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Media Broadcasting’s Fine Reduced

Media Broadcasting's Fine Reduced

The FCC cut in half a fine against Media Broadcasting Corp., licensee of WAAA(AM), Winston-Salem, N.C., for several antenna violations.
In June, the commission had found the owner apparently liable for $12,000 in penalties for failing to post an antenna registration and not having a red obstruction light on the tower at night. The station did not notify the FAA that the light was out as required, the commission found.
Media responded that it had notified the FAA and made several attempts to have the bulbs replaced, but “various certified tower companies” refused because of the tower’s age and the danger in climbing the structure. Media believed a nearby tower with lighting would illuminate WAAA’s tower sufficiently to prevent an accident.
The station went dark shortly after an initial fine was levied in 2001 during a dispute with the landlord, and returned to air a year later. Media said it had had no income when the station was off the air and could neither hire an out-of-state contractor to correct the problem nor pay the fine.
Now, Media has told the FCC it plans to replace the tower but has not indicated when. Because both violations continue, the FCC stated, Media must pay a fine; but it concluded that a penalty of more than $6,000 would be a financial hardship for the firm.