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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Rhonda Worrell ) File No.: EB-FIELDSCR-13-00012938
Licensee of AM Station WVCB )
) NOV No.: V201432640005
Shallotte, North Carolina )
) Facility ID: 31573
NOTICE OF VIOLATION
Released: March 18, 2014
By the Resident Agent, Norfolk Office, South Central Region, Enforcement
1. This is a Notice of Violation (Notice) issued pursuant to Section 1.89
of the Commission's rules (Rules)^ to Rhonda Worrell, licensee of AM
Station WVCB in Shallotte, North Carolina. Pursuant to Section 1.89(a)
of the Rules, issuance of this Notice does not preclude the
Enforcement Bureau from further action if warranted, including issuing
a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture for the violation(s)
2. On December 16, 2013, an agent of the Enforcement Bureau's Norfolk
Office monitored the signal of Station WVCB, located at HWY 17, 4640
Main Street, Shallotte, North Carolina and observed the following
a. 47 C.F.R. S 73.99(d)(4): "Postsunset service authorizations (PSSA)
permit: Class D stations on regional channels to commence PSSA
operation at sunset times specified on their basic instruments of
authorization and to continue such operation until two hours past
such specified times." At the time of inspection, Station WVCB failed
to commence PSSA operation at sunset times specified on their basic
instrument of authorization. The station continued to transmit an
unmodulated signal at the same power after sunset as before sunset.
3. On December 17, 2013, the agent inspected Station WVCB's main studio
observed the following additional violations. :
a. 47 C.F.R. S11.35(a): "EAS Participants are responsible for ensuring
that EAS Encoders, EAS Decoders, Attention Signal generating and receiving
equipment, and Intermediate Devices used as part of the EAS to decode
and/or encode messages formatted in the EAS Protocol and/or the Common
Alerting Protocol are installed so that the monitoring and transmitting
functions are available during the times the stations and systems are in
operation. Additionally, EAS Participants must determine the cause of any
failure to receive the required tests or activations specified in
S11.61(a)(1) and (2). Appropriate entries indicating reasons why any tests
were not received must be made in the broadcast station log as specified
in SS73.1820 and 73.1840 of this chapter for all broadcast streams and
cable system records as specified in SS76.1700, 76.1708, and 76.1711 of
this chapter. All other EAS Participants must also keep records indicating
reasons why any tests were not received and these records must be retained
for two years, maintained at the EAS Participant's headquarters, and made
available for public inspection upon reasonable request." At the time of
inspection, there was no power connected to the EAS equipment, and Ms.
Worrell, who also serves as the station manager, stated that the EAS
equipment was inoperative. The station also had no EAS log entries
indicating why EAS tests had not been received.
b. 47 C.F.R S 11.61(a): "EAS Participants shall conduct tests at regular
intervals, as specified in paragraphs (a)(1) and (a)(2) of this section.
Additional tests may be performed anytime. EAS activations and special
tests may be performed in lieu of required tests as specified in paragraph
(a)(4) of this section. All tests will conform with the procedures in the
EAS Operating Handbook." At the time of the inspection, Ms. Worrell stated
that no EAS tests had been sent or received for over six months or more.
c. 47 C.F.R S 11.56: "Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary ,
all EAS Participants must be able to receive CAP-formatted EAS alerts no
later than 180 days after FEMA publishes the technical standards and
requirement for such FEMA transmissions." At the time of inspection, Ms.
Worrell admitted that the station was without required Common Alerting
Protocol (CAP) capability.
d. 47 C.F.R. S 73.49: "Antenna towers having radio frequency potential at
the base (series fed, folded unipole, and insulated base antennas) must be
enclosed within effective locked fences or other enclosures. Ready access
must be provided to each antenna tower base for meter reading and
maintenance purposes at all times. However, individual tower fences need
not be installed if the towers are contained within a protective property
fence." At the time of the inspection, neither Ms. Worrell nor handyman
could provide ready access to the base of the tower. Both the lock to the
base fence and the enclosure for the antenna base current meter were so
corroded that they were not able to be opened.
e 47 C.F.R. S 73.1125(a): ". . . each AM, FM, and TV broadcast station
shall maintain a main studio . . ." The Commission has interpreted Section
73.1125 (also known as the Main Studio Rule) to require, among other
things, that a licensee maintain a "meaningful management and staff
presence" at its main studio.^ Specifically, the Commission has found that
a main studio "must, at a minimum, maintain full-time managerial and
full-time staff personnel."^ On the day of inspection, the main studio was
locked and unattended between the regular business hours of 10:00 am and
2:00 pm, and there was no information available for contacting the
f. 47 C.F.R. S 73.3541: "(a) The FCC shall be notified in writing promptly
of the death or legal disability of an individual permittee or license ...
