AM Tower Fencing Fine

Posted on February 10th, 2014 by

Some things are hard to hide.  During a field agent inspection, one AM station owner tried hard, but ultimately failed, to later explain why half of the fence around one of its three towers was laying on the ground.  During the inspection, the agent tried to lift the fencing sections, but it was difficult because the grass had grown through and around the fence.  Predictably, the station received a notice of violation of Section 73.49 of the FCC’s rules, which requires AM towers to be enclosed with an effective locked fence or other enclosure.

The station responded, explaining that the fence had only recently collapsed when the station engineer was clearing the site of weeds, and that the fence had been repaired shortly thereafter.  The FCC wasn’t buying it, concluding that the fencing “appeared to have been in a state of disrepair for an extended period of time.”  The tab for the fencing obligation was $7,000.  But the FCC bumped it up another $3,000 based on a prior fine for the same violation in 2012.  Turns out the station had never actually paid that fine, but the FCC concluded that it could rely upon the prior violation anyway.  We doubt that the FCC will see this $10,000 either.