Complaint Before The Federal Communications Commission

From the LM Communications Law Suit

Complaint Before The

Federal Communications Commission

Mass Media Bureau

445 12th Street, SW

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                                                                       )

                                                                                    )

L.M. Communications Inc.                                                        )

Parent Corporation of Radio Station                                          )

WCOO(FM), Kiawah Island, SC                                           )

L.M. Communications of South Carolina Inc.              )

Co-Operator of Radio Station                                     )

WCOO(FM), Kiawah Island, SC                                     )

L.M. Communications II of South Carolina Inc.             )

Licensee of Radio Station                                                 )

WCOO(FM), Kiawah Island, SC                                           )                            

                                                                                    )

Submitted 13 August, 2002 By                                          )

Lee Kent Hempfling                                                                      )

XX Muirfield Parkway                                                                      )
Charleston, S.C. 29414                                                        )

Telephone: 843-XXX-XXXX                                                        }

 

 

 

 

Details of WCOO:                                                                       }

WCOO SC KIAWAH ISLAND USA

  Licensee: L.M. COMMUNICATIONS II OF SOUTH CAROLINA INC.

  Service Designation: FM ‘Full Service’ FM Station or Application

  288C2 105.5 MHz Licensed

  File No.: BLH -20011012AAX Facility ID No: 50729

  CDBS Application ID No.: 584316

  Antenna Structure Registration Number. (ASRN): 1217880

  32 ° 39′ 57.00″ N Latitude

  80 ° 03′ 11.00″ W Longitude (NAD27)

                                                        Polarization: Horizontal Vertical

  Effective Radiated Power (ERP):                   50.0                   50.0 kW ERP

  Ant. Height Above Average Terrain (HAAT):                   133.                   133. meters HAAT

  Ant. Radiation Center Above Mean Sea Level:                   135.0                   135.0 meters RCAMSL

  Ant. Radiation Center Above Ground Level:                   133.                   133. meters RCAGL

  Not directional

  Not in a Border Zone

For Violations Of The Following:                                     )

APPLICABLE LAW AND RULE CITATIONS

 Part 73 Sec. 73.1560 (d) was not adhered to or followed in the requirement to “If operation at reduced power will exceed 10 consecutive days, notification must be made to the FCC in Washington, DC, Attention: Audio Services Division (radio) or Video Services Division (television), Mass Media Bureau, not later than the 10th day of the lower power operation. In the event that normal power is restored within the 30 day period, the licensee must notify the FCC of the date that normal operation was restored.”

Part 73 Sec. 73.1745 was clearly violated in the reduction of power of WCOO during the first phase of the spring Arbitron rating period by (a) No broadcast station shall operate at times, or with modes or power, other than those specified and made a part of the license, unless otherwise provided in this part.(b) Any unauthorized departure from an operating schedule which is required to be filed with the FCC in Washington, DC, will be considered as a violation of a material term of the license.

Part 73 Sec. 73.1870 was violated by Mike Almond (Mike Allen) during the period of low power transmission by his position as chief operator where he (c) shall maintain supervisory oversight sufficient to know that each requirement has been fulfilled in a timely and correct manner. 3) Review of the station records at least once each week to determine if required entries are being made correctly. Additionally, verification must be made that the station has been operated as required by the rules or the station authorization. Upon completion of the review, the chief operator or his designee must date and sign the log, initiate any corrective action which may be necessary, and advise the station licensee of any condition which is repetitive.

Part 73 Sec. 73.4180 Before I instituted a Payola, Plugola, kickback policy and required all staff to sign the disclosure documents (after learning that the station did not have such compliance in force) Linda Logan advertised her own DJ service on the air without payment to the station and in doing so devoted air time each day following a DJ job in thanking and recognizing the businesses and persons who had paid her to perform the out of station position and did advertise her own service without payment to the station. Upon initial objection to this illegal function management dismissed the problem. It took contacting the consultant to acquire a Plugola, Payola standard form in order to comply with this rule.

Part 73 Sec. 73.4097 EBS (now EAS) attention signals on automated programming systems.

Part 73 Sec. 73.1300 Unattended station operation. “Broadcast stations may be operated as either attended (where a designated person is responsible for the proper operation of the transmitting apparatus either at the transmitter site, a remote control point or an ATS control point) or unattended (where highly stable equipment or automated monitoring of station operating parameters is employed). No prior FCC approval is required to operate a station in the unattended mode. Regardless of which method of station operation is employed, licensees must employ procedures which will ensure compliance with Part 11 of this chapter, the rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS).”

