. EB-01-NF-286
                                )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232640004
Licensee of Station WTOB(AM)    )    FRN 0004-9851-49
Winston-Salem, North Carolina   )    

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:  November 26, 2002             Released:   December   2, 
2002

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

1.        In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
  monetary  forfeiture in  the  amount of  eight  thousand  eight 
  hundred  dollars  ($8,800) to  Truth  Broadcasting  Corporation 
  (``Truth''),  licensee  of  Station  WTOB(AM),   Winston-Salem, 
  North Carolina, for willful and repeated violation of  Sections 
  73.49 and  73.1350(a) of the  Commission's Rules  (``Rules'').1  
  The noted violations  involve Truth's failure to enclose  three 
  of its antenna  structures within an effective locked fence  or 
  other enclosure, and failure to operate in accordance with  the 
  terms of  the station  authorization in  that Station  WTOB(AM) 
  exceeded authorized field strength limits.  

2.        On June 12,  2002, the  Commission's Norfolk,  Virginia 
  Resident Agent Office  (``Norfolk Office'') issued a Notice  of 
  Apparent  Liability for  Forfeiture (``NAL'')  to Truth  for  a 
  forfeiture  in  the  amount  of  eleven  thousand  two  hundred 
  dollars ($11,200).2  Truth filed a response to the NAL on  July 
  12, 2002.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        On January 22 and 23, 2002, in response to a  complaint 
  alleging  that  WTOB was  operating  with  excessive  power  at 
  night,  an agent  from the  Norfolk  Office inspected  the  six 
  antenna structures that Truth owns and uses for WTOB.  On  both 
  occasions,  the agent  observed that  the wooden  base  fencing 
  around  each tower  and  observed that  numerous  wooden  fence 
  boards were  either broken or missing  on three of the  towers, 
  allowing  access to  the  tower bases.   Further,  the  station 
  authorization  for WTOB  limits the  station's nighttime  power 
  level by  specifying field strength  limits at nine  monitoring 
  points.  The agent  took field strength measurements at two  of 
  the nine  monitoring points and found  that the field  strength 
  levels   exceeded  the   limits   specified  in   the   station 
  authorization by at least 15 percent.  

4.        On June  12, 2002,  the Norfolk  Office issued  an  NAL 
  finding Truth apparently liable for a forfeiture for  willfully 
  and repeatedly violating  Sections 73.49 and 73.1350(a) of  the 
  Rules  by failing  to  maintain effective  antenna  tower  base 
  fencing  and  exceeding authorized  field  strength  limits  on 
  January 22  and 23, 2002.3  The  Norfolk Office noted that  the 
  base forfeiture  amounts for  these violations  are $7,000  for 
  failure to comply  with AM fencing requirements and $4,000  for 
  failure  to comply  with power  limits.  However,  taking  into 
  account  Truth's history  of compliance  with the  Commission's 
  rules, the Norfolk  Office reduced the proposed forfeiture  for 
  failure to comply  with AM fencing requirements from $7,000  to 
  $5,600  and  reduced  the  proposed  forfeiture  for  exceeding 
  authorized field  strength limits  from $4,000  to $3,200.   On 
  July  12, 2002,  Truth filed  a response  to the  NAL.  In  its 
  response,  Truth does  not dispute  that it  failed to  operate 
  WTOB in accordance with the terms of the station  authorization 
  in violation  of Section  73.1350(a) or seek  reduction of  the 
  $3,200  forfeiture proposed  in  the NAL  for  this  violation.  
  However, Truth argues  that the $5,600 forfeiture proposed  for 
  failure  to  comply with  AM  fencing  requirements  should  be 
  substantially reduced, if not eliminated entirely.  

