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

In the Matter of

Southern Media Communications, Inc.  )  File Number EB-02-AT-304
Licensee of AM Radio Station WBCA, Bay  )    NAL/Acct.        No. 
Minnette, Alabama, and Owner of Unregistered )
Antenna Structure Located at 30 52' 10'' N  )    FRN  0004-9693-
Latitude by 87 46' 09'' W Longitude in )
Bay Minnette, Alabama           )

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

Adopted:   November 13, 2003            Released:    November 17, 

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.   In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
        monetary forfeiture  in  the amount  of  eleven  thousand 
        dollars ($11,000) to Southern Media Communications,  Inc. 
        (``SMC''), for willful violation of Section 11.35(a)  and 
        17.4(a) of  the  Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'').1   The 
        noted violations involve, respectively, SMC's failure  to 
        have  operational   Emergency  Alert   System   (``EAS'') 
        Equipment  and  its  failure  to  register  its   antenna 

     2.   On  September  24,  2002,  the  Commission's   Atlanta, 
        Georgia, Field  Office  (``Atlanta Office'')  released  a 
        Notice of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture (``NAL'')  2 
        to SMC for a forfeiture in the amount of eleven  thousand 
        dollars ($11,000) for violation of Sections 11.35(a)  and 
        17.4(a) of the  Rules.   SMC  filed its  response to  the 
        NAL on October 10, 2002.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     3.   SMC is the licensee of  AM broadcast station WBCA,  Bay 
        Minette,  Alabama,  and   owns  that  station's   antenna 
        structure.  According  to the  Commission's records,  the 
        antenna  structure's height  above  ground  is  over  200 
        feet.  On  August 22,  2002, an  agent from  the  Atlanta 
        Office inspected  WBCA's  antenna structure,  located  at 
        30 52' 10'' N Latitude 87  46' 09'' W Longitude in  Bay 
        Minette, Alabama.  The agent  observed that there was  no 
        antenna structure  registration (``ASR'')  number  posted 
        near the base  of the structure.   The agent  interviewed 
        SMC's president,  Walter  Brown, on  the same  day.   Mr. 
        Brown  told  the  agent  that  he  believed  the  antenna 
        structure  was  registered  but  could  not  provide  any 
        supporting documentation.   On  September  3,  2003,  the 
        agent  checked   the  Commission's   tower   registration 
        records  and  determined  that   WBCA's  tower  was   not 
        registered.  A  recent check  of the  Commission's  tower 
        registration records indicates that WBCA's tower  remains 

     4.   On the  same  day  the agent  also  inspected  the  EAS 
        equipment for WBCA, located at the station's main  studio 
        in Atmore, Alabama.  The  agent found that EAS  equipment 
        was installed and turned on but was not operational.   In 
        particular, when the  station's Chief Operator  attempted 
        to send EAS  tests, the agent  observed that the  station 
        did not transmit the  required tests.  Additionally,  the 
        agent observed  that  station logs  contained no  entries 
        indicating that  EAS  tests  had been  conducted  for  at 
        least one year  or entries indicating  the EAS  equipment 
        had been removed for repair.

     5.   On September 24, 2002, the Atlanta Office issued a  NAL 
        for a  forfeiture in  the amount  of $11,000  to SMC  for 
        willful violation  of Sections  11.35(a) and  17.4(a)  of 
        the Rules.  In  its response, SMC  seeks cancellation  of 
        the proposed  monetary forfeiture  ``in consideration  of 
        the immediate  response  .  . .  and  the  problem  being 
        fixed.''  SMC provides  an invoice dated  June 21,  2001, 
        which indicates that  it paid Tuned  Circuits, Inc.,  for 
        ``initial work on tower registration for Bay Minette  and 
        Atmore, other consulting/  repair visit  time to  date.''  
        SMC also  provides  a  letter dated  September  4,  2002, 
        certifying that the EAS equipment has been repaired.

                      III.      DISCUSSION

     6.   The  proposed  forfeiture  amount  in  this  case   was 
        assessed  in  accordance  with  Section  503(b)  of   the 
        Communications  Act  of  1934,  as  amended   (``Act''),3 
        Section  1.80  of  the   Rules,4  and  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) (``Policy Statement'').  In  examining 
        SMC's response, 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.5

     7.   Section 17.4(a) of the Rules requires the  registration 
        of  antenna  structures  which  require  notice  to   the 
        Federal Aviation Administration.  As provided in  Section 
        17.7(a) of the Rules,6  FAA notification is required  for 
        towers whose height above ground level exceeds 200  feet.  
        According to  the  Commission's records,  the  height  of 
        WBCA's antenna structure  is over 200  feet. The  antenna 
        structure is, therefore, required  to be registered.   On 
        the basis of the FCC agent's investigation, we find  that 
        the antenna  structure is  not registered,  and that  SMC 
        violated Section  17.4(a)  by failing  to  register  it.7  
        The invoice provided by SMC indicates that SMC engaged  a 
        contractor to perform  ``initial work''  to register  the 
        tower.  SMC states  that it has  notified the  contractor 
        of  the  problem,  and   instructed  the  contractor   to 
        register the tower; however,  to date, the tower  remains 
        unregistered.  As  the  Commission  recently  reiterated, 
        ``the Commission has long  held that licensees and  other 
        Commission regulatees are  responsible for  the acts  and 
        omissions of their employees and independent  contractors 
        and has  consistently refused  to excuse  licensees  from 
        forfeiture  penalties  where  actions  of  employees   or 
        independent contractors have  resulted in  violations.''8  
        SMC  is, therefore,  chargeable  with  knowledge  of  its 
        contractor's   failure   to   register   WBCA's   antenna 
        structure.9  We find, therefore, that SMC's violation  of 
        Section 17.4(a) was willful.10   

     8.   Section 11.35(a) of the  Rules requires that  broadcast 
        stations have fully operational EAS equipment.   The  FCC 
        agent's investigation establishes that  SMC did not  have 
        fully  operational  EAS  equipment  at  its  station  and 
        failed   to  document   any   efforts   to   ensure   its 
        operability.   SMC  does  not  dispute  this   violation.  
        Based on the facts before us, we find that SMC  willfully 
        violated Section 11.35(a) of the Rules.  

