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                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                )
                                )
Piedmont Radio Co.              )         File No. EB-02-AT-317
Licensee of AM Radio Station WPID, Piedmont, )
Alabama, and Owner of Unregistered Antenna   )    NAL/Acct.   No. 
200332480006
Structure At or Near Coordinates 33 55' 45'' North    )
Latitude by 08535' 42'' West Longitude, in  )    FRN  0007-7794-
32                                   
Piedmont, Alabama.                  )
Piedmont,                                                 Alabama                                                       
)

     I.A.      MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 

Adopted:   April 26, 2004               Released:  April 28, 2004 
 
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                         I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Memorandum Opinion and Order (``Order''), we 
        grant in part and deny in part the Petition for 
        Reconsideration filed by Piedmont Radio Co. 
        (``Piedmont''), licensee of radio station WPID(AM), 
        Piedmont, Alabama.  Piedmont seeks reconsideration of 
        the Forfeiture Order1 in which the Chief, Enforcement 
        Bureau (``Bureau''), found it liable for a monetary 
        forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars 
        ($10,000) for willful and repeated violation of Sections 
        73.1125(a) and 17.4(a) of the Commission's Rules 
        (``Rules'').2  The noted violations involve Piedmont's 
        willful and repeated failure to maintain a presence at 
        its main studio during normal business hours and 
        register its antenna structure.  For the reasons 
        discussed below, we reduce the forfeiture amount from 
        $10,000 to $3,000. 
                           II.  BACKGROUND
     2.   On June 26, 2002, an agent from the Commission's 
        Atlanta, Georgia Field Office (``Atlanta Office'') 
        attempted to inspect station WPID(AM)'s main studio; 
        however, the agent was unable to gain access to the 
        studio.  On July 16 and August 21, 2002, the agent 
        telephoned station WPID(AM) but received no answer.  On 
        August 26, 2002, the agent contacted WPID(AM)'s owner, 
        who confirmed that the studio had been unstaffed.  On 
        June 26, 2002, the agent also inspected the antenna 
        structure, which did not display an Antenna Structure 
        Registration (``ASR'') number.  The agent subsequently 
        checked the ASR data base and determined that the 
        structure was unregistered.
     3.   On October 15, 2002, the District Director of the 
        Atlanta Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for 
        Forfeiture (``NAL'')3 in the amount of  ten thousand 
        dollars ($10,000) to Piedmont for willful and repeated 
        violation of Sections 73.1125(a) and 17.4(a) of the 
        Rules.  Having no record of a response, on February 6, 
        2003, the Bureau released the Forfeiture Order, 
        affirming the NAL.  On March 10, 2003, Piedmont filed a 
        petition for reconsideration of the Forfeiture Order.   
        In its petition for reconsideration, Piedmont does not 
        contest the violations, but does challenge the finding 
        that no response was submitted, presenting evidence that 
        a response was mailed by Certified Mail, Return Receipt 
        Requested and received by the Commission on November 12, 
        2002.4  Piedmont also submits the tax returns for 1999, 
        2000 and 2001, of its principal  in support of its claim 
        of an inability to pay.  
                        III.  DISCUSSION

     4.   The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in 
        accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act 
        of 1934, as amended (``Act''), 5 Section 1.80 of the 
        Rules,6 and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement 
        and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to 
        Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines (Forfeiture Policy 
        Statement).7  In examining Piedmont's petition, 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 any such other matters as justice 
        may require.8  
     5.   Section 73.1125(a) of the Rules requires a broadcast 
        station to maintain a main studio and a presence at its 
        main studio during normal business hours.9  Based on the 
        agent's observations and Piedmont's admission that it 
        did not maintain such a presence, we find that Piedmont 
        willfully10 and repeatedly11 violated Section 73.1125(a) 
        of the Rules. 
     6.   Section 17.4(a) of the Rules provides that the owner of 
        an antenna structure that required notice to the Federal 
        Aviation Administration (``FAA'') must register the 
        antenna structure with the Commission.  Piedmont's 
        antenna structure required FAA notification because it 
        exceeded 200 feet in height.12  Based upon the agent's 
        observations, the Commission's ASR database records and 
        Piedmont's admission, we find that Piedmont willfully 
        and repeatedly violated Section 17.4(a) of the 
        Commission's Rules.
     7.   Piedmont does not challenge the Bureau's finding that 
        it violated Sections 73.1125(a) and 17.4(a) of the 
        Rules. Nevertheless, Piedmont seeks cancellation of the 
        forfeiture.  In support of its request for cancellation, 
        Piedmont states that it now has full-time main studio 
        staffing during normal business hours and that it has 
        initiated efforts to obtain FAA clearance and to 
        register the tower with the Commission.13  No mitigation 
        is warranted on the basis of Piedmont's post NAL 
        corrective efforts.  As the Commission stated in Seawest 
        Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099 (1994), ``corrective 
        action taken to come into compliance with Commission 
        rules or policy is expected, and does not nullify or 
        mitigate any prior forfeitures or violations.'' 14  
     8.   Finally, Piedmont asserts that payment of the 
        forfeiture will be a hardship that will ``take bread off 
        the owner's table'' and cause the owner's family very 
        great hardship.  The Commission has determined that, in 
        general, a licensee's gross revenues are the best 
        indicator of its ability to pay a forfeiture.15  We have 
        reviewed the financial information provided, and we find 
        that this information provides a basis for reduction of 
        the forfeiture from the ten thousand dollars ($10,000) 
        imposed by the Forfeiture Order to three thousand 
        dollars ($3,000) on the basis of Piedmont's inability to 
        pay.  
     9.   We have examined Piedmont's Petition for 
        Reconsideration pursuant to the statutory factors above, 
        and in conjunction with the Commission's Forfeiture 
        Policy Statement as well.  As a result of our review, we 
        conclude that Piedmont willfully and repeatedly violated 
        Sections 73.1125(a) and 17.4(a) of the Rules and find 
        that, although cancellation of the monetary forfeiture 
        is not warranted, reduction of the forfeiture amount to 
        $3,000 is appropriate.
     10.  Because Piedmont has yet to register its tower,16  we 
        will require, pursuant to Section 308(b) of the Act,17 
        that Piedmont report to the Enforcement Bureau within 
        thirty (30) days of the release of this Order whether it 
        has achieved compliance with Section 17.4(a) of the 
        Rules.  Piedmont's report must be submitted in the form 
        of an affidavit signed by an officer or director of the 
        licensee.  If Piedmont fails to submit such a report or 
        we find that Piedmont has not come into compliance with 
        Section 17.51(b), we will consider further appropriate 
        enforcement action. 
                          IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES
     