                      III.      DISCUSSION

5.        The forfeiture  amount in  this  case was  assessed  in 
  accordance with  Section 503(b)  of the  Communications Act  of 
  1934, as amended,  (``Act''),4 Section 1.80 of the Rules,5  and 
  The Commission's Forfeiture  Policy Statement and Amendment  of 
  Section  1.80  of  the  Rules  to  Incorporate  the  Forfeiture 
  Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC  Rcd 
  303  (1999)  (``Policy  Statement'').   In  examining   Truth's 
  response,  Section  503(b)   of  the  Act  requires  that   the 
  Commission 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.6

6.        Section 73.49 of the Rules provides that antenna towers 
  having radiofrequency  potential at the  base must be  enclosed 
  within  effective  locked  fences  or  other  enclosures.    On 
  January 22  and 23, 2002, an  FCC agent observed that  numerous 
  wooden fence boards were  either broken or missing on three  of 
  Truth's  six  antenna towers,  allowing  access  to  the  tower 
  bases.  Truth acknowledges  that numerous boards on its  fences 
  were either broken or  missing at the time of the  inspections.  
  Truth argues, however,  that the $5,600 forfeiture proposed  in 
  the  NAL (adjusted  downward  from $7,000  to  reflect  Truth's 
  history  of compliance)  for  its  failure to  comply  with  AM 
  fencing requirements  should be substantially  reduced, if  not 
  eliminated entirely.  Truth  states that its tower fences  were 
  in  place and locked  and that  the NAL only  found that  fence 
  boards  were broken  or  missing,  creating gaps  in  what  are 
  otherwise adequate locked fences.  Truth also provides a  sworn 
  statement from its contract engineer, who states that he  fully 
  inspects  the WTOB  transmitter site  on a  periodic basis  and 
  that he  saw no broken or missing  boards on the fences in  his 
  inspection  of the  site in  November  2001, about  two  months 
  prior to  the FCC's  inspection.  The  engineer further  states 
  that vandals  have caused damage  to the site  in the past  and 
  that he  believes that  trespassing vandals  caused the  damage 
  observed by the FCC agent.  Truth submits that the $7,000  base 
  forfeiture  amount for  AM fencing  violations would  apply  in 
  situations   where   the  tower   owner   installs   inherently 
  inadequate fences  or negligently leaves  fences unlocked,  not 
  in  situations such  as  this where  the  damage is  caused  by 
  vandals.   Finally, Truth  asserts that  it is  increasing  the 
  frequency of its  transmitter site inspections so that it  will 
  in the future detect and repair damage sooner after it occurs.

7.        We  conclude  that   Truth  willfully  and   repeatedly 
  violated  Section  73.49  of  the  Rules  and  that  Truth  has 
  presented  no  basis  for  cancellation  or  reduction  of  the 
  forfeiture proposed for  this violation.  We are not  persuaded 
  by  Truth's  suggestion  that  a  reduction  of  the   proposed 
  forfeiture is warranted  because the NAL only found that  fence 
  boards were  broken or  missing.  The condition  of the  fences 
  constituted a safety hazard because the fences were  inadequate 
  to protect the public from possible contact with the  radiating 
  antenna  structures.7  Moreover,  while Truth  speculates  that 
  trespassing  vandals  caused  the  damage  to  the  fences,  it 
  provides no evidence  that the missing and broken fence  boards 
  were in  fact the result of  vandalism, rather than neglect  or 
  some  other cause.   Further,  we  do not  think  that  Truth's 
  inspection  of the  transmitter site  approximately two  months 
  prior  to  the FCC's  inspection  warrants  mitigation  of  the 
  forfeiture  amount.  Particularly  where, as  here, a  licensee 
  claims that  it has a history  of vandalism to its  transmitter 
  site and the site is in a residential area, we think that  more 
  frequent inspections are required.  Finally, regarding  Truth's 
  assertion  that it  is  now  increasing the  frequency  of  its 
  transmitter  site inspections,  the Commission  has  repeatedly 
  stated that remedial  actions taken to correct a violation  are 
  not mitigating factors warranting reduction of a forfeiture.8  

8.        Section 73.1350(a) of the  Rules requires licensees  to 
  maintain  and operate  a broadcast  station  in a  manner  that 
  complies with  the technical rules and  in accordance with  the 
  terms of the station authorization.  The station  authorization 
  for WTOB  limits the  station's nighttime  power by  specifying 
  field  strength limits  at  various monitoring  points.   Truth 
  does not dispute that on January 22 and 23, 2002, WTOB's  field 
  strength  exceeded authorized  limits at  two of  the  assigned 
  monitoring  points.    Accordingly,  we  conclude  that   Truth 
  willfully  and repeatedly  violated Section  73.1350(a) of  the 
  Rules and  that there is no basis  for reduction of the  $3,200 
  forfeiture proposed  in the  NAL for  this violation  (adjusted 
  downward   from   $4,000  to   reflect   Truth's   history   of 
  compliance).

