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                            Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                      Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                  )       File Number EB-03-TP-192
Blountstown Communications,       )      NAL/Acct.No. 200432700006 
Inc.                              )                 FRN 0000040428
Licensee of Radio Stations WYBT   )
(AM) &                            )
Blountstown, Florida


                                 Released: December 16, 2003

By the Enforcement Bureau, Tampa Office:

                      I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.  In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture 
(``NAL''), we find Blountstown Communications, Inc. 
(``Blountstown''), licensee of AM radio station WYBT and FM 
radio station WPHK, Blountstown, Florida, apparently liable 
for a forfeiture in the amount of twenty-five thousand 
dollars ($25,000) for willful violation of Sections 11.35, 
73.49 and 73.3526(c) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1  
Specifically, we find Blountstown apparently liable for 
failing to ensure that the Emergency Alert System (``EAS'') 
equipment was operational, failing to enclose the base of 
the antenna system with a fence and failing to make 
available a complete public file.

                       II.  BACKGROUND

     2.  On April 7, 2003, agents from the FCC Enforcement 
Bureau's Tampa Field Office (``Tampa Office'') inspected 
station WYBT (AM) and WPHK (FM) in Blountstown, Florida.  
The agents found the station's EAS equipment inoperative, 
the antenna system's high RF potential exposed and 
accessible and a public file which consisted only of a FCC 
station license and tower registration. 

                      III.  DISCUSSION

     4.  Section 11.35 of the Rules requires broadcast 
stations to ensure that their EAS equipment is operational 
at all times the station is on the air.   On April 7, 2003, 
the EAS equipment was not operational and the last evidence 
of operation in the EAS log was dated April 1999.  In 
addition, station records contained no entries indicating 
the EAS equipment had been removed from service for repair.

     5.  Section 73.49 of the Rules requires AM station 
towers with radio frequency potential at the base (Series 
Fed, Folded unipole and insulated base antennas) to be 
enclosed with effective locked fences or other enclosures.  
On April 7, 2003, there was no fence around the folded 
unipole antenna and according to the station's management, a 
fence was never constructed when the new tower was built in 
April 2002. 

     6.  Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules2 requires  that 
every permittee or licensee of an AM, FM, TV or Class A TV 
station in the commercial broadcast services shall maintain 
a public  inspection file containing the material, relating 
to that station, described in paragraphs (e)(1) through 
(e)(10)  and paragraph (e)(13) of this section.  Section 
73.3526(c) requires the public file be available for public 
inspection at any time during regular business hours.  On 
April 7, 2003, during regular business hours, the only 
documents available in the public file folder were the FCC 
station license and antenna tower registration.

     7.  Based on the evidence before us, we find that 
Blountstown willfully3 violated Section 11.35, 73.49 and 
73.3526(c) of the Rules by failing to ensure the operation 
of the EAS equipment, failing to enclose the base of the 
antenna system in a fence and failing to make available a 
complete public file. 

     8.  Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules4 sets forth the 
base forfeiture amounts for various violations of the 
Commission's Rules.  Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules sets 
the base forfeiture amount at $8,000 for  EAS violations, 
$7,000 for tower fencing violations and $10,000 for public 
file violations.  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, as amended (``Act''), which include 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.''5 Considering the entire 
record and applying the factors listed above, this case 
warrants a $25,000 forfeiture.

                    IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     9.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to 
Section 503(b) of the Act,6 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 
1.80 of the Rules,7 Blountstown . is hereby NOTIFIED of this 
five thousand dollars ($25,000) for willful violation of 
Sections 11.35, 73.49 and 73.3526(c) of the Rules by failing 
to ensure that their EAS equipment was  operational, failure 
to enclose the base of the tower with a fence and failure to 
make available a complete public inspection file. .

     10.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of 
this NAL, Blountstown  SHALL PAY the full amount of the 
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement 
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed 

     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. and FRN referenced 
above.  Request for payment of the full amount of this NAL 
under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue 
and Receivable Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., 
Washington, D.C.  20554.8

     12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal 
Communications Commission, Office of the Secretary, 445 12th 
Street, SW, Washington, DC 20554, Attn: Enforcement Bureau-
Spectrum Enforcement Division, and MUST INCLUDE THE 
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced above.

     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. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 
2002, Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the 
FCC is engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the 
size of entities involved in forfeitures.  If you qualify as 
a small entity and if you wish to be treated as a small 
entity for tracking purposes, please so certify to us within 
thirty (30) days of this NAL, either in your response to the 
NAL or in a separate filing to be sent to the Spectrum 
Enforcement Division.  Your certification should indicate 
whether you, including your parent entity and its 
subsidiaries, meet one of the definitions set forth in the 
list provided by the FCC's Office of Communications Business 
Opportunities (OCBO) set forth in Attachment A of this 
Notice of Apparent Liability.  This information will be used 
for tracking purposes only.  Your response or failure to 
respond to this question will have no effect on your rights 
and responsibilities pursuant to Section 503(b) of the 
Communications Act.  If you have questions regarding any of 
the information contained in Attachment A, please contact 
OCBO at (202) 418-0990.

     15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL shall 
be sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt 
Requested to Blountstown Communications, Inc., 20872 N.E. 
Kelly Avenue, Blountstown, FL 32424. 

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS 

                              Ralph M. Barlow
                              District Director, Tampa 


1 47 C.F.R.  11.35, 73.49 & 73.3526(c).
2 47 C.F.R.  73.3526(a)(2).
3 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).
4 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).
5 47 U.S.C.  503 (b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C.  503(b).
7 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
8 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.