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Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc.

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Released: March 19, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-452

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc.
)
File No.: EB-FIELDNER-12-00002081
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201332400001
)
FRN: 0003739364
Owner of Antenna Structure No. 1053126
)
Brookville, Pennsylvania
)

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: March 18, 2013
Released: March 19, 2013
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), we find that Cornerstone
TeleVision, Inc. (Cornerstone), owner of antenna structure number 1053126 (Antenna Structure) in
Brookville, Pennsylvania,1 apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 303(q) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), and Sections 17.51(a) and 17.47(a) of the Commission’s
rules (Rules)2 by failing to (1) exhibit red obstruction lighting from sunset until sunrise, and (2) monitor
obstruction lighting on a daily basis. We conclude that Cornerstone is apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
The Antenna Structure has an overall height above ground level of 85.4 meters and was
required to conform to the painting and lighting requirements of FCC Paragraphs 1, 3, 11 and 21.3 These
requirements specify that the Antenna Structure must be painted and must display two steady burning red
obstruction lights at the mid level and a red beacon at the top level.4
3.
On March 13, 2012, the Commission received a complaint that the top-level obstruction
light on the Antenna Structure was extinguished.5 An agent from the Enforcement Bureau’s Philadelphia
Office (Philadelphia Office) contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and found that a


1 We note that, although Cornerstone still owns the antenna structure in Brookville, Pennsylvania, it notified the
FCC that, on August 29, 2012, it had reduced the height above ground of the Antenna Structure to below 60.96
meters. An antenna structure requires notification to the Federal Aviation Administration, and registration with the
FCC, when its height above ground exceeds 60.96 meters. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.4, 17.7; see also 47 C.F.R. §
17.21(a) (requiring antenna structures more than 60.96 meters in height above the ground to be painted and lighted).
2 47 U.S.C. § 303(q); 47 C.F.R. § 17.47(a) and 17.51(a).
3 See 47 C.F.R. § 17.21(a) (requiring antenna structures more than 60.96 meters in height above the ground to be
painted and lighted). See also Antenna Structure Registration database for antenna structure number 1053126.
4 Id.
5 See Complaint (March 13, 2012) (on file in EB-FIELDNER-12-00002081).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-452

Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) had not been issued for the Antenna Structure’s light outage. At the agent’s
request, a NOTAM was issued that same day.
4.
On March 20, 2012, at 11:07 p.m., agents from the Philadelphia Office inspected the
Antenna Structure and confirmed that the red obstruction lighting was extinguished. The inspection was
conducted with the owners of the property where the Antenna Structure is located. According to the
property owners, the top light had been out since January 18, 2011. The property owners also stated that
they had notified Cornerstone of the light outage several times.
5.
On March 21, 2012, an agent spoke with Cornerstone’s Chief Engineer, who reported
that he believed the top light on the Antenna Structure had been out for several months, but not since
January 18, 2011, as claimed by the property owners. He further stated that he had notified the FAA the
month before.6 The Chief Engineer also reported that the Antenna Structure lights were monitored by a
local resident with whom Cornerstone had a verbal agreement to monitor the lights and perform routine
maintenance at the Antenna Structure site.
6.
After speaking with the Chief Engineer on March 21, 2012, the agent also spoke with the
local resident Cornerstone claimed was responsible for monitoring the Antenna Structure lights. The
local resident reported to the agent that he did not make daily observations of the Antenna Structure lights
and he did not keep records of any known light outages. He further reported that he was last at the site on
March 1, 2012, but could not provide any information regarding the status of the Antenna Structure lights
on that day. He stated that his visit prior to that date was in November 2011, at which time he did
observe an Antenna Structure light outage, which he then reported to Cornerstone. He also told the agent
that he is now retired and resides in the State of Georgia but that his son has taken over his
responsibilities for the Antenna Structure. The agent followed up with the son, who reported that,
although Cornerstone requested that he notify them of any light outage, he was not asked to make daily
observations.
7.
On March 28, 2012, Cornerstone’s Chief Engineer reported to the agent during a
telephone conversation that the lights were repaired on March 23, 2012. He also confirmed that
Cornerstone had never formally instructed the local residents (father or son) to monitor the lights or
maintain logs of observed light outages. The Chief Engineer further reported that the son has now been
instructed to monitor the lights on a daily basis and to report any outages to Cornerstone.
8.
As a follow-up to the inspection, the Philadelphia Office issued a letter of inquiry (LOI)
to Cornerstone on May 8, 2012.7 On May 29, 2012, Cornerstone filed a response to the LOI.8
Cornerstone reported that it first became aware of the light outage on August 1, 2011, and that, although it
had ordered replacement bulbs on August 5, 2011, the lights were not fixed until March 23, 2012.9
Cornerstone also submitted documentation showing that it had notified the FAA on August 1, 2011.10
Cornerstone stated that it believed it had subsequently notified the FAA at least two other times, but was
unable to provide supporting documentation for these other times. Cornerstone also stated that it believed


