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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
File Nos.: EB-08-LA-0344
Lazer Broadcasting Corporation )
Antenna Structure Registrant )
NAL/Acct. No.: 200932900003
ASR Nos. 1013829 and 1013830 )
Santa Barbara, California )
Adopted: June 13, 2011 Released: June 15, 2011
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 dollars ($3,000) to Lazer Broadcasting
Corporation ("Lazer Broadcasting"), owner of antenna structure numbers
1013829 and 1013830, in Santa Barbara, California, for repeatedly
violating section 17.57 of the Commission's rules ("Rules") by failing
to immediately notify the Commission of a change in ownership
information for these antenna structures.
2. On October 16 and October 17, 2008, an agent of the Enforcement
Bureau's Los Angeles Office ("Los Angeles Office") inspected antenna
structure numbers 1013829 and 1013830 located in Santa Barbara,
California, which are a two-tower directional array for AM radio
station KZER. At the time of the inspection, a search of the
Commission's Antenna Structure Registration ("ASR") database revealed
that both antenna structures were registered to Engles Enterprises
Inc., d/b/a KTMS radio ("Engles Enterprises").
3. On November 28, 2008, having been unable to contact Engles
Enterprises, the Los Angeles agent contacted the corporate owner of
Station KZER(AM), which was Lazer Licenses, LLC, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Lazer Broadcasting. The agent was told by an employee
that the antenna structures had been purchased several years earlier
as part of the acquisition of the station from a previous licensee.
The agent advised the Lazer employee that the antenna structures
needed to be re-registered to the new owner as soon as possible and
the employee stated that this would be accomplished. A subsequent
review of the Commission's ASR database revealed that both antenna
structures were registered to Lazer Broadcasting on December 4, 2008.
4. On March 10, 2009, the Los Angeles Office sent a letter of inquiry
("LOI") to Lazer Broadcasting. In its response to the LOI, Lazer
Broadcasting reported that it had purchased antenna structure numbers
1013829 and 1013830 as part of the acquisition of the associated radio
station on January 7, 2004. The response also stated Lazer
Broadcasting's position that any violation of the Commission's tower
registration rules was inadvertent and was timely remedied when
brought to Lazer's attention by the Los Angeles agent.
5. On May 14, 2009, the Los Angeles Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") in the amount of $6,000 to Lazer
Broadcasting, finding that Lazer Broadcasting apparently repeatedly
violated section 17.57 of the Rules by failing to immediately notify
the Commission of a change in ownership information for antenna
structure numbers 1013829 and 1013830. Lazer Broadcasting filed a
response on June 12, 2009. In its Response, Lazer Broadcasting argues
that the forfeiture should be cancelled, because Lazer Broadcasting is
not a licensee, or reduced, because there was no harm caused by its
failure to update both antenna structure registrations.
6. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with section 503(b) of the Communications Act, section 1.80 of the
Rules, and the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement. 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. Based on our review of the record and as discussed below, we
find that reduction of the forfeiture amount is warranted.
7. Section 17.57 of the Rules requires the owner of an antenna structure
to immediately notify the Commission, using FCC Form 854, upon any
change in ownership information. Lazer Broadcasting acquired antenna
structure numbers 1013829 and 1013830 in January of 2004 but failed to
update the ownership information for the antenna structures until
December 4, 2008, after an inspection by the Los Angeles Office.
Accordingly, we conclude that Lazer Broadcasting repeatedly violated
section 17.57 of the Rules by failing to immediately notify the
Commission about a change in ownership for antenna structure numbers
1013829 and 1013830.
8. Lazer Broadcasting argues that because it is not a licensee, the Los
Angeles Office was "procedurally incorrect" to issue a NAL in this
case, and quotes section 1.80(d) of the Rules as stating "[n]o
forfeiture penalty shall be imposed under this section, if such person
does not hold a license, permit, certificate or other authorization
issued by the Commission . . . ." Lazer Broadcasting argues that it is
"merely a tower registrant" and the Los Angeles Office was required to
issue it a citation rather than a NAL. We disagree. We first note that
Lazer Broadcasting failed to quote the full section of the Rules
applicable to this situation. Specifically, section 1.80(d) also
states that "a forfeiture penalty may be imposed if such person is
engaged in (and the violation related to) activities for which a
license, permit, certificate, or other authorization is required or if
such person is a cable television operator, or in the case of
violations of section 303(q), if the person involved is a nonlicensee
who has previously received notice of the obligations imposed by
section 303(q) from the Commission or the permittee or licensee who
uses that tower." The Commission amended section 1.80(d) of the Rules
in 1993 to conform to the recently amended section 503(b)(5) of the
Act which provided that nonlicensee tower owners may be subject to
forfeitures without a prior citation. As the licensee of Station
KZER(AM), and admitted owner of antenna structure numbers 1013829 and
1013830 since 2004, Lazer Broadcasting had an obligation to update the
registration of the two antenna structures when it acquired the
antenna structures and the Station KZER(AM) license from Engles
Enterprises, but it neglected to do so. Lazer Broadcasting again
failed to update the registration for the antenna structures when it
assigned its broadcast licenses to a wholly-owned limited liability
company. Accordingly, we find no procedural error on the part of the
Los Angeles Office when it issued the NAL to Lazer Broadcasting and we
decline to cancel the proposed forfeiture on these grounds.