DISCUSSION AND ALLEGATIONS:

                 In reference to: Part 73 Sec. 73.1560. [1]

On or about three weeks prior to May 2, 2002 (approximately April 11 through the 18th, 2002) while the WCOO main transmitter was turned off and the station was broadcasting from its back-up transmitter said back up transmitter was purposely operating at between 35 and 50 percent of authorized power. The Commission was not advised of this purposeful reduction in power as the intent was to defraud the market of the WCOO transmission thereby affecting the ratings outcome of the market. Bruce Musso, the engineer of WCOO, purposely consummated this act. At no time did WCOO advise the Commission of low power in violation of this section.

During the above-mentioned time frame numerous phone calls were received by WCOO by listeners complaining of being unable to pick up the station from areas that are well within the normal contour. Phone calls were received from employees (Joel Barnes, Dan Williams, Ken French, John Majhor) advising they could not pick up the station. John Majhor’s wife Sirit advised of her beauty parlor being unable to pick up the station when they normally listened regularly throughout the day.

When these calls were mentioned to General Manager Charlie Cohn his response was to

                  1: Identify the location as being too far away to be relevant or

                  2: Identify the problem as being ‘temperature inversion’ or

                  3: Advise the solution was a tube replacement in the main transmitter.

                  4: Not at any time did Charlie Cohn deny the station was not running

                      at full authorized power.

The event which took the main transmitter off the air was referred to as a ‘lightning strike” by the Chief Operator. The Program Director of WCOO was not advised and had no knowledge of a ‘lightning strike’. Listening to WCOO it was not evident that any such interruption took place.

No such ‘temperature inversion’ problems were evident by sister station WYBB-FM which is located on the same tower during the above-mentioned time frame.

The Orban station processor was re-set by consultant Don Hallett and Chief Engineer Phillip Fraley on an in station visit as it had been set to make the station sound very dull. Immediately after their departure engineer Bruce Musso hacked into the re-set security codes of the Orban and changed the settings back to the dull and aggravating settings used prior to the change by Hallett and Fraley in a clear attempt to further damage the station’s ability to be listened to.

In reference to: Part 73 Sec. 73.1745

In so reducing power WCOO violated this section.

In reference to: Part 73 Sec. 73.1870

The Chief Operator either did not certify logs properly or falsified logs to be certified during the above-mentioned time frame.

In reference to Part 73 Sec. 73.4180

At no time during the station’s entire history prior to [3] April 1, 2002 did the station or its sister station WYBB-FM ever have or require the signature of employees on a payola-plugola statement. Such statement was drafted (see [3]) from copies provided by the consultant (Don Hallett) after I inquired if the

Station had such statements on file as I had never been asked to sign one and had been dealing with a Plugola issue with midday person Linda (Logan) Grumbein which had been going on for some time as she plugged the companies and people she had performed outside DJ services for and would be performing for. I instituted such statement and required all on air staff to sign it.

In reference to Part 73 Sec 73.4097

Eas tests logged and certified as being completed between the hours of 6PM and 5:30AM Monday through Friday and from 6PM till 10AM Saturday and Sunday were technically unable to be completed as the station’s EAS system requires a manual operator to activate the test tone equipment between two audio elements of a prerecorded EAS Test announcement. During such unmanned hours all tests certified as performed were fraudulent.

In reference to Part 73 Sec. 73.1300

Regardless of which method of station operation is employed, licensees must employ procedures which will ensure compliance with Part 11 of this chapter, the rules governing the Emergency Alert System (EAS).” The station fails to ensure compliance with Part 11 while fraudulently certifying compliance.

 

ATTACHMENTS:

Emails attached [1], [2], [3]: demonstrate the violations and notice of them to the company consultant.

SUMMARY:

I respectfully submit these allegations electronically for investigation and commission action at the earliest possible opportunity to enforce commission rules and regulations.