. (b) Within 30 days after the occurrence of such death or legal
disability, an application on FCC Form 316 shall be filed requesting
consent to involuntary assignment of such permit or license or for
involuntary transfer of control of such corporation to a person or entity
legally qualified to succeed to the foregoing interests under the laws of
the place having jurisdiction over the estate involved." John G. Worrell,
licensee of Station WVCB, passed away in 2005. His daughter, Rhonda
Worrell, inherited his estate. However, as of March 12, 2014, she has not
filed FCC Form 316 for an involuntary assignment of the station.
g. 47 C.F.R S 73.3526(a)(2): "Every permittee or licensee of an AM, FM, TV
or Class A TV station in the commercial broadcast service 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. In addition, ... every permittee or licensee of a commercial
AM or FM station shall maintain for public inspection a file containing
the material, relating to that station, described in paragraphs (e)(12)
and (e)(14) of this section. A separate file shall be maintained for each
station for which an authorization is outstanding, and the file shall be
maintained so long as an authorization to operate the station is
outstanding." In response to a request to inspect the file, Ms. Worrell
admitted that Station WVCB did not maintain a public inspection file.
4. As the nation's emergency warning system, the Emergency Alert System
is critical to public safety, and we recognize the vital role that
broadcasters play in ensuring its success. The Commission takes
seriously any violations of the Rules implementing the EAS and expects
full compliance from its licensees.
5. Pursuant to Section 308(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended,^ and Section 1.89 of the Rules, we seek additional
information concerning the violations and any remedial actions taken.
Therefore, Ms. Worrell must submit a written statement concerning this
matter within twenty (20) days of release of this Notice. The response
(i) must fully explain each violation, including all relevant
surrounding facts and circumstances, (ii) must contain a statement of
the specific action(s) taken to correct each violation and preclude
recurrence, and (iii) must include a time line for completion of any
pending corrective action(s). The response must be complete in itself
and must not be abbreviated by reference to other communications or
answers to other notices.^
6. In accordance with Section 1.16 of the Rules, we direct Ms. Worrell to
support her response to this Notice with a signed and dated affidavit
or declaration under penalty of perjury, verifying the truth and
accuracy of the information therein,^ and confirming that all of the
information requested by this Notice which is in the licensee's
possession, custody, control, or knowledge has been produced. To
knowingly and willfully make any false statement or conceal any
material fact in reply to this Notice is punishable by fine or
imprisonment under Title 18 of the U.S. Code.^
7. All replies and documentation sent in response to this Notice should
be marked with the File No. and NOV No. specified above, and marked to
the following address:
Federal Communications Commission
1457 Mount Pleasant Rd., Suite 113
Chesapeake, Virginia, 23322
8. This Notice shall be sent to Rhonda Worrell at her address of record.
The Privacy Act of 1974^ requires that we advise you that the
Commission will use all relevant material information before it,
including any information disclosed in your reply, to determine what,
if any, enforcement action is required to ensure compliance.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Norfolk District Office
South Central Region
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.89.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.89(a).
^ Amendment of Sections 73.1125 and 73.1130 of the Commission's Rules, the
Main Studio and Program Origination Rules for Radio and Television
Broadcast Stations, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 3 FCC Rcd 5024, 5026
(1988) (Main Studio and Program Origination Rules), erratum issued, 3 FCC
Rcd 5717 (1988) (correcting language in n.29).
^ See Jones Eastern of the Outer Banks, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 6 FCC Rcd 3615, 3616 & n.2 (1991) (noting that, "This is not to
say that the same staff person and manager must be assigned full-time to
the main studio. Rather, there must be management and staff presence on a
full-time basis during normal business hours to be considered
`meaningful.'"), clarified, 7 FCC Rcd 6800 (1992) (Jones Eastern II).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 308(b).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.89(c).
^ Section 1.16 of the Rules provides that "[a]ny document to be filed with
the Federal Communications Commission and which is required by any law,
rule or other regulation of the United States to be supported, evidenced,
established or proved by a written sworn declaration, verification,
certificate, statement, oath or affidavit by the person making the same,
may be supported, evidenced, established or proved by the unsworn
declaration, certification, verification, or statement in writing of such
person . . . . Such declaration shall be subscribed by the declarant as
true under penalty of perjury, and dated, in substantially the following
form . . . : `I declare (or certify, verify, or state) under penalty of
perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed on (date).
(Signature)'." 47 C.F.R. S 1.16.
^ 18 U.S.C. S 1001 et seq. See also 47 C.F.R. S 1.17.
^ P.L. 93-579, 5 U.S.C. S 552a(e)(3).
Federal Communications Commission
Federal Communications Commission