9. Lazer Broadcasting also argues that the forfeiture amount should be
reduced from $6,000 to $3,000 because both antenna structures were in
the same AM tower array. Lazer asserts that violations concerning AM
tower arrays should be treated as a single violation because the
forfeiture amount for violations of section 73.49 of the Rules, which
requires that AM towers be enclosed within effective locked fences or
other enclosures, but does not require individual tower fences if the
towers are contained within a protective property fence, are found
under the note to section 1.80(b)(4) entitled "violations Unique to
the Service." Lazer Broadcasting further argues that the degree of
harm, which the Commission must take into consideration when assessing
a forfeiture, is the same whether there was a failure to file one form
or two given the proximity of the structure to each other. Moreover,
Lazer Broadcasting notes that the stated violation in the note to
section 1.80(b)(4) is the failure to file "forms" not a single "form."
10. The potential harm when there is a failure to update an antenna
structure registration is the inability of the Commission or its staff
to contact the antenna structure owner in the event of a problem with
the antenna structure. Both antenna structure number 1013829 and
antenna structure number 1013830 had painting and lighting
requirements assigned by the FCC and each structure was required to be
registered with the FCC. As the FCC gave each of the structures
painting and lighting specifications, the Commission obviously
determined that each of the structures individually required
registration. The FCC does not always require painting and lighting
for each structure in a multiple tower array. At times, the FCC finds
that one antenna structure "shields" another structure and
registration is not required. While we do not agree with Lazer
Broadcasting that the degree of harm is the same regardless of whether
one form or two was filed, we note that in prior cases, where two or
three antenna structures in the same AM radio array were not
registered as required pursuant to section 17.4(a) of the Rules, a
single total forfeiture of $3,000 for the violation of failing to
register more than one tower in a multi-tower AM radio array was
assessed. Consistent with this precedent, because antenna structure
numbers 1013829 and 1013830 are both owned by Lazer Broadcasting and
are both part of the AM array used to broadcast Station KZER(AM), we
reduce the forfeiture for failing to update the structures'
registrations pursuant to section 17.57 from $6,000 to $3,000. We
caution Lazer, and all other current or future antenna structure
registrants, that while we are treating the failure to update the
antenna structure registrations in this AM array as a single
violation, and assessing a $3,000 forfeiture, we can foresee upward
adjustments being made in the future for such violations based on a
number of factors including, but not limited to, the number of antenna
structures in the array, the duration of the failure to update
registration, and the level of difficulty involved in contacting
errant antenna structure owners.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
11. 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, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Lazer
Broadcasting Corporation, IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the
amount of $3,000 for repeatedly violating section 17.57 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. 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 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 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.
Lazer Broadcasting Corporation will also send electronic notification
on the date said payment is made to WR-Response@fcc.gov.
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 Lazer
Broadcasting Corporation, 200 South A Street, Suite 400, Oxnard, CA,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
47 C.F.R. S: 17.57.
According to Commission records, Lazer Broadcasting became the licensee of
Station KZER(AM) on January 7, 2004. See File No. BAL-20031103ACW, granted
December 18, 2003, consummated January 7, 2004. On May 18, 2006, Lazer
Broadcasting filed a FCC Form 316 to assign the licenses of Station
KZER(AM) and several other broadcast licenses held by Lazer Broadcasting
to Lazer Licenses, LLC. See File No. BAL-20060518ABI, granted May 26,
2006, consummated June 12, 2006. In this application, Lazer Broadcasting
stated that "this transaction involves the assignment of the licenses of
Lazer Broadcasting Corporation's radio stations to a new limited liability
company in which the licensee [Lazer Broadcasting] will be the sole member
and the 100 percent equity owner." Id. This application was granted on May
See Letter of Inquiry from Nader Haghighat, District Director, Los Angeles
Office, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau, to Lazer Broadcasting
Corporation, dated March 10, 2009.
See Letter from Howard M. Weiss, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, to Nader
Haghighat, District Director, Los Angeles Office, Western Region,
Enforcement Bureau, dated March 24, 2009 ("LOI Response").
See supra note 2.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200932900003
(Enf. Bur., Western Region, Los Angeles Office, released May 14, 2009).
47 C.F.R. S: 17.57.
See Response to Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture from Lazer
Broadcasting Corporation, filed June 12, 2009 ("Response").
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S: 17.57.
We note that the Commission has consistently held that an entity is
expected to correct errors when they are brought to the entity's attention
and that such correction is not grounds for a downward adjustment in the
forfeiture. AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd
21866, 21871-76 (2002).
Response at 2, citing 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(d).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(d).
In the Matter of Amendment of Section 1.80(d) of the Commission's Rules,
Order, 8 FCC Rcd 3052 (1993).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(5).
We also note that Lazer Broadcasting is also the registrant of antenna
structure numbers 1045134, 1045135, 1045136, and 1045137, in East
Highlands, California. Lazer Broadcasting acquired all of these structures
in 2001 and successfully updated the ownership of each, indicating its
awareness of the section 17.57 registration updating requirements.
Response at 2 - 4.
47 C.F.R. S: 73.49.
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b)(4).
Response at 3 - 4, citing Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at
Response at 3 - 4.
See In the Matter of Streamlining the Commission's Antenna Structure
Clearance Procedure, Report and Order, 11 FCC Rcd 4272, 4279 - 4280
47 C.F.R. S: 17.4(a).
See Steve Williams d/b/a American Broadcasting of Texas, Forfeiture Order,
19 FCC Rcd 17708 (Enf. Bur. 2004) (a $3,000 forfeiture was assessed to an
antenna structure owner who failed to register all three towers in a
multi-tower AM radio array); WSJM, Inc, Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 17777
(Enf. Bur. 2004) (a $6,000 forfeiture proposed to an antenna structure
owner which failed to register two antenna structures in a two tower AM
radio array was reduced to $3,000 because the two structures were located
at the same site).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80(f)(4),
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1050
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1050