 

__________________

Lee Kent Hempfling

XX Muirfield Parkway

Charleston, S.C. 29414

P: 843-327-1996

Email: [email protected]

 

[1]

 

—– Original Message —–

From: Lee Kent

To: [email protected]

Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 5:58 PM

Subject: Re: Air Force People

 

 

Well… I’m not aware of any such delivery… I brought it up and that was that… and as far as the aircheck machine is concerned.. it could be done for even less… a relay on the mic switch to a cheap cassette machine (there are some in the engineering room, John was talking about them last week) and a line to the monitor receiver and wham… a real aircheck machine… and no wires to string… going to have to have control room work done soon anyway for the upcoming beach music (but its not called that, its called Sand Tunes) show that is being sold to the Holiday Inn for late Sunday nights during the summer requires two RCA lines for two mini disk machines Leo Windham will use to do the show.. Woody has moved on to another town… show is barter with Leo… and is making Folly beach happy… Bob Brooks was bringing that engineering duty up with Charlie this afternoon… finally got the new tube installed on the primary transmitter today.. have advised arbitron of our being 50% to 35% of power for the past three weeks…

 

>Did the engineer from Lexington not hook you up with a care package to wire >the existing 98ROCK machine for both studios in a spot on the rack in >engineering as we had discussed?

[2]

 

—– Original Message —–

From: Lee Kent

To: [email protected]

Sent: Thursday, May 02, 2002 7:37 PM

Subject: Re: Air Force People

ENTIRE MESSAGE CONFIDENTIAL

(after reading this over… when you read it DO NOT think I’m

whining… I’m doing what I do… telling the truth but I can’t do

a damn thing about it)…

Well… now you know how I’ve been feeling… sad isn’t it…

I’ll try not to go into the rest of it… to save you the headache…

on this subject:.. I did NOT know the primary tube was bad…

was not told Cool was suffering transmitter problems… got

a few calls about losing the station and the answer was

that it was a bad area… then I overheard Mike talking about

Cool and of course I listened in… then asked later and he

told me the primary tube was about to die… I kept my

composure (ain’t nobody seen me sweat yet)… not once

was I told about Cool’s transmitter problems until Mike

then told me the station was switched to the backup

transmitter as Bruce had given the primary a max 30 days

before toastville… (to paraphrase of course since I’m being happy)

but I had to ask about it ….

 

To make a three week excursion shorter… Last week a call from

a beauty shop I was told was 50 miles away (is John’s wife’s beauty

shop which ain’t no 50 miles away) and there was no problem. I kept asking every

couple of days (of Mike since he’s OM, I’ve been nice)… and it

was that first Lynn had to actually buy one, then that Bruce had to

install it, then that Bruce was going to install it, then that it would

be this week then today a call from SUMMERVILLE of all places

telling me the station was GONE!… then John called and said at

his apartment (2 miles from the station’s location) his portable

walkman was getting bleed from 105.7 and we were weak… after

the 9am air shift was done I walked into the sales meeting (staying

in the doorway) and more or less demanded to know when Cool

was going to go full power again… the answer was today… (you have no

idea how much restraint I’ve used in this whole thing) then

at noon in the middle of the request Cool Cafe feature the station

kept going off and on and off and on and Linda came out to inform

me that according to Bruce the station was at about 35% of power

and he was replacing the tube and Charlie had called to tell her

it was happening but nobody informed me.. Doesn’t matter… I know

I don’t… each get together over the past few weeks regarding the

Linda thing has been spiced with things like Alice changing formats

opens a hole in the market should be all 80’s, what are we going to do

with Cool… that I am not focused, (bullshit) that the Linda thing is a

matter of not managing by me (bullshit) it has been a “rough road” indeed Don..

and deeper… (which was topped I might add two days ago when she

found out (I just found out today from Ken) that Trish came into the

building to give Ken something and she told John in the 10 till cross over

that she was ‘outta here and I’ll make sure the door doesn’t hit _ME_ in the rear’

(which all makes sense now that Ken made it clear this afternoon)

