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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
FAMILY LIFE EDUCATIONAL ) EB-02-IH-0483
FOUNDATION ) Facility #43156
) NAL/Account No. 200232080022
) FRN #0007570518
Licensee of Noncommercial )
Educational Radio Station
KOUZ(FM), Alexandria, Louisiana
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: August 27, 2002 Released:
August 28, 2002
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (``NAL''), we find that Family Life Educational
Foundation (``Family Life''), licensee of noncommercial
educational radio station KOUZ(FM), Alexandria, Louisiana,
apparently violated Section 399B of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended (``the Act''), 47 U.S.C. § 399b, and
Section 73.503 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. §
73.503, by willfully and repeatedly broadcasting
advertisements. Based on our review of the facts and
circumstances of this case, we conclude that Family Life is
apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of
Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000.00).
2. This case arises from a complaint alleging that
noncommercial station KOUZ(FM) broadcast prohibited
underwriting announcements on March 7, 2002. The complaint
alleges that KOUZ(FM)'s broadcast of prohibited
advertisements has continued since July, 2000, when we
cautioned Family Life to comply with our underwriting rules
following an earlier complaint.1 By letter dated June 11,
2002, we inquired of the licensee.
3. Advertisements are defined by the Act as program
material broadcast "in exchange for any remuneration" and
intended to "promote any service, facility, or product" of
for-profit entities. 47 U.S.C. § 399b(a). As noted above,
noncommercial educational stations may not broadcast
advertisements. Although contributors of funds to
noncommercial stations may receive on-air acknowledgements,
the Commission has held that such acknowledgements may be
made for identification purposes only, and should not
promote the contributors' products, services, or business.
4. Specifically, such announcements may not contain
comparative or qualitative descriptions, price information,
calls to action, or inducements to buy, sell, rent or lease.
See Public Notice, In the Matter of the Commission Policy
Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational
Broadcasting Stations (1986), republished, 7 FCC Rcd 827
(1992) (``Public Notice''). At the same time, however, the
Commission has acknowledged that it is at times difficult to
distinguish between language that promotes versus that which
merely identifies the underwriter. Consequently, it expects
only that licensees exercise reasonable, good-faith judgment
in this area. See Xavier University, 5 FCC Rcd 4920 (1990).
5. At issue are three underwriting announcements
admittedly broadcast by the station earlier this year.
Family Life contends that two of the announcements, those
made on behalf of Emmanuel Christian Books and Music and The
Lifestyle 2002 Home Show, comply with Section 399B of the
Act because the former message was aired as a ``public
service announcement,'' for which the licensee did not
receive consideration, and the latter announcement was
broadcast on behalf of a non-profit trade organization.
However, Family Life admits that the announcement made on
behalf of Turning Point Solutions Group was promotional,
and, because it was aired in exchange for consideration and
on behalf of a for-profit sponsor, it violates Section 399B
of the Act. Family Life claims that the Turning Point
announcement was aired once a day from February 19 to March
10, 2002; from March 12 to April 2, from April 5 to April
18, on May 20, May 22, and from May 24 to June 17, 2002.
Family Life further represents that the announcement was
aired twice a day on April 19, May 19, May 21, and May 23,
for a total of 120 times.2
6. The licensee also acknowledges that it has not
been sufficiently diligent in overseeing its staff's
preparation of underwriting announcements but claims that it
has, since receiving our latest inquiry, taken corrective
action in order ``to avoid future lapses.'' Family Life
also asserts that it receives only a modest station income
and that this constraint has diminished its ability to hire
qualified and knowledgeable station personnel properly
versed in enhanced underwriting policy. Until it is able to
hire such personnel, Family Life represents that its
president, A.T. Moore, will personally participate in the
7. We have carefully reviewed the allegations and
evidence in this case, and find that Family Life's broadcast
of the announcement made on behalf of Turning Point
Solutions Group exceeded the bounds of what is permissible
under Section 399B of the Act, and the Commission's
pertinent rules and policies, in light of the ``good faith''
discretion afforded licensees under Xavier, supra. In this
regard, the announcement seeks impermissibly to distinguish
favorably the underwriter from its competitors by implying
that it offers superior service, and also urges business
patronage. We further note that, on July 12, 2000, we
cautioned Family Life regarding its broadcast of similarly
impermissible underwriting announcements, and that our prior
warning has evidently gone unheeded. Moreover, we do not
find mitigating Family Life's claim, even if true, that its
inability to afford to hire properly trained personnel
contributed to its apparent rule violation. Noncommercial
licensees are responsible for complying with Section 399B of
the Act. See, e.g., Minority Television Project, Inc. (DA
02-1945), ___ FCC Rcd ___ (released August 9, 2002).
Consequently, we believe a monetary sanction appears
warranted. Section 1.80 of the Commission's rules specifies
that the base amount for an underwriting rule violation is
$2,000. In this case, we believe that no adjustment upward
or downward is warranted and that the base forfeiture amount
is appropriate. See 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
IV. Ordering Clauses
8. In view of the foregoing, we conclude that a
monetary sanction is appropriate. Accordingly, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as
amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Commission's rules, Family Life Educational Foundation,
licensee of noncommercial educational station KOUZ(FM),
Alexandria, is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR
A FORFEITURE in the amount of Two Thousand Dollars
($2,000.00) for willfully and repeatedly broadcasting
advertisements in violation of Section 399B of the Act, 47
U.S.C. § 399b, and Section 73.503 of the Commission's rules,
47 C.F.R. § 73.503, approximately 120 times from February
19, 2002 through June 17, 2002.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 1.80 of
the Commission's rules, that within thirty days of the
release of this Notice, Family Life SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
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 MUST INCLUDE the FCC Registration Number (FRN)
referenced above and also should note the NAL/Acct. No.
11. 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 DC 20554 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 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
13. 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. 20554.3
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice
shall be sent, by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested,
to Family Life Educational Foundation, 6652 North Club
Drive, Shreveport, Louisiana 71107.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
The following text was transcribed from an underwriting
announcement broadcast on KOUZ(FM), Alexandria, Louisiana,
during the period February 19, 2002 through May 23, 2002.
Turning Point Solutions Group
Did the last computer technician you called leave you with
more wires disconnected than connected? Let me introduce
you to the Rely-A-Tech program from Turning Point Solutions
Group. Rely-A-Tech is a commitment between you and Turning
Point to ensure your systems receive regular attention to
keep them healthy. Don't wait `til problems cause
breakdowns or to find out your back-up system's not backing
you up. Turning Point Solutions Group can help your system
meet its business needs. Turning Point Solutions. 442-
1 See Letter of the Chief, Investigations and Hearings
Division, Enforcement Bureau, to Family Life Educational
Foundation (KOUZ(FM)), dated July 12, 2000.
2 See Attachment 1 to Family Life's Response dated July 8,
3 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.