Failing to keep the lights on for two of the towers used for gospel “Power 1360” WGBN Pittsburgh is only part of the problem for owner Pentecostal Temple Development Corp as it’s slapped with a $25,000 fine. The Federal Communications Commission says it also failed to alert the FAA that the lights were out. Not only that, the Enforcement Bureau says the broadcaster didn’t clean or repaint the structures in Lincoln Borough, PA as often as was needed to ensure good visibility was maintained. But what really seemed to stick in the FCC’s craw was a flurry of paperwork filed by the company – none of which actually addressed a December 2016 notice issued by the Bureau about the towers’ condition.
In an order announcing the fine, released Tuesday by the FCC, Enforcement Bureau regional director David Dombrowski says that after the notice was issued, Pentecostal Temple responded with a petition for reconsideration in January 2017 before the fine had even been imposed. It also didn’t copy the Enforcement Bureau on the petition, leading to what amounted to a return-to-sender situation inside the agency. That was followed up in April 2017 with an offer to pay the proposed fine in an installment plan. The offer didn’t go anywhere either, not only because the fine had not been formally issued but also because Pentecostal Temple never directly responded to the Enforcement Bureau’s original notice.
“Rather than properly filing a response to the notice, Pentecostal Temple engaged in procedurally deficient shenanigans,” Dombrowski writes in the four-page order that hits the company with the $25,000 penalty for the tower violations.
WGBN has not yet responded to the FCC’s order but when the fine was proposed two years ago the owners had said they were working to raise the money needed to repaint the towers.