6 The agent confirmed with the FAA that a NOTAM had been issued with regard to the Antenna Structure on
January 31, 2012. That NOTAM expired on February 15, 2012.
7 Letter from Kevin Doyle, Acting District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region, FCC Enforcement
Bureau, to Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc. (May 8, 2012) (on file in EB-FIELDNER-12-00002081).
8 Response from Thomas A. Scott, Chief Financial Officer, Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc., to Philadelphia Office,
FCC Enforcement Bureau (May 25, 2012) (on file in EB-FIELDNER-12-00002081) (LOI Response).
9 Cornerstone reported that it had tried in August 2011 to engage a volunteer iron worker it had previously used to
complete the lighting repairs, but the iron worker was not available. LOI Response at 2.
10 See LOI Response at 4.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-452

the local residents with whom it had a verbal agreement were conducting daily observations of the
Antenna Structure lighting. Cornerstone further stated that it did not learn that the local resident’s son
had taken over responsibility of the Antenna Structure until late 2011.

III.

DISCUSSION

9.
Section 503(b) of Act, provides that any person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply
substantially with the terms and conditions of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any
of the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission thereunder, shall be
liable for a forfeiture penalty.11 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines “willful” as the “conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to violate” the law.12 The
legislative history to Section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both
Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,13 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section 503(b)
context.14 The Commission may also assess a forfeiture for violations that are merely repeated, and not
willful.15 The term “repeated” means the commission or omission of such act more than once or for more
than one day.16

A.

Failure to Monitor and Exhibit Required Obstruction Lighting on the Antenna
Structure

10.
Section 303(q) of the Act states that antenna structure owners shall maintain the painting
and lighting of antenna structures as prescribed by the Commission.17 Section 17.51(a) of the Rules states
that “[a]ll red obstruction lighting shall be exhibited from sunset until sunrise unless otherwise
specified.”18 Section 17.47(a) of the Rules states that owners of antenna structures “(1) shall make an
observation of the antenna structure’s lights at least once each 24 hours either visually . . . to insure that
all such lights are functioning properly as required; or alternatively (2) shall provide and properly
maintain an automatic alarm system designed to detect any failure of such lights and to provide indication
of such failure to the owner.”19


11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
12 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
13 H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) (“This provision [inserted in Section 312] defines the terms
‘willful’ and ‘repeated’ for purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act (e.g., Section 503)
. . . . As defined[,] . . . ‘willful’ means that the licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of
whether there was an intent to violate the law. ‘Repeated’ means more than once, or where the act is continuous, for
more than one day. Whether an act is considered to be ‘continuous’ would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in Sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with
the Commission’s application of those terms . . . .”).
14 See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6
FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
15 See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359,
1362, para. 10 (2001) (Callais Cablevision, Inc.) (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable television operator’s
repeated signal leakage).
16 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which also applies to violations for which forfeitures are
assessed under Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that “[t]he term ‘repeated’, when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such
commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.” See Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at 1362.
17 47 U.S.C. § 303(q).
18 47 C.F.R. § 17.51(a).
19 47 C.F.R. § 17.47(a).
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-452

