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

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Lighthouse Broadcasting         )    File No. EB-02-AT-243
                                )    NAL/Acct. No. 200232480014
Former Licensee of Station WBIC(AM)  )  FRN 0007-3941-09
Royston, Georgia                )    

                  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 

Adopted:  May 9, 2003                   Released:   May 13, 2003

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

1.        In this Memorandum  Opinion and  Order (``Order''),  we 
  cancel  the  proposed monetary  forfeiture  in  the  amount  of 
  twelve  thousand   dollars  ($12,000)   issued  to   Lighthouse 
  Broadcasting  (``Lighthouse''),  former  licensee  of   Station 
  WBIC(AM),   Royston,   Georgia,   for   failure   to   maintain 
  operational  Emergency  Alert System  (``EAS'')  equipment  and 
  failure to  reduce power at WBIC(AM)  during post sunset  hours 
  and discontinue  operation of  WBIC(AM) at  night, in  apparent 
  violation of Sections 11.35(a) and 73.1745 of the  Commission's 
  Rules  (``Rules'').1    However, we  conclude  that  Lighthouse 
  violated Sections 11.35(a) and 73.1745 and admonish  Lighthouse 
  for these violations.  

2.        On July  30, 2002,  the Commission's  Atlanta,  Georgia 
  Field Office (``Atlanta  Office'') issued a Notice of  Apparent 
  Liability  for  Forfeiture   (``NAL'')  to  Lighthouse  for   a 
  forfeiture   in  the   amount   of  twelve   thousand   dollars 
  ($12,000).2  Lighthouse filed a response to the NAL on  October 
  3, 2002.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

3.        On June  18, 2002,  an agent  from the  Atlanta  Office 
  monitored  WBIC(AM)'s signal  before sunset,  through  sundown, 
  and into  the nighttime  hours until 11  p.m. Eastern  Daylight 
  Savings   Time  (``EDT''),   when  the   station   discontinued 
  operation.  The agent conducted field strength measurements  of 
  the station's  signal during  this time  period and  determined 
  that WBIC(AM)  failed to  reduce power in  accordance with  its 
  post sunset  authority and failed  to discontinue operation  at 
  10:45 p.m. EDT in accordance with its station authorization.3

4.        On June 19, 2002, the agent again monitored  WBIC(AM)'s 
  signal before sunset,  through sundown, and into the  nighttime 
  hours, conducted  field strength  measurements, and  determined 
  that the station again failed to reduce power according to  its 
  post sunset authority  and discontinue operation at 10:45  p.m. 
  EDT.  The  agent noted that the station  signed off the air  at 
  11:23  p.m.  EDT, but  continued  to  transmit  an  unmodulated 
  carrier until at least midnight.

5.        On June 20, 2002, the agent conducted an inspection  of 
  WBIC(AM) at  its main  studio with Louis  Hawkins, the  general 
  manager  of the  station.   The  agent observed  that  the  EAS 
  encoder/decoder was turned on, but station staff was unable  to 
  demonstrate operation of  the equipment.  Mr. Hawkins  provided 
  invoices indicating that a new EAS power supply was ordered  on 
  May 9,  2002, and installed on May  16, 2002, but there was  no 
  evidence that  any tests or  alerts had been  received or  sent 
  since  that date.   There were  also no  log entries  or  other 
  evidence to  indicate that the EAS  equipment had ever been  in 
  operation or taken out  of service.  The agent also found  that 
  the EAS  equipment appeared  to be incapable  of receiving  two 
  EAS sources.  Furthermore, the agent noted that on the May  16, 
  2002  invoice  for  installation  of  the  power  supply,   the 
  engineer indicated  that reception was ``very  poor on the  two 
  monitored  stations''  and  that  ``better  receivers  and   an 
  outside antenna'' should be installed.

6.        On July 8, 2002, the Atlanta Office received a copy  of 
  a report  dated July  5, 2002, written  by WBIC(AM)'s  contract 
  engineer.  The report  indicated that two new FM receivers  had 
  been installed,  but that there was  still an apparent  problem 
  with the  EAS encoder/decoder and that  it was being taken  out 
  of service for further trouble shooting or repair.  

