Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of ) File Number EB-02-AT-318
Coffee County Broadcasting, Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No.200232480027
Licensee of WMSR, Manchester, )
Tennessee ) FRN 0003-7625-64
McMinnville, Tennessee )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: September 30, 2002
By the Enforcement Bureau, Atlanta Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL''), we find Coffee County Broadcasting, Inc., licensee of
radio station WMSR, Manchester, Tennessee, apparently liable for
a forfeiture in the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) for
willful violation of Section 73.1125(a) of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules'').1 Specifically, we find Coffee County Broadcasting,
Inc. apparently liable for not maintaining a presence at its main
studio during normal business hours.
2. On July 11, 2002, at 10:45 A.M. local time, and again
at 1:50 P.M. local time, an agent of the Commission's Atlanta
Field Office (``Atlanta Office'') attempted an inspection of
radio station WMSR's main studio located at the transmitter site
in Manchester, Tennessee. The main studio office doors were
locked and no lights were visible. There were no office hours
denoted on the doors and no indication of why the office was
closed. The agent called the listed telephone numbers for WMSR
and received no answer.
3. On July 15, 2002, at 11:30 A.M., the agent again
telephoned the station and received an answering service that
confirmed that the answering service answers the WMSR telephones
when no one is at the studio.
4. On July 18, 2002, the agent contacted WMSR's general
manager by telephone who confirmed that the studio had been
unstaffed. The general manager was unaware of the studio
staffing requirements during normal business hours.
5. Section 73.1125(a) requires the licensee of a broadcast
station to maintain a main studio at one of the following
locations: (1) within the station's community of license; (2) at
any location within the principal community contour of any AM,
FM, or TV broadcast station licensed to the station's community
of license; or (3) within twenty-five miles from the reference
coordinates of the center of its community of license. In
adopting the main studio rules, the Commission explicitly
informed permittees and licensees that compliance with the main
studio rules required maintenance of a meaningful staff and
management presence,2 stating:
A station must maintain a main studio which has
the capability adequately to meet its function, as
discussed above, of serving the needs and interests of
the residents of the station's community of license.
To fulfill this function, a station must equip the main
studio with production and transmission facilities that
meet applicable standards, maintain continuous program
transmission capability, and maintain a meaningful
management and staff presence. Maintenance of
production and transmission capability will allow
broadcasters to continue, at their option, and as the
marketplace demands, to produce local programs at the
studio. A meaningful management and staff presence
will help expose stations to community activities, help
them identify community needs and interests and thereby
meet their community service requirements.3
Subsequently, in its decision in Jones Eastern of the Outer
Banks, Inc.,4 the Commission further clarified the concept of a
meaningful management and staff presence. The Commission
specified that, at a minimum, a main studio must maintain full-
time managerial and full-time staff personnel.5 The Commission
also stated that licensees need not have the same staff person
and manager at the studio, as long as there was management and
staff presence there during normal business hours.6 With respect
to management personnel, the Commission further clarified that
they need not be ``chained to their desks'' but that they would
be required to report to work at the main studio on a daily
basis, spend a substantial amount of time there, and use the main
studio as their ``home base.''7 On July 11, 2002, Coffee County
Broadcasting, Inc. did not maintain a presence at the main studio
of WMSR(AM) during normal business hours. The main studio was
completely unattended on July 11, 2002, at both 10:45 A.M. and
1:50 P.M local time. The station's general manager stated that
the main studio was not staffed during normal business hours.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find Coffee County
Broadcasting, Inc. willfully8 violated
Section 73.1125(a) of the Rules by failing to maintain a presence
at the main studio of WMSR(AM) during normal business hours.
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,9 the base
forfeiture amount for violation of main studio rules is $7,000.
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 Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(``Act''), which include the nature, circumstances, extent, and
gravity of the violation, 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.10
Considering the entire record and applying the factors listed
above, this case warrants a $7,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,11 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Rules,12 Coffee County Broadcasting, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of
this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of seven
thousand dollars ($7,000) for willful violation of Section
73.1125(a) of the Rules by failing to maintain a presence at the
main studio of WMSR(AM) during normal business hours.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this NAL,
Coffee County Broadcasting, Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10. 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 should note the
NAL/Acct. No. and FRN referenced above. Requests for payment of
the full amount of this NAL under an installment plan should be
sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Operations Group, 445
12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.13
11. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Office of the
Secretary, 445 12th Street SW, Washington DC 20554, Attn:
Enforcement Bureau-Technical & Public Safety Division and MUST
INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.
12. 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
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL shall be
sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested
to Coffee County Broadcasting, Inc., P. O. Box 759, McMinnville,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Fred L. Broce
Atlanta Office, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.1125(a).
2 Main Studio and Program Origination Rules, 3 FCC Rcd 5024
(1988); 53 FR 32899 (August 29, 1988).
3 Id. at 5026 (footnotes omitted).
4 6 FCC Rcd 3615 (1991), clarified, 7 FCC Rcd 6800 (1992).
5 Id., 6 FCC Rcd at 3616.
6 Id. at n. 2.
7 Id., 7 FCC Rcd at 6802.
8 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 4387-88 (1991).
9 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
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.
13 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.