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

In the Matter of                )
State Broadcasting Corporation  )    File No. EB-02-AT-340
Gulfport, Mississippi           )    NAL/Acct. No. 200332480010
                                )    FRN 0005-0035-20

                        FORFEITURE ORDER 

     Adopted:  March 12, 2004                Released:  March 16, 

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.  INTRODUCTION

     1.   In  this  Forfeiture  Order  (``Order''),  we  issue  a 
       monetary  forfeiture  in the  amount  of  seven   thousand 
       dollars   ($7,000)  to   State  Broadcasting   Corporation 
       (``State''), licensee  of AM radio  station WMLT,  Dublin, 
       Georgia, for  willful violation  of Section  73.49 of  the 
       Commission's  Rules  (``Rules'').1   The  noted  violation 
       involves State's  failure to  enclose one  of its  antenna 
       structures  within  an effective  locked  fence  or  other 

     2.   On November 5, 2002, the Commission's Atlanta,  Georgia 
       Office, (``Atlanta Office'')  issued a Notice of  Apparent 
       Liability  for  Forfeiture   (``NAL'')  to  State  for   a 
       forfeiture  in  the  amount  of  seven  thousand   dollars 
       ($7,000).2  State filed a response to the NAL.  

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     3.   On August  27,  2002,  while  conducting  tower  safety 
       inspections as part of a field-wide targeted tower  safety 
       compliance  program,  an agent  from  the  Atlanta  Office 
       inspected the antenna array for WMLT.  The agent  observed 
       that the fence  surrounding one of the antenna  structures 
       was incomplete and broken, allowing access to the base  of 
       the antenna structure.  

     4.   On November 5, 2002, the Atlanta Office issued a NAL to 
       State  for   failure  to  enclose   one  of  its   antenna 
       structures  within  an effective  locked  fence  or  other 
       enclosure in  willful violation  of Section  73.49 of  the 
       Rules.  In  its response, State  requests cancellation  of 
       the proposed  forfeiture based on  its corrective  efforts 
       and  its  participation  in  the  Georgia  Association  of 
       Broadcasters'  Alternative  Broadcast  Inspection  Program 

                        III.  DISCUSSION

     5.   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   State'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 such other matters  as 
       justice may require.5

     6.   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.   At the time of the inspection  on 
       August 27,  2002, one of the  WMLT antenna structures  was 
       not enclosed  within an  effective locked  fence or  other 
       enclosure.  State's response to the NAL indicates that  it 
       does not disagree  that the fence was ineffective.   State 
       asserts that  an entirely  new fence, gate  and lock  were 
       installed  at  the  antenna  structure  sometime   between 
       November  5, 2002  and  December 19,  2002.   Thus,  State 
       asserts that  there is now an  effective, locked fence  in 
       place.  However,  we note that  remedial actions taken  to 
       correct  the   violation,  while   commendable,  are   not 
       mitigating factors.6  Accordingly, we conclude that  State 
       willfully violated Section 73.49 of the Rules.

     7.   Further, State asserts  that WMLT is  a participant  in 
       the Georgia  Association of Broadcasters'  ABIP,7 and  was 
       awaiting inspection at the time the fencing violation  was 
       discovered.   State   contends  that   because  WMLT   was 
       voluntarily participating  in the ABIP,  it was  protected 
       from the  issuance of the  NAL.  We disagree.   Initially, 
       we note  that State did  not hold a  valid certificate  of 
       compliance, because it had not yet been inspected.   Thus, 
       State was not entitled to the protections provided by  the 
       ABIP agreement,  namely, protection  from random,  routine 
       inspections.  Moreover,  based upon our  review of a  copy 
       of  the  ABIP agreement  in  effect  at the  time  of  the 
       inspection  and issuance  of  the NAL,8  we  further  note 
       that, assuming,  arguendo, State established  that it  had 
       requested  and paid  for a  yet  to be  performed  Georgia 
       Association  of Broadcasters'  station  inspection,  State 
       would  not   have  been  protected   from  an   inspection 
       resulting  from an  external trigger,  in this  case,  the 
       targeted  tower safety  compliance program.   Accordingly, 
       the provision  in the  ABIP agreement  providing that  the 
       FCC will terminate  any attempted inspection of a  station 
       upon   a   showing   that   a   Georgia   Association   of 
       Broadcasters' inspection has  been requested and paid  for 
       would not have exempted State from the type of  inspection 
       that resulted in issuance of the NAL.9  

     8.   We have examined State's  response to the NAL  pursuant 
       to the  statutory factors above,  and in conjunction  with 
       the  Policy Statement.   As a  result  of our  review,  we 
       conclude that  State willfully violated  Section 73.49  of 
       the Rules and affirm the forfeiture amount of $7,000.   

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     9.   Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that,  pursuant to  Section 
       503 of the  Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and  1.80(f)(4) 
       of the Rules,10  State Broadcasting Corporation IS  LIABLE 
       FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of seven  thousand 
       dollars ($7,000)  for willful violation  of Section  73.49 
       of the Rules.

     10.  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.11  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. 200332480010  and FRN  0005-0035-
       20.  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. 

     11.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that  a copy of this Order  shall 
be sent by  first class  mail and certified  mail return  receipt 
requested to  State  Broadcasting  Corporation,  P.O.  Box  2639, 
Gulfport, Mississippi 39505.


                         David H. Solomon
                         Chief, Enforcement Bureau

  1 47 C.F.R.  73.49.  

  2 Notice  of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.  No. 
200332480010 (Enf. Bur.,  Atlanta Office,  released  November  5, 

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

  4 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

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

  6 See,  e.g., AT&T Wireless Services,  Inc., 17 FCC Rcd  21866, 
21871 (2002);  Seawest  Yacht Brokers,  9  FCC Rcd  6099  (1994); 
Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).

  7 ABIP Programs are established pursuant to written  agreements 
between FCC  Field  Offices  and  state  broadcast  associations.  
Under an ABIP agreement,  a state broadcast association  provides 
contract inspection services  for a fee  to its member  stations.  
The inspector notifies  the station  of any  actual or  potential 
violations of  the Commission's  rules and  the station  is  then 
given a brief period of  time to correct any deficiencies.   Upon 
confirmation that  any  deficiencies  have  been  corrected,  the 
association sends a certificate of compliance to the station  and 
to the relevant Field Office.   Upon receipt of a certificate  of 
compliance, the Field Office agrees not to conduct routine random 
inspections  of  the  station  for  the  period  covered  by  the 

  8  State associations,  including  the Georgia  Association  of 
Broadcasters,  recently  signed  new  ABIP  agreements  with  the 
Enforcement Bureau.   The  new  agreements  became  effective  on 
September 29, 2003,  and similarly permit  targeted tower  safety 

  9   See Cumulus Licensing Corporation, 18 FCC Rcd 21234,  21236 
(Enf. Bur. 2003) (licensee was issued a forfeiture for failing to 
maintain an effective locked fence  around an antenna tower  even 
though it had received a certificate of compliance under an ABIP, 
because  the  violation  was  discovered  during  an   inspection 
conducted as part of a targeted tower safety compliance program). 

  10 47 C.F.R.  0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).

  11 47 U.S.C.  504(a).

  12 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.