9.        The NAL also found Truth apparently liable for a $2,400 
  forfeiture for  failing to register  its antenna structures  in 
  willful  and  repeated violation  of  Section  17.4(a)  of  the 
  Rules.  After considering  Truth's response to the NAL, we  are 
  persuaded  that  the  proposed  $2,400  forfeiture  should   be 
  cancelled.

10.       We have examined Truth's  response to the NAL  pursuant 
  to the  statutory factors  above, and in  conjunction with  the 
  Policy  Statement as  well.   As a  result  of our  review,  we 
  conclude that Truth willfully and repeatedly violated  Sections 
  73.49  and 73.1350(a) of  the Rules,  and we find  no basis  to 
  rescind   or  reduce   the  forfeitures   proposed  for   these 
  violations, which total $8,800.  However, we cancel the  $2,400 
  forfeiture  proposed  in  the  NAL  for  violation  of  Section 
  17.4(a) of the Rules.  



                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

11.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
  503 of  the Act, and  Sections 0.111, 0.311  and 1.80(f)(4)  of 
  the  Rules,9 Truth  Broadcasting Corporation  IS LIABLE  FOR  A 
  MONETARY  FORFEITURE in  the  amount of  eight  thousand  eight 
  hundred dollars  ($8,800) for willful  and repeated  violations 
  of Sections 73.49 and 73.1350(a) of the Rules.

12.       Payment of the forfeiture shall  be made in the  manner 
  provided for  in Section 1.80  of the Rules  within 30 days  of 
  the  release of  this Order.   If the  forfeiture is  not  paid 
  within the  period specified, the case  may be referred to  the 
  Department  of  Justice  for  collection  pursuant  to  Section 
  504(a) of  the Act.10  Payment may be  made by mailing a  check 
  or  similar instrument,  payable to  the order  of the  Federal 
  Communications  Commission,   to  the  Federal   Communications 
  Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.   The 
  payment  should reference  NAL/Acct. No.  200232640004 and  FRN 
  0004-9851-49.  Requests for  full payment under an  installment 
  plan  should  be  sent  to:   Chief,  Revenue  and  Receivables 
  Operations  Group,  445 12th  Street,  S.W.,  Washington,  D.C. 
  20554.11

13.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by first  class mail and certified mail return  receipt 
  requested to Truth Broadcasting Corporation, 3789 Will  Scarlet 
  Road, Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27104, and to its  counsel, 
  James P. Riley, Esq., Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.,  1300 
  North 17th Street, 11th Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22209-3801.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 C.F.R.  73.49 and 73.1350(a).  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232640004 (Enf. Bur., Norfolk Office, released June 12, 2002).

  3 The NAL also  found Truth apparently liable for a  forfeiture 
for failing  to  register  its  antenna  structures  in  apparent 
willful and repeated violation of  Section 17.4(a) of the  Rules, 
47 C.F.R.  17.4(a),  and proposed a  $2,400 forfeiture for  this 
violation (adjusted downward from  the base forfeiture amount  of 
$3,000 to  reflect  Truth's  history of  compliance).   As  noted 
below, we are canceling this forfeiture.

  4 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  5 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  6 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  7  See Culpeper  Broadcasting  Corporation, 15  FCC  Rcd  12594 
(Enf. Bur. 2000) (assessing a forfeiture for failure to  maintain 
an effective  locked fence  where  several boards  were  missing, 
creating a gap in  the fence large enough  to permit a person  to 
climb through the fence).  

  8 See Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).

  9 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  10 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  11 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.