     9.   SMC states that it has repaired the EAS equipment.   It 
        is well  established, however,  that no  mitigation of  a 
        monetary forfeiture is warranted by the Commission  where 
        the noted violations have been subsequently corrected  by 
        the subject of the forfeiture.11  

     10.  We have examined SMC's response to the NAL pursuant  to 
        the statutory factors above, and in conjunction with  the 
        Policy Statement as well.  As a result of our review,  we 
        conclude that SMC willfully  violated Section 17.4(a)  of 
        the Rules and find  that the proper forfeiture amount  is 

     11.  As of the adoption date of this Order, SMC has not  yet 
        complied   with   Section    17.4(a)   of   the    Rules.  
        Accordingly, we will require, pursuant to Section  308(b) 
        of the Act,12 that  SMC report to the Enforcement  Bureau 
        no more than  thirty (30) following  the release of  this 
        Order whether it  has come into  compliance with  Section 
        17.4(a)  by  registering  the  WBCA  antenna   structure.  
        SMC's  report  must  be  submitted  in  the  form  of  an 
        affidavit  or  declaration,  under  penalty  of  perjury, 
        signed by an  officer or director  of the licensee.   SMC 
        should  note  that  its  continued  noncompliance   could 
        result  in   additional   enforcement   action   by   the 
        Enforcement Bureau.

                        IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     12.  Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
        503(b)  of  the  Act,  and  Sections  0.111,  0.311   and 
        1.80(f)(4) of the Rules,13  SMC IS LIABLE FOR A  MONETARY 
        FORFEITURE  in the  amount  of  eleven  thousand  dollars 
        ($11,000)  for  its  failure  to  have  operational   EAS 
        equipment and  for its  failure to  register its  antenna 
        structure,  in   willful  violation,   respectively,   of 
        Sections 11.35(a) and 17.4(a) of the Rules.

     13.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant Section 308(b)  of 
        the  Act,  SMC  must  submit  the  report  described   in 
        Paragraph  10, above,  no  more  than  thirty  (30)  days 
        following the  release  of this  order, to  the   Federal 
        Communications Commission,  Enforcement Bureau,  Spectrum 
        Enforcement Division,  445  12th Street,  S.W.,  Room  7-
        A820, Washington, D.C. 20554, Attention: Thomas D.  Fitz-
        Gibbon, Esq.

     14.  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.14  Payment may  be 
        made by mailing  a check or  similar instrument,  payable 
        to the order  of the  Federal Communications  Commission, 
        to  the  Federal  Communications  Commission,  P.O.   Box 
        73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  The payment  should 
        reference NAL/Acct. No.  200232480021 and FRN  0004-9693-
        58.  Requests for full payment under an installment  plan 
        should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables  Group, 
        445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.15

     15.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
        be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return  Receipt 
        Requested to  Southern  Media  Communications,  Inc.,  at 
        1318 S. Main Street, Atmore, Alabama 36502.

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION


                              David H. Solomon
                              Chief, Enforcement Bureau

  1 47 C.F.R.  11.35(a) and 17.4 (a).  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200232480021 (Enf. Bur., Atlanta  Office, released September  24, 

  3 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

  4 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

  5 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

  6 47 C.F.R.  17.7(a).

  7  On July  23, 2003,  the Wireless  Telecommunications  Bureau 
released a Public Notice, DA-03-2411,  granting a 60 day  amnesty 
period to the owners  of certain unregistered antenna  structures 
identified during an audit.  SMC's antenna structure is not among 
those identified  during the  audit and,  therefore, SMC  is  not 
entitled to an amnesty period to register its tower.

  8 Eure Family  Limited Partnership, 17 FCC Rcd 21861,  21863-64 
(2002)  (internal  quotation  marks  omitted)  and  cases   cited 

  9  See Pinnacle  Towers,  Inc., 18  FCC  Rcd 16365  (Enf.  Bur. 

  10 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,' 
... means the conscious and deliberate commission or omission  of 
such act, irrespective of any intent to violate any provision  of 
this Act or any rule  or regulation of the Commission  authorized 
by this Act ....''  See  Southern California Broadcasting Co.,  6 
FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).

  11 As  the Commission stated  in Seawest Yacht  Brokers, 9  FCC 
Rcd 6099, 6099  (1994), ``corrective  action taken  to come  into 
compliance with Commission rules or policy is expected, and  does 
not nullify or  mitigate any prior  forfeitures or  violations.''  
See also  Callais  Cablevision, Inc.,  17  FCC Rcd  22626,  22629 
(2002); Radio Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973);  and 
Executive Broadcasting Corp., 3 FCC 2d 699, 700 (1966).

  12 47 U.S.C.  308(b).

  13 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  14 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  15 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.