7.        On July  9, 2002,  the agent  interviewed by  telephone 
  Joseph Hood, the  owner of Lighthouse.  Mr. Hood admitted  that 
  the EAS equipment had  been broken several months prior to  the 
  time  that  Mr.  Hawkins  had  started  employment  as  general 
  manager of  the station in May 2002.   Mr. Hood stated that  he 
  could  not afford  to have  the  equipment repaired.   He  also 
  stated  that he  did not  have any  logs or  other evidence  to 
  demonstrate that  the EAS equipment  had ever been  operational 
  or that it had been taken out of service for repair.

8.        On July  30, 2002,  the Atlanta  Office issued  an  NAL 
  finding Lighthouse apparently  liable for a $12,000  forfeiture 
  for failure  to maintain operational  EAS equipment in  willful 
  and repeated  violation of  Section 11.35(a) of  the Rules  and 
  failure to  reduce power at WBIC(AM)  during post sunset  hours 
  and to  discontinue operation of WBIC(AM)  at night in  willful 
  and repeated  violation of  Section 73.1745 of  the Rules.   In 
  his response  to the NAL,  Mr. Hood, the  owner of  Lighthouse, 
  does not dispute that these violations occurred.  However,  Mr. 
  Hood  states  that  at  the  time  the  unauthorized  nighttime 
  operation  of  the  station was  observed,  he  was  no  longer 
  involved  with the  daily operation  of the  station.  In  this 
  regard, Mr. Hood states that Lighthouse ``leased'' the  station 
  to Peachland Music beginning April 1, 2002.4  Mr. Hood  further 
  states that  he spoke with  Mr. Hawkins and  instructed him  to 
  discontinue  all   after  hours  operation   of  the   station.  
  Additionally, Mr. Hood states that he could not afford to  have 
  the  EAS equipment  repaired,  but  that Mr.  Hawkins  had  the 
  equipment  repaired  and   it  is  now  functioning   properly.  
  Finally, Mr.  Hood asserts  that he  cannot afford  to pay  the 
  forfeiture.  In  support of  this assertion,  Mr. Hood  submits 
  his tax returns for 2000 and 2001 and notes that he is  selling 
  the station  for substantially  less than  he paid  for it  two 
  years ago.5

                      III.      DISCUSSION

9.        The forfeiture  amount in  this  case was  assessed  in 
  accordance with  Section 503(b)  of the  Communications Act  of 
  1934, as amended,  (``Act''),6 Section 1.80 of the Rules,7  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  Lighthouse'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.8

10.        Section  11.35(a)  of  the  Rules  requires  broadcast 
  stations to install  and maintain operational EAS equipment  so 
  that  monitoring  and  transmitting  functions  are   available 
  during the  times when  the station  is in  operation.  At  the 
  time  of  the  inspection on  June  20,  2002,  WBIC(AM)'s  EAS 
  equipment was not operational.  Although there had been  recent 
  attempts to repair  the EAS equipment prior to the  inspection, 
  there  were no  logs  or  other evidence  indicating  that  the 
  equipment had  ever been operational or  had been taken out  of 
  service  for repair.   In addition,  Mr. Hood  admitted to  the 
  agent that the  equipment had been broken several months  prior 
  to the  inspection.  Accordingly, we  conclude that  Lighthouse 
  violated Section 11.35(a) of the Rules.

11.       Section 73.1745 of the Rules provides that no broadcast 
  station shall operate at  times, or with modes or power,  other 
  than those  specified in the  station authorization.   WBIC(AM) 
  is  a  daytime-only  station,  with  limited  authorization  to 
  operate  during post  sunset  hours in  the  month of  June  at 
  reduced power.  On June  18 and June 19, 2002, WBIC(AM)  failed 
  to reduce  power during  post sunset hours  and to  discontinue 
  operation  after  expiration  of  the  authorized  post  sunset 
  hours.   Lighthouse  does not  dispute  that  these  violations 
  occurred.   Accordingly,  we  find  that  Lighthouse   violated 
  Section 73.1745 of the Rules.

