“Magic” Runs Into FCC Over Tower Lighting Violations

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Magic Broadcasting, licensee of WILN(FM), Panama, City, FL, agreed to pay $125,000 to resolve an FCC investigation into whether the broadcaster violated several tower lighting regulations. To resolve the issue and end the Enforcement Bureau probe, Magic agreed to pay a civil penalty and admitted it violated part 17 of the Commission’s rules, certified that each tower it owns or operates from is compliant with part 17. The broadcaster also agreed to enter into a compliance plan.

The bureau said the Consent Decree will promote aviation safety near towers.

The case began last fall, when the agency received an anonymous complaint that the tower had not been properly lit for more than a year. An agent from the Miami Field Office began to investigate and found that the company registered on file as the tower owner was no longer in business. In researching the current owner, the agent discovered that WVFT was licensed to operate from the tower and that WVFT was licensed to Magic Broadcasting. 

According to the bureau, Magic admitted and provided evidence that over 453 days, it failed to monitor the tower lights, failed to notify the FAA of lighting outages, and didn’t notify the FCC it acquired the tower in 2012. The 462-ft guyed tower, [ARS Registration No. 1043227] was erected in 1999.  

The other part of the deal between the broadcaster and the Commission involved a concurrent investigation into whether Magic violated Commission rules “by failing to conduct two contests in a manner substantially as announced by pre-selecting the winners in those contests, and by failing to disclose that programming broadcast over the station during a supposedly live call-in contest was pre recorded,” stated the agency in the decision. Magic admitted it violated the Contest Rules, and the Live Broadcast Rules.

Magic will pay its penalty to the U.S. Treasury in 20 installments of $6,250 each. The first payment is due within 30 days.

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