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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
CONCILIO MISION CRISTIANA ) File No. EB-01-IH-0304
FUENTE DE AGUA VIVA, INC. ) NAL/Acct. No.
Licensee of Station WQHA(TV) ) FRN 0005-4120-02
Aquada, Puerto Rico ) Facility ID# 3255
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: July 1, 2002 Released: July 3, 2002
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find that Concilio Mision Cristiana Fuente de Agua Viva, Inc.
(``Concilio Mision'') has apparently violated Section 73.1207(b)1
of the Commission's rules, which prohibits a broadcast station
from rebroadcasting the program or any part thereof of another
broadcast station, without obtaining the express, written
authority of the originating station. Based upon our
investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding this
matter, we find that Concilio Mision is apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00).
2. Station WQHA(TV), Aguada, Puerto Rico, which broadcasts
Spanish-language Christian programming, is licensed to Concilio
Mision. Among its locally originated programming, the station
broadcasts a television program called ``El Tribunal Cristiano.''
WSKN(AM), San Juan, Puerto Rico, which broadcasts the radio
program ``Saliendo del Closet,'' is licensed to Madifide, Inc.
3. On April 9, 2001, the Commission received a complaint
from the producer of ``Saliendo del Closet'' that Concilio Mision
rebroadcast a portion of ``Saliendo del Closet,'' which was
broadcast originally on WSKN(AM) on November 1, 2000. In a May
11, 2001 letter of inquiry directed to Concilio Mision, the
Bureau inquired whether WQHA(TV) rebroadcast any portion of the
programming of WSKN(AM).2 The Bureau directed that, if
applicable, Concilio Mision furnish the Bureau with a copy of the
written consent to rebroadcast the WSKN(AM) programming.
4. In its response to the letter of inquiry, Concilio Mision
admits that a portion of the ``Saliendo del Closet'' radio
program was aired on the ``El Tribunal Cristiano'' television
program on two separate occasions, November 2 and November 6,
2000; however, Concilio Mision claims it received oral
authorization from WSKN(AM).3 Concilio Mision claims that the
producer of ``El Tribunal Cristiano'' contacted an ``acting
station officer'' for WSKN(AM) by telephone on November 1, 2000,
and requested a recording of the ``Saliendo del Closet'' program
for rebroadcast on ``El Tribunal Cristiano.''4 Concilio Mision
further claims that the acting station officer for WSKN(AM)
orally informed the producer of ``El Tribunal Cristiano'' that
WSKN(AM) did not make or distribute such recordings, but the
producer of ``El Tribunal Cristiano'' could make an off-the-air
copy for use on WQHA(TV)'s program.5 The alleged acting station
officer for WSKN(AM) denies that he granted the producer of ``El
Tribunal Cristiano'' oral authorization to rebroadcast a portion
of the ``Saliendo del Closet'' radio program; denies that he is
an officer of WSKN(AM); denies that he had the authority to grant
permission to rebroadcast a portion of ``Saliendo del Closet;''
and denies that a conversation with the ``El Tribunal Cristiano''
producer occurred on November 1, 2000.6
5. Concilio Mision states that it has taken corrective
action to prevent this problem from recurring. Concilio Mision
has instituted new procedures, which now require written
authorization from the originating station before WQHA(TV)
rebroadcasts programming initiated on another broadcast station.
The written authorization must come from a management level
employee of the originating station and be acknowledged by the
signature of a management level employee at WQHA(TV).7
6. Section 73.1207(b) of the rules states as follows:
No broadcast station may retransmit the program, or any
part thereof, of another U.S. broadcast station without
the express authority of the originating station. A
copy of the written consent of the licensee originating
the program must be kept by the licensee of the station
retransmitting such program and made available to the
FCC upon request.
See also Section 325(a) of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended (``Act'').8
7. Concilio Mision admits it rebroadcast a portion of the
``Saliendo del Closet'' radio program on two separate occasions,
but claims it was granted oral consent by WSKN(AM).9 Section
73.1207(b) requires that ``written consent'' be provided to the
Commission upon request. Thus, consent must be written and oral
consent is insufficient.10 In its May 11, 2001 letter of
inquiry, the Bureau directed Concilio Mision to provide a copy of
any written consent, but Concilio Mision failed to provide it.
