FCC on an Enforcement Tear

Posted on June 5th, 2013 by

In a series of forfeiture notices, the FCC has fined numerous stations and tower owners for various tower regulation, main studio staffing, and public inspection file availability and completeness. The fines range from $7,000 to $25,000 for failing to maintain effective locked fencing around AM towers, failure to have or staff a main studio (upward adjustment of $1,000 for 14 months of no studio), failing to maintain a public file (upward adjustment of another $2,000 for two years of noncompliance), failure to register a tower ownership change, and failure to report tower light outages to the FAA. Many of these fines originated from the FCC’s various field offices and were issued by regional or district directors of the Enforcement Bureau.

On one of the tower light outage actions, the FCC reminded broadcasters or other tower tenants that even if they do not own a tower and are not responsible for tower lighting, they have a duty to notify the tower owner if they are aware of a lighting problem, and if there is no resolution, the tenant must notify the FCC and do what it can to bring the tower into compliance.