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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Gold Coast Radio, LLC ) File Number: EB-06-LA-114
Licensee of Station KMLA ) NAL/Acct. No.: 200732900003
El Rio, California ) FRN: 0003745254
Facility ID # 55273 )
Adopted: June 11, 2007 Released: June 13, 2007
By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of three thousand, two hundred dollars ($3,200) to Gold
Coast Radio, LLC ("Gold Coast"), licensee of station KMLA, an FM
broadcast station serving El Rio, California, for repeatedly violating
Section 73.1560(b) of the Commission's Rules (Rules). On December 22,
2006, the Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") in the amount of $4,000 to
Gold Coast for repeatedly operating its transmitter at a power level
exceeding 105% of that authorized by its license. In this Order, we
consider Gold Coast's arguments that an admonishment, rather than the
base forfeiture amount, should be issued for the violation, and that
the forfeiture amount should be reduced because Gold Coast has a
history of compliance with the Commission's Rules.
2. On August 29, 2006, in response to complaints, Los Angeles agents
monitored and made field strength measurements of KMLA's transmitted
signal from a location 7 kilometers from the KMLA transmitter site. At
that location, the field strength was measured at 17.2 mV/m, when
measured with a field strength meter. The agents also set up a
spectrum analyzer and sampling antenna at their hotel and observed the
emissions mask and relative strength of the KMLA transmitter
emissions. Agents made periodic observations at several times during
the day and evening of August 29, 2006, and observed that the level of
the signal transmitted by KMLA did not change.
3. On August 30, 2006, the Los Angeles agents, after observing the signal
level on the spectrum analyzer was consistent with their observations
from the previous day, inspected the KMLA transmitter and observed the
transmitter power meter which indicated that the KMLA transmitter
output was 1022 watts. According to the station's license, KMLA is
authorized to operate at 530 watts. The agents also interviewed KMLA
station management personnel who reported that the station had been
operating without a Chief Engineer or designated Chief Operator for a
period of one month, and that there was no one available to adjust the
transmitter. After the transmitter inspection, the Los Angles agents
again measured the field strength of the KMLA signal from the same
location as the previous day. At that location, the field strength was
measured at 16.7 mV/m, when measured with a field strength meter,
indicating a variance of 0.25 dB from the day before. The agents also
observed the spectrum analyzer set up in the hotel room and noted that
the KMLA signal level had not changed from the observations made on
August 29, 2006, and earlier on August 30, 2006.
4. On December 22, 2006, the Los Angeles Office issued a NAL in the
amount of $4,000 to Gold Coast, finding that Gold Coast apparently
repeatedly operated its transmitter at a power level exceeding 105% of
that authorized by its license. Gold Coast filed a response
("Response") on January 18, 2007, arguing that an admonishment, rather
than the base forfeiture amount, should be issued for that violation,
and that the forfeiture amount should be reduced because Gold Coast
has a history of compliance with the Commission's Rules
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and The
Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines ("Forfeiture
Policy Statement"). In examining Gold Coast'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
6. Section 73.1560(b) states: "FM stations. Except as provided in
paragraph (d) of this section, the transmitter output of an FM
station...must be maintained as near as practicable to the authorized
transmitter output power and may not be less than 90%, nor more than
105% of the authorized power." On August 29, 2006, and August 30,
2006, Los Angeles agents, through multiple observations and field
strength measurements, determined that KMLA was operating at
approximately 190% of its authorized power of 530 watts.
7. Gold Coast does not dispute the facts detailed above concerning the
overpower operation of the KMLA transmitter. Instead, Gold Coast
argues that the base forfeiture of $4000 should be considerably
reduced because if the Forfeiture Policy Statement and the statutory
factors set forth in 503(b)(2)(D) are applied to this case, the
sanction be an admonishment. We disagree. We are required to
"determine whether to issue a warning or assess a forfeiture based on
the nature and circumstances of the violation." As stated in the NAL,
the Los Angeles Office took into account the statutory factors and the
Forfeiture Policy Statement when assessing the proposed $4,000
forfeiture amount. In its Response, Gold Coast offers no evidence to
contradict the Los Angeles Office's determination concerning the
nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the violation and, with
respect to the Gold Coast, the degree of culpability, ability to pay,
and other such matters as justice may require. Gold Coast only offers
the statement that it "has never before been cited for any rule
violation" and therefore, the forfeiture amount should be reduced. We
have reviewed our records and we agree. Therefore, we find that Gold
Coast has shown only one factor, history of prior offenses, as
relevant to sustain a reduction of the base forfeiture amount.
Consequently, we reduce the forfeiture amount to $3,200.
8. Gold Coast argues that the forfeiture should be cancelled because of
Gold Coast's "exemplary history of overall compliance," and cites to
Tidewater Communications, Inc. In Tidewater, the Enforcement Bureau
("Bureau") cancelled a $10,000 forfeiture assessed against Tidewater
Communications for willfully failing to light its antenna structure in
Windsor, Virginia, in violation of Section 17.51(a) of the Rules. The
Bureau noted that Tidewater had produced evidence showing, among other
things, that Tidewater had made good faith efforts to inspect the
antenna structure lights and light extinguishment alarm system prior
to the inspection which resulted in the forfeiture. The Bureau also
noted that Tidewater had a history of compliance with the Commission's
Rules. In the present case, while we acknowledge that Gold Coast has a
history of compliance with the Rules, Gold Coast has produced no
evidence to support it made a good faith effort to comply with Section
73.1560(b) or, for that matter, what efforts, if any, it has taken to
resolve the violation and prevent its recurrence. Reductions based on
good faith efforts to comply generally involve situations where
violators demonstrate that they initiated measures to correct or
remedy violations prior to a Commission inspection or investigation.
Because Gold Coast has failed to demonstrate any good faith efforts to
comply, we reject this argument.
9. Based on the information before us, having examined it according to
the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture
Policy Statement, we find that reduction of the proposed forfeiture to
$3,200 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Gold Coast Radio, LLC
, IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of $3,200 for
repeatedly violating Section 73.1560(b) of the Rules.
11. 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. 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/Acct. No.
and FRN No. referenced above. Payment by check or money order may be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may
be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670,
Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account number 911-
6106. Requests for full payment under an installment plan should be
sent to: Associate Managing Director - Financial Operations, Room
1A625, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
12. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class Mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Gold Coast
Radio, LLC, at its address of record, and David Tillotson, Esquire,
its counsel of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
47 C.F.R. S 73.1560(b).
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732900003
(Enf. Bur., Western Region, Los Angeles Office, released December 22,
47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S 73.1560(b) (Operating power and mode tolerances).
Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17102.
18 FCC Rcd 5524 (EB 2003).
47 C.F.R. S 17.51(a).
The evidence apparently also included technical information on what caused
the apparent rule violation and steps taken to prevent the apparent
violation from recurring. 18 FCC Rcd at 5525.
See Radio One Licenses, Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 15964, 15965 (2003), recon.
denied, 18 FCC Rcd 25481 (2003).
47 U.S.C. S 503(b), 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 73.1560(b).
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-2443
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-2443