Thus, Concilio Mision apparently violated Section 73.1207(b) of
8. In light of Concilio Mision's apparent failure to comply
with Section 73.1207(b) of the rules, we find that a proposed
forfeiture is warranted. Section 503(b) of the Act states that
any person that willfully or repeatedly11 fails to comply with
any provision of the Act or any rule, regulation, or order issued
by the Commission, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.12 In
determining the appropriate forfeiture amount, we consider the
factors enumerated in section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, including
``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 such other matters
as justice may require.''13 The Commission's Forfeiture Policy
Statement14 does not explicitly identify a base forfeiture amount
for violations of section 73.1207(b) of the rules. However,
considering all the facts and circumstances and Commission
precedent, we find that a forfeiture of $1,000.00 is apparently
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section
503(b) of the Act, 16 and sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
rules,17 Concilio Mision Cristiana Fuente de Agua Viva, Inc. is
HEREBY NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the
amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) for willfully and
repeatedly violating section 73.1207(b), which prohibits a
broadcast station from rebroadcasting the program or any part
thereof of another broadcast station, without obtaining the
express, written authority of the originating station.
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section 1.80 of
the Commission's rules, within thirty (30) days of the release
date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Concilio Mision
Cristiana Fuente de Agua Viva, Inc. SHALL PAY to the United
States the full amount of the proposed forfeiture OR SHALL FILE a
written statement showing why the proposed forfeiture should not
be imposed or should be reduced.
11. Payment of the forfeiture amount 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.''
12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Charles W.
Kelley, Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement
Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street S.W.,
Room 3-B443, Washington, D.C., 20554, and must include the
``NAL/Acct. No.'' referenced above.
13. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling
a forfeiture in response to a claim of inability to pay unless
the respondent 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 respondent's current financial status.
Any claim of inability to pay must specifically identify the
basis for the claim by reference to the financial documentation
14. Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent
to: Chief, Revenues and Receivables Operations Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.18
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of
Apparent Liability shall be sent by Certified Mail/Return Receipt
Requested to John A. Borsari, Borsari & Associates, 2111 Wilson
Blvd., Suite 700, Arlington, VA 22210, counsel for Concilio
Mision Cristiana Fuente de Agua Viva, Inc.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.1207(b).
2 May 11, 2001, Letter of Inquiry from Charles Kelley, Chief,
Investigations & Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, to
Concilio Mision, Television Station WQHA(TV) (``LOI'').
3 See June 25, 2001, Response to LOI from Colette M. Capretz,
Shaw Pittman, to Charles Kelley, Chief, Investigations & Hearings
Division, Enforcement Bureau (``LOI Response'').
4 LOI Response at 2.
6 See Affidavit of Eusebio (``Machi'') Medina Picon,
Independent Producer of WSKN(AM) at 2.
7 LOI Response at 3.
8 47 U.S.C. § 325(a).
9 LOI Response at 2.
10 Consent from the producer of ``Saliendo del Closet,''
however, is immaterial. Section 73.1207(b) of the rules requires
the consent of the originating licensee.
11 A party ``willfully'' violates the Commission's rules when
it knows it is taking the action in question, irrespective of any
intent to violate the Commission's rules, and ``repeatedly''
means more than once. See Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387-88 (1991).
12 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a).
13 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
of Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, 12 FCC Rcd 17087,
17100 (1997) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement''), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
15 E.g., Duchossois Communications Co. of Maryland, Inc., 11
FCC Rcd 5785 (1996) ($1,000 NAL for violation of section
73.1207); Matter of Liability of Eli and Harry Daniels, d.b.a.,
The Heart of the Black Hills Stations, 29 FCC 2d 332 ($1,000
forfeiture for violation of section 73.655, precursor to section
73.1207), application for remission or mitigation denied, 30 FCC
2d 781 (1971).
16 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
17 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.
18 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.