12.       Mr. Hood indicates that he was no longer involved  with 
  the daily  operation of WBIC(AM) at  the time the  unauthorized 
  nighttime operation of  the station was observed.  However,  as 
  licensee  of  WBIC(AM), Lighthouse  was  required  to  maintain 
  control over the  operation of the station and was  responsible 
  for acts  and omissions  of its agents.9   Moreover, while  Mr. 
  Hood  states  that the  violations  have  been  corrected,  the 
  Commission has stated that remedial actions taken to correct  a 
  violation,  while  commendable,  are  not  mitigating   factors 
  warranting reduction of a forfeiture.10

13.       Mr. Hood  also asserts  that he  is unable  to pay  the 
  proposed  $12,000 forfeiture.   The Commission  has  repeatedly 
  held that a company's gross revenues are the best indicator  of 
  its ability to  pay a forfeiture.11  The financial  information 
  submitted by  Mr. Hood  supports his  claim that  payment of  a 
  $12,000  forfeiture  would impose  a  hardship  on  Lighthouse.  
  Furthermore, we note that Lighthouse has recently assigned  the 
  license for WBIC(AM) and is no longer a Commission  licensee.12  
  Therefore, we conclude  that cancellation of the forfeiture  is 
  warranted.   Nevertheless,  we  admonish  Lighthouse  for   its 
  violations of Sections 11.35(a) and 73.1745 of the Rules.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

14.       Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED  that, pursuant to  Sections 
  0.111, 0.311 and  1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,13 the forfeiture  in 
  the amount  of twelve  thousand dollars  ($12,000) proposed  in 
  the  July 30,  2002 NAL  issued to  Lighthouse Broadcasting  IS 
  CANCELLED.

15.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED  that Lighthouse Broadcasting  IS 
  ADMONISHED for  failure to maintain  operational EAS  equipment 
  at WBIC(AM) in violation  of Section 11.35(a) of the Rules  and 
  failure to  reduce power at WBIC(AM)  during post sunset  hours 
  and discontinue operation of WBIC(AM) at night in violation  of 
  Section 73.1745 of the Rules.

16.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
  be sent by first class mail and certified mail, return  receipt 
  requested, to Lighthouse  Broadcasting, 2735 Bryant Park  Road, 
  Canon, Georgia 30520.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
                         


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

  1 47 C.F.R.  11.35(a) and 73.1745.  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232480014 (Enf. Bur., Atlanta Office, released July 30, 2002).

  3 WBIC(AM)  is a daytime-only station,  licensed to operate  at 
230 watts.  The station has post sunset authority in the month of 
June to operate at 3.5 watts from 8:45 to 9:45 p.m. EDT and  then 
1.8 watts  from 9:45  to  10:45 p.m.  EDT.   The station  has  no 
authority to operate beyond 10:45 p.m. EDT.

  4 We take no view at this point whether there may have been  an 
unauthorized transfer of control of the station.

  5  An application  to  assign  the license  for  WBIC(AM)  from 
Lighthouse to  Diane  E.  Hawkins  was  accepted  for  filing  on 
February 4, 2003 (File No. BAL-20030131ABU).  

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

  7 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  8 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  9  See  Eure  Family Limited  Partnership,  17  FCC  Rcd  21861 
(2002);  MTD,  Inc.,  6  FCC   Rcd  34,  35  (1991);   Wagenvoord 
Broadcasting Co., 35 FCC 2d 361 (1972).

  10 See  e.g., AT&T Wireless Services,  Inc., 17 FCC Rcd  21866, 
21871 (2002);  Seawest  Yacht Brokers,  9  FCC Rcd  6099  (1994); 
Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).

  11  See Long  Distance  Direct, Inc.,  15  FCC Rcd  3297,  3305 
(2000); PJB Communications  of Virginia,  Inc., 7  FCC Rcd  2088, 
2089 (1991).   The  Commission  has also  stated  that  if  gross 
revenues are  sufficiently  great,  the  existence  of  operating 
losses does not by  itself mean that a  company cannot afford  to 
pay a forfeiture.  Id.  

  12 The Commission  staff granted the application to assign  the 
license for WBIC(AM) on  March 13, 2003,  and the assignment  was 
consummated on April 3, 2003.  

  13 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).