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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Citicasters Licenses, Inc. ) File Number: EB-01-LA-075
) NAL/Acct. No. 200232900001
Station KACD AM ) FRN 0004-9536-59
Thousand Oaks, CA.
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: March 12, 2002
By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL"), we find that Citicasters Licenses, Inc.,
(``Citicasters'') licensee of Station KACD(AM), in Thousand Oaks,
CA, has apparently violated Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1923, as amended (``Act'')1 and has apparently willfully
violated sections 17.47(a)(1) and 17.49 of the Commission's
Rules2 by not making an observation of the antenna structures'
lights at least once each 24 hours and not maintaining a record
of observed or otherwise known extinguishment or improper
functioning of a structure light. We also find that Citicasters
has apparently willfully violated sections 73.1125 and 73.1400(a)
of the Commission's Rules3 by not maintaining a meaningful staff
presence at the main studio and operating station KACD
unattended. Further, we find that Citicasters apparently
willfully violated sections 73.1870(a) and 73.1870(c)(3) of the
Commission's Rules4 by not designating a person to serve as the
station's chief operator and the failure of a chief operator to
review the station records at least once each week to determine
if the required entries are being made correctly and to date and
sign the log. We conclude that Citicasters is apparently liable
for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
2. On March 13, 2001, the Los Angeles Office received an
e-mail complaint concerning a tower light outage. The complaint
stated that the light on the third tower at station KACD(AM)
operating on 850 kHz in Thousand Oaks, California is out and has
been out for a week. The tower, Antenna Structure Registration #
1059707, is registered to Citicasters, Inc.5 An investigation by
the Los Angeles Field Office revealed that a top mounted red
flashing beacon tower light outage existed on March 13, 2001, and
that no automated alarm system was installed at the station for
monitoring the tower lights and that the station operator did not
make the required visual inspection of the tower lights once
every 24 hours. The investigation also revealed that the station
did not properly maintain required station logs or adequately
staff the station.
3. On March 13, 2001, the station engineer responded to
the inquiry made by the Los Angeles field office and confirmed
that in fact the third tower light was out, and acknowledged that
he did not know how long the tower light had been out. The
station engineer stated that he immediately reported the tower
light outage to the FAA and that the light should be repaired and
returned to service by close-of-business the next day, March 14,
2001. On March 16, 2001, the station engineer advised the Los
Angeles field office that the tower light had been repaired and
returned to service on March 14, 2001. On May 16, 2001, an agent
from the Los Angeles office attempted to inspect station KACD's
station logs during regular business hours, but found the station
closed. Subsequent investigation revealed the station was closed
between May 14 and May 17, 2001, because the station's only on-
site employee, the station operator, was ill.
4. On May 24, 2001, the LA agent returned to the station
to review the station logs. A review of the station logs
revealed no record of the March 13, 2001, light outage, no record
of when the extinguishment was noted, and no record of repairs
made. The station operator acknowledged that a light outage had
occurred on March 13, 2001 on the third tower, Antenna Structure
Registration # 1059707. The station operator stated that there
was no automated alarm system for the tower lights, and that he
conducted a visual inspection only once every two weeks.
5. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the
terms and conditions of any license, or willfully or repeatedly
fails to comply with any of the provisions of the Act or of any
rule, regulation or order issued by the Commission thereunder,
shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. The term ``willful''
as used in Section 503(b) has been interpreted to mean simply
that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly.6 It is not
pertinent whether or not the licensee's act or omissions are
intended to violate the law.
6. Section 17.47 (a) (1) of the Rules requires the owner
of the antenna structure registered with the Commission to make
an observation of the antenna structure's lights at least once
each 24 hours either visually or by observing an automatic
properly maintained indicator to insure that all such lights are
functioning properly. Section 17.49 of the Rules requires that
the owner of an antenna structure record any observed or
otherwise known extinguishment or improper functioning of a
structure light. The recorded information is to include such
things as the nature of the extinguishment or improper
functioning, the date and time the observation was made or
otherwise noted, and the date, time and nature of adjustments,
repairs, or replacements made. Section 73.1125 of the Rules
requires each licensee to maintain a main studio and to maintain
a meaningful management and staff presence at its main studio
location.7 The Commission has defined a minimally acceptable
``meaningful management and staff presence'' as full-time
managerial and full-time staff personnel during normal business
hours.8 Only one full-time employee is not sufficient to meet
the minimum requirements.9 Section 73.1400 (a) of the Rules
requires attended operation to assure that at all times the
station operates within tolerances specified by applicable
technical rules and in accordance with the terms of the station
authorization. Unattended station operation under Sections
73.1300 and 73.1400(b) could not be employed because the remote
control system was not fully automated.10 Sections 73.1870(a)
and 73.1870(c)(3) require that the licensee designate a person to
serve as the station's chief operator and that the operator
review the station records at least once each week to determine
if required entries are being made correctly and to date and sign
the log. In such instances where the chief operator is
unavailable or unable to act (e.g., vacations, sickness), the
licensee shall designate another person as the acting chief
operator on a temporary basis.
7. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Citicasters willfully violated Sections 17.47(a)(1) and 17.49 of
the Rules when it failed to make an observation of the antenna
structure's lights at least once each 24 hours and failed to
record the observed or otherwise known extinguishment or improper
functioning of a structure light. We also find that Citicasters
willfully violated Sections 73.1125, 73.1400(a), 73.1870(a) and
73.1870(c)(3) of the Rules by failing to maintain a meaningful
management and staff presence at the main studio and failing to
maintain attended operation of the station, failing to designate
another person as the acting chief operator on a temporary basis,
and failing to review the station records at least once each week
to determine if required entries are being made and verify that
the station has been operated as required by the rules or the
8. The base forfeiture amount set by 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) (``Forfeiture Policy
Statement''), for failure to comply with the main studio rule is
$7,000, for failure to conduct required monitoring is $2,000 and
for failure to maintain required records is $1,000. In assessing
the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into account
the statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the
Act11, which includes the nature, circumstances, extent, and
gravity of the violation(s), and with respect to the violator,
the degree of culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability
to pay, and other such matters as justice may require. Applying
the Forfeiture Policy Statement and the statutory factors to the
instant case, a $10,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended12, and
Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules13,
Citicasters Licenses, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of ten thousand dollars
($10,000) for violations of Sections 17.47 (a)(1), 17.49,
73.1125, 73.1400(a), 73.1870(a) and 73.1870(c)(3) of the Rules,
47 C.F.R. §17.47(a)(1), 47 C.F.R. §17.49, 47 C.F.R. §73.1125, 47
C.F.R. §73.1400(a), 47 C.F.R. §73.1870(a) and §73.1870(c)(3).
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's Rules14, within thirty days of the release date
of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Citicasters Licenses, Inc.
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL
FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
11. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a
check or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section,
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482. The payment should note the
NAL/Acct. No. 200232900001 and FRN # 0004-9536-59.
12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
20402 and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. 200232900001.
13. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most
recent three-year period; (2) financial statements prepared
according to generally accepted accounting practices (``GAAP'');
or (3) some other reliable and objective documentation that
accurately reflects the petitioner's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
14. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.15
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail # 7001 2510
0001 9914 6408, Return Receipt Requested, to Citicasters
Licenses, Inc. at 200 East Basse Road, San Antonio, TX. 78209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
District Director, LA Office
1 47 U.S.C. §503(b).
2 47 C.F.R §§17.47(a)(1), 17.49.
3 47 C.F.R §§73.1125, 73.1400(a).
4 47 C.F.R. §§73.1870(a) and (c)(3).
5 Ownership information filed with the Federal Communications
Commission indicates Citicasters Licenses, Inc. and Citicasters,
Inc. are affiliated. In addition, section 17.6 of the Rules
provides that licensees authorized on antenna structures must
take steps to ensure that the antenna structure is in compliance
with the antenna structure painting and lighting requirements.
47 C.F.R. § 17.6.
6 Section 312(f)(1) of the 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',
when used with reference to the commission or omission of any
act, means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission of
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of
this Act ....'' See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC
Rcd 4387 (1991).
7 47 C.F.R. § 73.1125; Main Studio and Program Origination Rules
(Clarification), 3 FCC Rcd 5024 (1988).
8 Jones Eastern of Outer Banks, Inc., 6 FCC Rcd 3615 (1991),
clarified, 7 FCC Rcd 6800 (1992); see also, KLDT-TV 55, Inc., 10
FCC Rcd 3198 (1995).
9 Queen of Peace Radio, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 1934 (Enf. Bur. 2000),
recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 7538 (Enf. Bur. 2000); B&C Kentucky,
LLC., 16 FCC Rcd 9305, ¶ 19 (M.M.B. 2001).
10 Amendment of Parts 73 and 74 of the Commission's Rules to
Permit Unattended Operation of Broadcast Stations and to Update
Broadcast Station Transmitter Control and Monitoring
Requirements, 10 FCC Rcd 11479 (1995).
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
13 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
14 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
15 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.