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

In the matter of                 )
                                )    File No. EB-02-DL-679
East Texas Broadcasting, Inc.    )
Licensee of  Station KPLT(AM)    )    NAL/Acct. No. 200332500002
and                              )
Owner of Antenna Structure No.   )    FRN:  0005-0139-41
1236893                          )
in Paris, Texas
Mount Pleasant, Texas

                        FORFEITURE  ORDER

   Adopted:  November 10, 2004          Released:  November 16, 

By the Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau:


     1.        In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a 
monetary forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand dollars 
($8,000) to East Texas Broadcasting, Inc., (``East Texas''), the 
licensee of KPLT(AM), and owner of Antenna Structure 
Registration (``ASR'') No. 1236893 in Paris, Texas, for willful 
and repeated violation of Section 17.4(a) of the Commission's 
Rules (``Rules'') and willful violation of Section 73.49 of the 
Rules.1  The noted violations involve East Texas' failure to 
register its antenna structure for radio station KPLT and its 
failure to enclose its antenna tower within an effective locked 

     2.        On March 4, 2003, the Commission's Dallas, Texas 
District Office (``Dallas Office'') issued a Notice of Apparent 
Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to East Texas for a 
forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).2  
East Texas filed a response to the NAL on April 3, 2003.


     3.        On November 4, 2002, an agent from the Dallas 
Office inspected East Texas's antenna structure located in 
Paris, Texas.  The agent determined that the structure was used 
by AM Station KPLT, and had radio frequency (``RF'') potential 
at the base of the tower.  During the inspection, the agent 
found the gate to the tower base fence unlocked. The station 
manager arrived after several minutes and secured the gate. In 
addition, a sign at the base of the tower structure displayed 
ASR number 1053395.  The Commission's records indicated that ASR 
number 1053395 had been purged from the database with the 
notation ``Aged Return Deletion.''   The KPLT station manager 
informed the Dallas Office agent that KPLT had purchased the 
station one year previously.  

     4.        On November 14, 2002, the Dallas Office received 
information from East Texas indicating that the previous owner 
of the tower had tried and failed to properly register the 
tower.  The registration failure was due to the previous owner's 
failure to provide correct coordinates for the tower.  On 
December 2, 2002, East Texas successfully registered the tower 
with the Commission's automatic tower registration system using 
the same incorrect data with which the previous owner used in 
its failed registration attempts.3  East Texas has owned the 
subject tower since August 2001.

     5.        On March 4, 2003, the Dallas Office issued a NAL 
to East Texas for ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for apparent 
willful and repeated violation of Section 17.4(a) of the Rules 
and apparent willful violation of Section 73.49 of the Rules.  
East Texas responded to the NAL pointing out its history of 
compliance with the Rules, and its prompt remedial efforts to 
correct the violations.  It states that it believed the tower 
was registered because when it acquired the tower, ``it had been 
represented to it that the prior licensee was in compliance with 
all'' of the Rules.  East Texas relied upon that representation, 
which was compounded by the existence of a sign at the base of 
the structure displaying ASR number 1053395.  

     6.        East Texas also states that it has participated in 
the Alternative Broadcast Inspection Program (``ABIP'') for 
several of its other stations and has devoted substantial time 
and resources to prepare Station KPLT for that program.  In 
support of its argument that it has been diligent in serving its 
customers and complying with the Rules, East Texas supplies a 
lengthy list of improvements and modifications it has made to 
KPLT since it acquired the station, including replacing the 
transmitter, repairing the transmitter building and replacing 
its roof, installing upgraded electrical system and air 
conditioning, and replacing all wiring on the tower lights.

