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FCC Lets Stand EAS/Tower Fine

FCC Lets Stand EAS/Tower Fine

The FCC confirmed an $11,000 fine against Southern Media Communications Inc., which runs WBCA(AM) in Bay Minnette, Ala., for not having operational Emergency Alert System equipment, nor registering its tower.
The station’s tower height is more than 200 feet. During an inspection in 2002, a field agent noticed there was no antenna registration number posted near the tower base. SMC President Walter Brown believed the structure was registered but could not provide documentation, according to the commission. The agent checked the FCC’s records and found the structure was not registered and remains that way, according to the agency.
The station’s EAS unit was installed and on, but not operational; it could not transmit a test message, stated the field agent.
SMC had argued the fine should be cancelled because it later paid Tuned Circuits to start tower registration paperwork and repair the EAS unit.
The FCC said the tower remains unregistered, and that licensees are responsible for the actions of their employees and contract workers. While the EAS equipment has been repaired, fixing it after it failed an FCC inspection does not negate the need for a fine, the agency stated.
SMC has 30 days to pay.