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People’s on $10,000 Hook?

Broadcaster faces fine for damaged tower fencing

A tower fencing issue leaves People’s Broadcast network apparently on the hook for a $10,000 fine.

People’s is the licensee of WDJZ(AM), Bridgeport, Conn.

The FCC said the station didn’t have an effectively locked fence around its three-tower array during an inspection in July 2012. There was no perimeter fence and the wooden fence surrounding each tower was “missing entire sections,” according to the Enforcement Bureau’s decision.

The GM told the agency that financial difficulties had prevented the licensee from repairing the fences, though he had contacted a contractor to evaluate the damage. People’s was told to install temporary fencing until repairs could be made.

During a reinspection that August, the Enforcement Bureau agents saw the repairs hadn’t been made nor had the fence been replaced and further, more fence portions were gone.

The base fine for failure to maintain tower fencing is $7,000, however in this case, the commission felt the licensee showed “a deliberate disregard” for the FCC rules and raised the amount to $10,000.

People’s has 30 days to contest or pay the fine, however the broadcaster must send a signed statement also within that time that it has complied with the tower fencing requirements.