     7.        East Texas suggests that the forfeiture is not 
warranted, given its overall participation in ABIP, its history 
of compliance, and the substantial station improvements it has 
made to Station KPLT.  At a minimum, it argues, the forfeiture 
should be reduced by the sum of $3,900, citing Truth 
Broadcasting Corporation4 and NetCom Technologies.5  In 
addition, East Texas argues that we should take into account 
that KPLT is in the small market of Paris, Texas, and the 
Commission has recognized that forfeitures impose a ``far 
greater hardship'' on a small market station than on others, 
citing Dominga Barreto Santiago6 and Canby Telephone 


     8.        The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was 
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended, (``Act''),8 Section 1.80 of the Rules,9 
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 East Texas' 
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 such other matters as justice may require.10

     9.        Section 73.49 of the Rules requires broadcast 
licensees to maintain an effective locked fence or other 
enclosures around the base of an antenna tower having 
radiofrequency potential at the base. The Dallas Office agent's 
observation was that AM Station KPLT has radio frequency 
potential at the base of its antenna tower, thereby requiring an 
effective locked fence or other enclosure.   At the time of the 
inspection on November 4, 2002, the KPLT antenna structure was 
not enclosed within an effective locked fence or other enclosure 
as required by Section 73.49.  East Texas does not contest that 
its antenna tower was without an effective locked enclosure 
around the base.  Accordingly, we conclude that East Texas 
willfully11 violated Section 73.49 of the Rules.  

     10.       Section 17.4(a) of the Rules requires that the 
owner of any proposed or existing antenna structure that 
requires notice of proposed construction to the FAA must 
register the structure with the Commission.   East Texas owns 
the tower structure for KPLT, and the structure is approximately 
92 meters in height, requiring that it be registered with the 
FAA.  East Texas believed that the tower was registered when it 
purchased the tower, however, it is well established that 
mistake or inadvertence resulting in a rule violation is 
considered willful.12  Moreover, because the violation continued 
for at least a year, it is repeated.13  Accordingly, we conclude 
that East Texas willfully and repeatedly violated Section 
17.4(a) of the Rules.

     11.       As East Texas acknowledges, remedial action taken 
to correct the violation is not a mitigating factor, and indeed, 
East Texas did not take action prior to the inspection to 
correct the subject violations.   East Texas contends, 
nevertheless, that it deserves consideration for the significant 
improvements it has made to the station to bring it into 
compliance and to maintain compliance with the Rules.  Station 
improvements are commendable, but compliance with our rules is 
expected and does not constitute grounds for a reduction in the 
proposed forfeiture.14   We conclude, therefore, that East Texas 
is not entitled to a reduction in the forfeiture amount for its 
station improvements.     

     12.       East Texas argues that its participation in ABIP 
in other stations it owns, and its plan to place Station KPLT in 
the ABIP program, deserves consideration.  We conclude that 
these efforts are not grounds for a reduction in forfeiture 
because neither Section 1.80 of the Rules nor the Policy 
Statement authorizes remediation of a forfeiture for these 

     13.       East Texas also argues that it should have a 
reduction of the forfeiture because it operates in a small 
market.  The cases cited in support of this position by East 
Texas, however, illustrate the general rule that reduction of a 
forfeiture for small market status is always accompanied by 
showing of financial hardship and/or inability to pay with the 
required documentation.15  East Texas provided no documentation 
showing its inability to pay, and accordingly, we find no merit 
in its request for reduction based on small market status. 

     14.       Finally, East Texas argues it has never been cited 
for a previous violation of the Commission's Rules, and citing 
Truth Broadcasting Corporation, supra and NetCom Technologies, 
supra, seeks a reduction in the forfeiture amount on that basis.  
Our records show that East Texas is correct.  Accordingly, we 
find that a reduction of $2000 of the proposed forfeiture is 
warranted for East Texas' history of compliance.

     15.       A search of the Commission's ASR database reveals 
that as of the adoption date of this Order, East Texas still had 
not corrected the registration information for its antenna 
structure with the Commission.  Accordingly, we will require, 
pursuant to Section 308(b) of the Act,16 that East Texas submit 
a report to the Enforcement Bureau within 30 days of the release 
date of this Order demonstrating that it is in compliance with 
our antenna registration Rules as required by Section 17.4(a).  
East Texas's report must be submitted in the form of an 
affidavit or declaration, under penalty of perjury, and signed 
by an officer or director of the licensee.  East Texas should 
note that its continued noncompliance could result in additional 
enforcement action.

