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.


                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                     )
Great Northern Radio, L.L.C.         )     File Number:  EB-02-BS-301
Licensee of FM Station WVAY          )     NAL/Acct. No. 200332260004
Wilmington, Vermont                  )
Facility ID # 57728                  )     FRN  0003-7598-42


                                          Released:  May 19, 

By the District Director, Boston Office, Enforcement Bureau:


     1.   In this  Notice of  Apparent Liability  for  Forfeiture 
("NAL"), we  find  that  Great  Northern  Radio,  L.L.C.  ("Great 
Northern"), licensee  of FM  radio  station WVAY  in  Wilmington, 
Vermont,  has  apparently  violated  Section  73.1125(a)  of  the 
Commission's  Rules  ("Rules").1   Specifically,  we  find  Great 
Northern apparently liable for failing to maintain the  requisite 
main  studio  presence.   We  conclude  that  Great  Northern  is 
apparently liable  for  a  forfeiture  in  the  amount  of  seven 
thousand dollars ($7,000).  


     2.   On November 20,  2002, an agent  from the  Commission's 
Boston Office attempted  an inspection  at the  WVAY main  studio 
location at 127 Route 100 in  West Dover, Vermont.  There was  no 
one present at the  studio location, nor  was there any  evidence 
that anyone was there  on a daily basis.   On November 21,  2002, 
the agent went to the Rutland, Vermont studio of WEXP.  WEXP  and 
WVAY simulcast programming.  Station personnel there stated  that 
no one had been stationed at  the West Dover studio for the  past 
several  months.   That   day  the  agent   returned  to   Dover, 
accompanied by WEXP personnel, to complete the inspection of  the 
unmanned WVAY station.

     3.   On  December  10,  2002,  the  Boston  Office  sent  an 
Official Notice  of Violation  (``NOV'')  to Great  Northern  for 
violations found during the November 20 and 21, 2002  inspection.  
The NOV issued to Great Northern included the non-compliance with 
Section 73.1125 of  the Rules.  On January 13,  2003, the  Boston 
Office received a response  to the NOV  from Great Northern.   In 
its response, Great Northern  acknowledged the failure to  comply 
with the main studio staffing requirement and detailed corrective 
action that they were taking.


     4.   Section 503(b) of  the Communications Act  of 1934,  as 
amended, ("Act"),  provides  that  any person  who  willfully  or 
repeatedly fails  to  comply  substantially with  the  terms  and 
conditions of any  license, or willfully  or repeatedly 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.2  The term "willful" as used  in 
Section 503(b) has been interpreted to mean simply that the  acts 
or omissions are committed knowingly.3  The term "repeated" means 
that the violation occurred on more than one day.4

     5.   Section 73.1125(a)  of  the  Rules  generally  requires 
broadcast stations  to  maintain a  main  studio at  one  of  the 
following locations:   (i)  within  the  station's  community  of 
license; (ii)  at any  location  within the  principal  community 
contour of  any AM,  FM,  TV broadcast  station licensed  to  the 
station's community of license; or (iii) within twenty-five miles 
from the reference coordinates of the center of its community  of 
license.  The  station's main  studio must  serve the  needs  and 
interests of the residents of the station's community of license.  
To fulfill this  function, a  station must,  among other  things, 
maintain a meaningful management and  staff presence at its  main 
studio.5  The  Commission  has  defined  a  minimally  acceptable 
"meaningful presence" as full-time managerial and full-time staff 
personnel.6  In  addition, there  must be  "management and  staff 
presence" on a full-time basis during normal business hours to be 
considered "meaningful."  Although management personnel need  not 
be "chained to  their desks" during  normal business hours,  they 
must "report to work at the main studio on a daily basis, spend a 
substantial amount of  time there  and ...  use the  studio as  a 
'home base.'"7  On November 20  and 21, 2002, Great Northern  had 
no management or staff presence  during normal business hours  at 
the  main  studio  of  station  WVAY  in  violation  of   Section 
73.1125(a) of the Rules. 

     6.   Based on the  evidence before  us, we  find that  Great 
Northern Radio L.L.C. failed to maintain the required  management 
and staff  presence at  the  main studio  of WVAY  during  normal 
business hours  on  November  20  and 21,  2002  in  willful  and 
repeated violation of Section 73.1125(a) of the Rules.

