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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Smith Broadcasting of Santa )
Barbara, LP ) File No. EB-02-LA-143
Licensee of Station KEYT(AM) ) NAL/Acct. No. 200232900007
Santa Barbara, California ) FRN 0001650019
Facility ID # 3156 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: July 26, 2002
By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"),
we find that Smith Broadcasting of Santa Barbara, LP, (Smith),
licensee of station KEYT(AM), Santa Barbara, California, apparently
willfully violated Section 11.35(a) of the Commission's Rules
("Rules")1 by failing to have operational Emergency Alert System
("EAS") equipment. We conclude, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act")2, that Smith is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand
2. On February 13, 2002, Agents of the Los Angeles Office
inspected KEYT(AM). At the time of inspection, the EAS equipment was
present but not operational. The chief engineer stated that the EAS
equipment had very recently failed as a result of a power surge that
caused it to lose all commands. At the time of inspection, the
station log revealed no EAS activity since December 30, 2001.
Specifically, the log indicated no weekly tests issued or received and
no retransmission of the required monthly tests during the period from
December 30, 2001 through February 13, 2002. Further, there was no
entry in the station log indicating when the EAS equipment went out of
service, the nature of the problem, what steps were being taken to
repair the equipment or when the equipment would be back in service.
3. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who
willfully fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
of any license, or willfully 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.3
The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been interpreted to
mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly.4
4. The Rules provide that every AM and FM broadcast station is
part of the nationwide EAS network and is categorized as a
participating national EAS source unless the station affirmatively
requests authority to not participate.5 The EAS provides the
President and state and local governments with the capability to
provide immediate and emergency communications and information to the
general public.6 State and local area plans identify local primary
sources responsible for coordinating carriage of common emergency
messages from sources such as the National Weather Service or local
emergency management officials.7
5. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules states that "[b]roadcast
stations?are responsible for ensuring that EAS Encoders, EAS Decoders
and Attention Signal generating and receiving equipment used as part
of the EAS are installed so that the monitoring and transmitting
functions are available during the times the stations and systems are
in operation." Based on the evidence before us, we find that on
February 13, 2002, Smith willfully violated Section 11.35(a) of the
Commission's Rules by failing to have EAS equipment operational at
station KEYT(AM) so that the monitoring and transmitting functions
6. The base forfeiture amount set by The Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, ("Forfeiture Policy
Statement"),8 and Section 1.80 of the Commissions Rules,9 for EAS
equipment not installed or operational is $8,000. In assessing the
monetary forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the
statutory factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act,10
which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the
violation(s), and with respect to the violator, the degree of
culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and other
such matters as justice may require. Application of the base amount
to the captioned Smith Broadcasting of Santa Barbara, LP station
violation results in a base forfeiture amount of $8,000. Applying the
Forfeiture Policy Statement and the statutory factors to the instant
case, an $8,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 503(b) of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,11 and Sections 0.111,
0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Smith Broadcasting of Santa
Barbara, LP is hereby NOTIFIED of an APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for
violation of Section 11.35(a) of the Rules, representing a total
forfeiture of $8,000.12
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules13 within thirty days of the release date of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Smith Broadcasting of Santa Barbara, LP,
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
9. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by mailing a check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission, to the Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance Branch,
Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. The payment must include the FCC Registration Number
(FRN) and the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
10. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and Public
Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554 and
must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
11. 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. Any claim of inability to pay
must specifically identify the basis for the claim by reference to the
financial documentation submitted.
12. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice of
Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent to:
Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.14
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY
shall be sent by Certified Mail # 7001 2510 0001 5861 0193, Return
Receipt Requested, to Smith Broadcasting of Santa Barbara, LP, 730
Miramonte Drive, Santa Barbara, California 93102.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
District Director, Los Angeles Office
1 47 C.F.R. § 11.35(a).
2 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section
503(b) of the Act, provides that "[t]he term 'willful', when used with
reference to the commission or omission of any act, means the
conscious and deliberate commission or omission of such act,
irrespective of any intent to violate any provision of this Act ?."
See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
5 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.11 and 11.41.
6 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.1 and 11.21.
7 47 C.F.R. § 11.18. State EAS plans contain guidelines that
must be followed by broadcast and cable personnel, emergency officials
and National Weather Service personnel to activate the EAS for state
and local emergency alerts. The state plans include the EAS header
codes and messages to be transmitted by the primary state, local and
relay EAS sources.
8 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
9 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
10 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
11 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
12 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80, 11.35(a).
13 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
14 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.