     16.       We have examined East Texas' 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 East Texas willfully violated Section 73.49 of the 
Rules, and that it willfully and repeatedly violated Section 
17.4 of the Rules, but we find that the proposed forfeiture 
should be reduced to $8,000 for these violations because of its 
history of compliance.


     17.       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,17 East Texas Broadcasting, Inc., 
licensee of Station KPLT(AM), in Paris, Texas, IS LIABLE FOR A 
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of  eight thousand dollars 
($8,000) for its violation of Sections 17.4 and 73.49 of the 

     18.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 
308(b) of the Act, East Texas Broadcasting, Inc. must submit the 
report described in paragraph fifteen (15) above no later than 
thirty (30) days from the release date of this Order to:  
Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Spectrum 
Enforcement Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 
20554, Attention:  Susan Magnotti, Esquire. 

     19.       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.18 Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or 
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal 
Communications Commission.  The payment must include the 
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above.  Payment by check or 
money order may be mailed to Forfeiture Collection Section, 
Finance Branch, Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 
73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  Payment by overnight mail 
may be sent to Bank One/LB 73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor 
Mailroom, Chicago, IL 60661.   Payment by wire transfer may be 
made to ABA Number 071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and 
account number 1165259.   Requests for full payment under an 
installment plan should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and 
Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, 
D.C. 20554.19   

     20.       IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order 
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt 
Requested to East Texas Broadcasting, Inc., PO Box 990, Mount 
Pleasant, Texas 75456, and to its counsel Howard J. Barr, Esq., 
Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, Seventh Floor, 1402 Eye Street, 
N.W., Washington, DC 20005.


                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                              George R. Dillon
                              Assistant Chief, Enforcement Bureau


1 47 C.F.R.  17.4(a), 73.49.  
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 
200332500002 (Enf. Bur., Dallas Office, released March 4, 2003).  
3 The previous owner's application was reviewed by FCC staff 
prior to ubiquitous public use of the automated tower 
registration system.  According to correspondence between the 
tower's previous owners and the Commission, the data provided is 
in error by more that one second. The tower requires a new 
Federal Aviation Administration (``FAA'') study and corrected 
data for the tower registration in the Commission's database.
4  17 FCC Rcd. 24376 (Enf. Bur. 2002).
5  16 FCC Rcd 9524 (Enf. Bur. 2001).
6  14 FCC Rcd 6065 (CIB 1999).
7  5 FCC Rcd 731 (Mobile Services Div. 1990).
8  47 U.S.C.  503(b).
9  47 C.F.R.  1.80.
10  47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).
11  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 ....''  Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC 
Rcd 4387 (1991). 
12  A violation resulting from an inadvertent mistake or a 
failure to become familiar with the FCC's requirements is 
considered a willful violation. See PBJ Communications of 
Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1992); Standard Communications 
Corp., 1 FCC Rcd 358 (1986); Triad Broadcasting Co., Inc., 96 FCC 
2d 1235, 1242 (1984).  
13 As provided by 47 U.S.C.  312(f)(2), ``[t]he term `repeated',  
when used with reference to the commission or omission of any 
act, means the commission or omission of such act more than once 
or, if such commission or omission is continuous, for more than 
one day.'' The Conference Report for Section 312(f)(2) indicates 
that Congress intended to apply this definition to Section 503 of 
the Act as well as Section 312.  See H.R. Rep. 97th Cong. 2d 
Sess. 51 (1982).  Southern California Broadcasting Co., supra. 
14  AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 7891 (2002), 
forfeiture ordered, 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21875-76 at  26-28 
(2002), Seawest Yacht Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099, 6099  7 (1994).    
15 Dominga Barreto Santiago and Canby Telephone Association, 
16 47 U.S.C.  308(b).
17 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
18  47 U.S.C.  504(a).
19 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.