     11.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 
        405 of the Act18 and Section 1.106 of the Rules,19 
        Piedmont's petition for reconsideration of the February 
        26, 2003, Forfeiture Order IS GRANTED to the extent that 
        the monetary forfeiture amount IS REDUCED to three 
        thousand dollars ($3,000) and IS DENIED in all other 
        aspects.
     12.  IT IS ALSO ORDERED that, pursuant Section 308(b) of the 
        Act, Piedmont must submit the report described in 
        Paragraph 10, above, within 30 days from the release of 
        this Order, to:  Federal Communications Commission, 
        Enforcement Bureau, Spectrum Enforcement Division, 445 
        12th Street, S.W., Room 7-A 820, Washington, D.C.  
        20554, Attention:  Peter Waltonen, Esquire.
     13.  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.20  Payment shall 
        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 note NAL/Acct. No.200332480006, and FRN 
        0007-7794-32.  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. 2055421 
     14.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of his Order shall be 
        sent by first class mail and certified mail, return 
        receipt requested, to Piedmont Radio Co., P.O. Box 227, 
        Piedmont, Al 36277 and to its counsel, Lewis H. Goldman, 
        Esq., 45 Dudley Court, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

                         FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION  

                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau 

_________________________

1 Piedmont Radio Co., 18 FCC Rcd 1033 (Enf. Bur. 2003).
2 47 C.F.R.  73.1125(a) and 17.4.
3 Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for Forfeiture,  NAL/Acct.  No. 
200332480006 (Enf.  Bur., Atlanta  Office, released  October  15, 
2002).
4 The Bureau has no  record of receiving the response.   However, 
the Commission has determined that consideration of a  previously 
unconsidered pleading  within  a  reconsideration  proceeding  is 
appropriate where  all the  allegations  are fully  reviewed  and 
addressed prior to a  determination in the reconsideration.   See 
California Metro Mobile Communications,  Inc, 17 FCC Rcd  22,974, 
22976,  10 (2002). See also Eagle Radio, Inc., 12 FCC Rcd 5105  
2 (1997).
5 47 U.S.C.  503(b).
6 47 C.F.R.  1.80.
7 12  FCC Rcd.  17087  (1997), recon.  denied,  15 FCC  Rcd.  303 
(1999).
8 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).
9 To fulfill the function, a  station must equip the main  studio 
with production and transmission facilities that meet  applicable 
standards, maintain continuous  program transmission  capability, 
and maintain  a meaningful  management and  staff presence.   See 
Main Studio and Program Origination Rules, 3 FCC Rcd 5024 (1988).
10 Section 312(f) of the Communications Act of 1934, as  amended, 
(``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,' ... 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).
11 As provided by 47  U.S.C.  312(f)(2), a continuous  violation 
is ``repeated''  if it  continues  for more  than one  day.   The 
Conference Report for Section  312(f)(2) indicates that  Congress 
intended to apply this  definition to Section 503  of the Act  as 
well as Section  312.  See H.R.  97th Cong. 2d  Sess. 51  (1982).  
See Southern  California Broadcasting  Company, 6  FCC Rcd  4387, 
4388 (1991). 
12 47 C.F.R.  17.7(a).
13 As  of  the adoption  date  of this  Order,  a search  of  the 
Commission's  ASR   Data   Base   reveals   the   tower   remains 
unregistered.
14 See also AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21871 
(2002).
15 PJB Communications  of Virginia,  Inc., 7 FCC  Rcd 2088,  2089 
(1992).
16 See note 13, supra.
17 47 U.S.C.  308(b)
18 47 U.S.C.  405.
19 47 C.F.R.  1.106.
20 37 U.S.C. 504(a).
21 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.