Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Natchez Communications, Inc. )
WTYJ ) File
Natchez, Mississippi )
NAL/Acct. No. X3262012
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: September 7, 2000
By the Enforcement Bureau, New Orleans Field Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, we find that Natchez Communications, Inc.
(``Natchez''), licensee of FM broadcast station WTYJ, has
apparently violated sections 17.4(g) and 17.50 of the
Commission's Rules (``Rules'') by failing to display the
antenna structure registration number and by failing to
clean or repaint the antenna structure as often as necessary
to maintain good visibility. 1 We conclude that Natchez is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of sixteen
thousand dollars ($16,000).
2. On March 19, 1999, an agent from the Commission's
New Orleans Field Office (``Field Office'') inspected FM
broadcast station WTYJ. During this inspection, the agent
determined the station's antenna structure was not in
compliance with the Rules in that the antenna structure
registration number was not displayed, the structure's
lights were not functioning, and the structure's paint was
faded, chipped, and peeling such that it no longer provided
3. On March 31 1999, a Notice of Violation (NOV) was
issued to Natchez citing these deficiencies. On April 15,
1999, Natchez submitted a written reply that stated that it
was in the process of correcting the antenna structure
registration and would display the number. Natchez further
stated that it was under the impression that the paint was
in good enough shape to not have to paint a tower that will
be taken down in the next 90 to 120 days. Finally, Natchez
indicated that it was in the process of hiring an antenna
crew to repair the lights.
4. More than a year later on July 21, 2000, a New
Orleans Field agent again inspected the antenna structure
for station WTYJ. During this inspection, the paint was
observed to be faded to the extent that it did not provide
the structure with good visibility. Additionally, no
antenna structure registration number was displayed at the
base of the structure.
5. Section 17.4(g) of the Rules requires the owners
of registered antenna structures to display the antenna
structure registration number in a conspicuous place so that
it is readily visible near the base of the antenna
structure.2 The material used to display the number must be
weather-resistant and of sufficient size to be easily seen
at the base of the structure.
6. Section 17.50 of the Rules states that ``[a]ntenna
structures requiring painting under this part shall be
cleaned or repainted as often as necessary to maintain good
7. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on
July 21, 2000, Natchez willfully4 violated Sections 17.4(g)
and 17.50 of the Rules by failing to display the antenna
structure registration number and failing to clean or
repaint the antenna structure as often as necessary to
maintain good visibility.
8. Pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Rules, Guidelines
for Assessing Forfeiture, the base forfeiture amount for
failure to display the antenna structure registration number
is $1,000 (failure to maintain required records) and the
base forfeiture amount for failure to comply with prescribed
lighting and/or marking is $10,000. 5 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 Communications Act of 1934 (``Act''), as amended, which
include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of
the violation(s), 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.6 Applying Section 1.80 of the Rules and statutory
factors to the instant case, an upward adjustment of 50% is
warranted for failing to clean or repaint the antenna
structure as often as necessary to maintain good visibility
($15,000). Despite Natchez's April 12, 1999 assertion that
the tower would be taken down in the next 90 to 120 days,
the tower was at the same location and had not been
repainted as of July 21, 2000. Therefore, a forfeiture in
the amount of $16,000 is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,7 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Commission's Rules,8 Natchez Communications,
Inc., is hereby
NOTIFIED of their APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of sixteen thousand dollars ($16,000) for violating
Sections 17.4(g) and 17.50 of the Commission's Rules, 47
C.F.R. §§ 17.4(g) and 17.50.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Natchez Communications,
Inc., SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture
or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
11. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by credit
card through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management
Center at (202) 418-1995 or 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. X3262012.
12. The response if any must be mailed to Office of
the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement
Bureau - TPSD, NAL/Acct. No. X3262012 and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. X3262012.
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; 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. 20554.9
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE
OF APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail,
Return Receipt Requested, to Natchez Communications, Inc.,
P. O. Drawer 1248, Natchez, Mississippi 39120.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James C. Hawkins
New Orleans Field Office
1 47 C.F.R. § 17.4(g) and 47 C.F.R. § 17.50.
2 47 C.F.R. § 17.4(g).
3 47 C.F.R. § 17.50.
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to 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).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
8 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.