which caused me to go ballistic but there was no use in saying anything

I can’t fire the bitch… John was completely stunned and didn’t respond

and you supposedly support keeping her, to which I responded

you don’t have to work with her… and then Trish leaves a message on

Ken’s voice mail asking if she can apply for the midday position since

she heard a rumor (ask Ken I’m fuzzy on what it was) about middays

being open soon and I can’t talk to her since Lynn last said to us all

not to talk to her until he said so… and I asked Ken why was it if

we were going to save the midday salary to pay for Stern why we just

didn’t cut it out now which would mean I’m being punished for getting

rid of Linda because no savings will happen until I do a baaaaad thing

like clean the house of shit… oh well I should stay happy… and then there’s

Citadel supposedly firing a bunch of staff but the only thing fired was

admin and sales positions , I was to wait to look for one of them but I

can only get one to do a couple of hours live and track the rest and there

is a WHOLE HELL OF A LOT MORE.. but oh well… I know when the

only way to get me out of the building is to destroy my ability to make the

station get numbers and then wham… the real problem is solved and

everything can go back to like it was MONTHS before I got there…

like I told Pam weeks ago… Geesh…. I didn’t dump this load I’m just

trying to flush it.. she laughed… Its making me literally sick… they know

I have a high blood pressure problem and until very recently I didn’t

have insurance, now I do.. watch how cool and calm I’ll be when I’m

taking medication… not prozac like Linda just a simple blood pressure

pill or two…. man oh man… I’ve never seen a more (dare I say it, sure

its confidential)…. no I won’t I’m a gentleman…

and each time something happens to supposedly calm things down the

dirty tricks get worse, the backstabbing gets worse and the mess gets deeper…

 now that Stern is there Cool is totally irrelevant… again…. and if it

comes in real bad like the plan is to make it be… i’ll be gone… all of the

crap that has happened and nothing has been done to fix a thing… ‘cept

to make me out to look like the devil, the evil one…the we don’t talk to him at ALL guy… the

i’m not permitted to talk to Lynn again guy (without advance permission,

which doesn’t apply to Mike but does apply to ANY MEMBER OF MY FAMILY)…

(you have no idea how hard I started to laugh but stopped cause now that my wife

knows Charlie pulled that crap…. ) actually it was if I call that area code he better

know about it and approve it first… from me or any member of my family unless its

my talking to ONLY PAM…. how dare he…. and there is no way that will ever work….

but I’m not leaving…. I will not get mad, blow up and quit…

I have been insulted every single day since I’ve been there except for the first three

days… for some reason…

the not permitted to put anything in writing guy..

and the one the people in the building who

care (and believe it or not there are those people) see as the fix of the station…

and I wasn’t going to dump on you… I am truly sorry… but I know

how it feels to be pissed… I stay that way… but there ain’t no one who

has viewed it… ‘cept my wife… and they won’t… you told me to knock down

the walls without stirring anything up, without causing fights… and that

is what I’ve tried to do… Lynn said he does not have politics in his business

but that is all it has been as I watch what I say to whom I say it and watch

my back more than I watch the music (and I live in that now as there is nothing

else i can do)… EVERY SINGLE PROMOTION I submitted for Spring

was killed… oh hell… that’s enough… you’re a great guy Don… you don’t

deserve my rambling… I was told Lynn has lost respect for me because I

could not get Charlie when he was gone and all hell broke loose… I’m a

thorn in the building and by -god they are going to get rid of me… Chris Cantrell

was cut out of the engineer race without being contacted because he

“doesn’t know enough about transmitters” the hell he doesn’t… but oh well

one more thing then I’ll shut up… Charlie tried to talk me into using Bobby

for afternoon drive instead of hiring John… now Bobby’s not good enough to

fill in while a real midday person is found (and YES DAMMIT … I WANT A

BLACK FEMALE… Trish is the only one I know of in this town that loves

the station) and I shall be punished for getting Linda the marijuana salesman

out of the building… geesh man.. I’m glad I can work on the house….

ps: All of the great response to the parody song and NOT ONE PERSON

that MATTERS GIVES A SHIT (cep’t Ken)….. I am doing absolutely NOTHING WRONG

yet the concern is when and how this job is going to get destroyed… I

am treated like an idiot… not talked to… lied to… set up constantly and

the funny thing is I know it … can see it coming and can out manage the

entire thing.. which has kept me from being destroyed so far…

I’ll be blunt… all of my training tells me being a former cop is the problem…

its what 1500 hours of public peace officer and investigative training will do…

END CONFIDENTIAL… sorry I have to do that he wants me OUT!!!!

[3]

 

—– Original Message —–

From: [email protected]

To: [email protected]

Cc: [email protected] ; [email protected]

Sent: Thursday, March 28, 2002 6:03 PM

Subject: Re: John Majhor

 

 

In a message dated 3/28/02 4:51:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, [email protected] writes:

You need to talk to Lynn about the personal advertising issue.

Lee:

If he is opposed, I’m opposed. Company decision. Talk to Charlie. He can help you clarify and enforce whatever the policy is or becomes.

You asked for Plugola/Payola policy stuff. A number are attached in various formats. I particularly like the documents from COX. Infinity’s are strong as well.

Regards–

DWH

 

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