11.
The evidence in this case is sufficient to establish that Cornerstone violated Section 303(q)
of the Act and Sections 17.51(a) and 17.47(a) of the Rules. On March 20, 2012, agents from the
Philadelphia Office observed that the required red obstruction lighting on the Antenna Structure was
extinguished after sunset and that a current NOTAM was not in place. In its LOI Response, Cornerstone
admitted that the light outage had existed from August 1, 2011, when it claims it first became aware of the
light outage, until March 23, 2012, when the lights were repaired after the agents’ inspection on March 20,
2012. Although Cornerstone believed a local resident was conducting daily observations of the Antenna
Structure lights, the agents’ investigation revealed that the local residents were not conducting daily
monitoring. Cornerstone is responsible for monitoring the Antenna Structure lights and is liable for any
violations resulting from the failures or omissions of its employees.20 Therefore, based on the evidence
before us, we find that Cornerstone apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 303(q) of the Act
and Sections 17.51(a) and 17.47(a) of the Rules by failing to (1) exhibit all required red obstruction
lighting from sunset to sunrise on the Antenna Structure, and (2) monitor the Antenna Structure’s lights
on a daily basis.

B.

Proposed Forfeiture Amount

12.
Pursuant to the Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80 of the Rules,
the base forfeiture amount for failure to comply with prescribed antenna structure lighting and marking is
$10,000.21 In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory factors
set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of
the violations, and with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability
to pay, and other such matters as justice may require.22 Given the duration of the extinguishment and the
potential public safety hazard caused by such an outage, we find that an upward adjustment to the base
forfeiture in the amount of $5,000 is warranted. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80 of
the Rules, and the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Cornerstone is apparently liable for
a total forfeiture in the amount of $15,000.23

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

13.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications
Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,
Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc. is hereby

NOTIFIED

of this

APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE

in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for violations of Section 303(q) of the
Act and Sections 17.51(a) and 17.47(a) of the Rules.24


20 See, e.g., Tidewater Communications, LLC, Order on Review, 25 FCC Rcd 1675 (2010) (finding that a violator
can be held liable for violations resulting from mistakes of its employees), citing North Country Repeaters,
Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 22139 (Enf. Bur. 2004); PBJ Communications of Virginia, Inc., Memorandum
Opinion and Order, 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1988); and Standard Communications Corp., Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 1 FCC Rcd 358 (1986).
21 The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines
, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997) (Forfeiture Policy Statement), recons. denied,
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
22 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
23 See, e.g., Ramco Broadband Services, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 255
(proposing $15,000 forfeiture for antenna structure light outage that was not timely repaired).
24 47 U.S.C. §§ 303(q) and 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 17.51(a) and 17.47(a).
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-452

14.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules,
within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture,
Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc.

SHALL PAY

the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or

SHALL FILE

a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
15.
Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument, wire transfer, or
credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Cornerstone
TeleVision, Inc. shall also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to NER-
Response@fcc.gov. Regardless of the form of payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance
Advice) must be submitted.25 When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number in block
number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters “FORF” in block number 24A (payment type
code). Below are additional instructions you should follow based on the form of payment you select:
·
Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the completed Form 159) must be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000,
or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank – Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005
Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
·
Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank
TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete the wire transfer and ensure
appropriate crediting of the wired funds, a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at
(314) 418-4232 on the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
·
Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit card information on FCC
Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159 to authorize the credit card payment. The
completed Form 159 must then be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box
979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank – Government
Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
16.
Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial
Officer—Financial Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-
A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.26 If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please contact
the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail,
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
17.
The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture, if
any, must include a detailed factual statement supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits
pursuant to Sections 1.16 and 1.80(f)(3) of the Rules.27 Mail the written statement to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Northeast Region, Philadelphia Office, One Oxford
Valley Building, Suite 404, 2300 East Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, Pennsylvania 19047, and include the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc. also shall e-mail the written
response to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
18.
The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in response to a claim
of inability to pay unless the petitioner submits: (1) federal tax returns for the most recent three-year period;
(2) financial statements prepared according to generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP); or (3) some
other reliable and objective documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner’s current financial status.


25 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
26 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
27 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
5

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-452

Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the basis for the claim by reference to the financial
documentation submitted.
19.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, and First Class Mail to
Cornerstone TeleVision, Inc., One Signal Hill Drive, Wall, Pennsylvania 15148.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David C. Dombrowski
District Director
Philadelphia Office
Northeast Region
Enforcement Bureau
6

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