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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
WBLB, Inc. ) File Number EB-03-NF-061
Licensee of WBLB ) NAL/Acct. No. 200432640001
Pulaski, Virginia ) FRN 8693277
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: March 11, 2004
By the Enforcement Bureau, Norfolk Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find WBLB Incorporated, (``WBLB''),
licensee of AM station WBLB, Pulaski, Virginia, apparently
liable for forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000) for repeated violation of Section 11.35(a)
of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').1 Specifically, we
find WBLB apparently liable for failure to have its
Emergency Alert System (``EAS'') transmitting functions
available during times the station is in operation.
2. The Federal Communications Commission issued a
license to WBLB that expired October 1, 2003 and a Special
Temporary Authority that will expire when it processes
WBLB's renewal application or on June 13, 2004, which ever
occurs first. WBLB's authorizations allow it to transmit AM
broadcasts for the community of Pulaski, Virginia, on a
frequency of 1.340 MHz from its studio and transmitter site
located at 3570 Robinson Tract Road, Pulaski, Virginia,
3. On March 26, 2003, in response to receiving
information about WBLB not transmitting EAS messages, and on
February 26, 2004, to follow up on a previous inspection, an
agent of the Commission's Norfolk Field Office (``Norfolk
Office'') inspected WBLB's station. On both occasions,
WBLB's EAS equipment was not fully operational.
Specifically, WBLB's EAS equipment malfunctioned so that it
could not interrupt WBLB's broadcasts on 1.340 MHz to
transmit EAS attention signals during station broadcasts.
At the March 26, 2003, inspection, the station manager
stated the EAS equipment had been malfunctioning since at
least May 27, 2002, when she had requested the station's
contract engineer to visit the station. At the February 26,
2004, inspection, no station personnel could remember the
last time an EAS test had been heard on-the-air. The
station's logs contained no entries indicating that EAS
equipment had been removed from service for repair. On
February 27, 2004, the station's contract engineer told the
agent that the EAS equipment had been repaired by replacing
an audio switch.
4. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires the
licensee of a broadcast station to ensure 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 stations and are in operation. At the time of
inspections on March 26, 2003 and on February 26, 2004,
WBLB's EAS equipment was not capable of transmitting the
attention signal on its assigned frequency of 1.340 MHz.
Station logs contained no entries showing EAS equipment had
been removed from service for repair.2
5. Based on the evidence before us, we find WBLB
repeatedly3 violated Section 11.35(a) of the Rules by
failing to have its EAS transmitting functions available
during times the station is in operation.
6. Pursuant to Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules,4 the
base forfeiture amount for failing to have Emergency Alert
System (``EAS'') transmitting functions available during
times the station is in operation 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, 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.5 Considering the entire
record and applying the factors listed above, this case
warrants an $8,000 forfeiture.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Act,6 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80 of the Rules,7 WBLB is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000) for repeated violation of Section 11.35(a)
of the Rules by failing to have its EAS transmitting
functions available during times the station is in
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of
this NAL, WBLB SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
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 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. 20554.8
10. 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 -
Spectrum Engineering Division and MUST INCLUDE THE NAL/Acct.
No. referenced above.
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
12. 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 Spectrum
Engineering 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.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NAL
shall be sent by regular mail and Certified Mail Return
Receipt Requested to WBLB, Inc., 3570 Robinson Tract Road
Pulaski, VA 24301 and by mail to PO Box 150, Pulaski, VA,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Joseph P. Husnay
Resident Agent, Norfolk Office,
1 47 C.F.R. § 11.35(a).
2 EAS tests and activations, failure to conduct such tests
and activations, and EAS equipment malfunctions must be
recorded in the station log. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.35(a)-(b),
11.54(b)(12), 11.55(c)(7) and 11.61(b).
3 The 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.'' 47
U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80.
8 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.