     7.   The  Commission's  Forfeiture   Policy  Statement   and 
Amendment of  Section  1.80  of  the  Rules  to  Incorporate  the 
Forfeiture Guidelines, 12  FCC Rcd. 17087,  17113 (1997),  recon. 
denied, 15 FCC Rcd. 303(1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''),8 
sets the base forfeiture  amount at $7,000  for violation of  the 
main studio rule.9  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  which  include  the  nature, 
circumstance, 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.10  Applying the Forfeiture Policy  Statement 
and the statutory factors to the instant case, we believe that  a 
seven thousand dollar ($7,000) monetary forfeiture is warranted.

                        ORDERING CLAUSES

     8.   Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED THAT,  pursuant to  Section 
503(b) of  the Act  and Sections  0.111, 0.311  and 1.80  of  the 
Rules11, Great Northern Radio, L.L.C., is hereby NOTIFIED of this 
APPARENT LIABILITY  FOR  A  FORFEITURE in  the  amount  of  seven 
thousand dollars ($7,000) for willfully and repeatedly  violating 
Sections 73.1125(a) of the Rules at station WVAY. 

     9.   IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section 1.80 of 
the Commission's Rules, within thirty days of the release date of 
this NAL, Great Northern Radio, L.L.C., 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 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 NAL/Acct.  No. 
200332260004 and the FCC Registration Number 0003-7598-42.  

     11.  The response, if any, must  be mailed to the Office  of 
the  Secretary,  Federal  Communications  Commission,  445   12th 
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau  - 
Technical and Public Safety  Division and must include  NAL/Acct. 
No. 200332260004.

     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.  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. 20554.12  

     14.  Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of  2002, 
Pub L. No.  107-198, 116 Stat.  729 (June 28,  2002), the FCC  is 
engaged in  a two-year  tracking process  regarding the  size  of 
entities involved  in forfeitures.   If you  qualify as  a  small 
entity and  if you  wish to  be  treated as  a small  entity  for 
tracking purposes, please  so certify  to us  within thirty  (30) 
days of this  NAL, either in  your response  to the NAL  or in  a 
separate  filing  to  be  sent  to  the  Federal   Communications 
Commission,  Enforcement  Bureau,   Technical  &  Public   Safety 
Division.   Your  certification  should  indicate  whether   you, 
including your parent  entity and its  subsidiaries, meet one  of 
the definitions  set forth  in  the list  provided by  the  FCC's 
Office of  Communications Business  Opportunities (``OCBO'')  set 
forth in Attachment A of this Notice of Apparent Liability.  This 
information will  be  used  for  tracking  purposes  only.   Your 
response or  failure to  respond to  this question  will have  no 
effect on your  rights and responsibilities  pursuant to  Section 
503(b)  of  the  Communications  Act.   If  you  have   questions 
regarding any  of  the  information contained  in  Attachment  A, 
please contact OCBO at (202) 418-0990.

     15.  IT IS FURTHER  ORDERED THAT  a copy of  this NOTICE  OF 
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by certified mail return receipt 
requested, to  Great Northern  Radio, L.L.C.,  70 Walnut  Street, 
#411, Wellesley Massachusetts  02481.  A  copy is to  be sent  to 
David O'Neil, Manatt,  Phelps and Phillips,  LLP, 1501 M  Street, 
Suite 700, Washington, District of Columbia 20005-1702.

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

                              Vincent F. Kajunski
                              District Director
                              Boston Office

Enclosure:  Attachment A, Condensed list of Small Entities


1 47 C.F.R.  73.1125(a).
2 47 U.S.C.  503(b).

3 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 or any rule  or regulation of the Commission  authorized 
by this Act...."  See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC 
Rcd. 4387 (1991).  

4 Section 312(f)(2), which also applies to Section 503(b), 
provides: [t]he term ``repeated'', when used with reference to 
the commission or omission of any act,  means the commission or 
omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or 
omission is continuous, for more than one day.

5 See Main Studio and Program Origination Rules, 3 FCC Rcd. 5024, 
5026 (1988).

6 Jones Eastern of the Outer Banks, Inc., 6 FCC Rcd. 3615, 3616 
and n.2 (1992), clarified, 7 FCC Rcd. 6800 (1992).

7 Jones Eastern of the Outer Banks, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd. 6800, 6802 

8 47 C.F.R.  1.80.

9 See, e.g., American Broadcasting Educational Foundation, 15 FCC 
Rcd. 8630, 8630 (Enf. Bur. 2000) (imposing a $7,000 forfeiture 
for violation of the main studio rules).

10 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

11 47 C.F.R.  0.111, and 0.311.

12 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.