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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
CALVARY BIBLE COLLEGE ) EB-02-IH-0345
) Facility #8401
Licensee of Noncommercial )
Educational Station KLJC(FM), )
Kansas City, Missouri )
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: October 1, 2002 Released:
October 2, 2002
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we admonish Calvary Bible College
(``Calvary''), licensee of noncommercial educational station
KLJC(FM), Kansas City, Missouri, for broadcasting
advertisements and conducting impermissible fundraising in
violation of 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. Based
on our review of the facts and circumstances of this case,
we conclude that the licensee has violated the pertinent
statutory and Commission underwriting rule provisions.
While we believe that no monetary sanction is warranted at
this time, we find that an admonishment is necessary to
redress the statutory and rule violations.
2. 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). 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.
3. 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 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).
4. Notwithstanding the above, the Commission has
permitted announcements made to promote ``transitory
events'' occurring in licensee service areas such as local
plays, movies or concerts, without regard to whether the
events are sponsored by for-profit or not-for-profit
entities, as long as the announcements are not made in
return for consideration. See Commission Policy Concerning
the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcasting
Stations (``Policy Statement''), 90 FCC 2d 895, 911 (1982),
recon. granted, 97 FCC 2d 255, 264-65 (1984); Commission
Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational
Broadcasting Stations (``Second Report and Order''), 86 FCC
2d 141, 151 (1981).
5. The Underwriting Announcements. We received
recorded evidence of numerous announcements, allegedly
broadcast by KLJC(FM) on March 27, 2002, that appeared to
promote the products or services of presumably for-profit
entities. By inquiry letter dated May 31, 2002, we asked
Calvary to comment on announcements made on behalf of
underwriters that included The Veggie Tales' Show, Fernando
Ortega's ``The Storm Tour'' Concert, Wilson & Associates,
and Burrow Photography. These announcements are alleged to
contravene the statute, as implemented and interpreted by
applicable Commission rules, precedent and policy.
6. The key facts in this case are not in dispute. In
its June 20, 2002, response, Calvary admitted that the
station broadcast the four sponsored announcements described
in our letter of inquiry and set forth in the attached
transcript; that the sponsors are for-profit entities; and
that it received consideration for airing the messages.
While Calvary acknowledges that the announcements, from a
general standpoint, ``may not have been within the
Commission's guidelines,'' it argues that we should consider
as mitigating the fact that their broadcast was made in
``ignorance'' and not ``intentional or a blatant disregard''
of the pertinent Commission rules and policies. Calvary
further represents that it has since taken measures to
``clarify and improve its underwriting policies.''
7. In addition, Calvary argues that the announcements
made on behalf of The Veggie Tales Show and Fernando
Ortega/Watermark's ``The Storm Tour'' were not broadcast
``solely for remuneration'' but were aired in order to
inform listeners about these locally happening events
consistent with the ``transitory event exception''
contemplated in the Second Report and Order. Calvary also
argues that the fact that the events took place in a non-
profit venue, First Baptist Church of Raytown, mitigates any
rule violation that may have occurred. Finally, Calvary
questions why we inquired concerning the Burrow Photography
announcement, which it regards as permissible.
8. We find that all of the subject underwriting
announcements exceed 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, for the
reason that they encourage or invite business patronage,
make prohibited price references, or depict the underwriters
in a comparative and qualitative manner. We reject
Calvary's argument that its concert events announcements
were broadcast consistent with the ``transitory event
exception'' cited above. In this case, the admitted fact
that the licensee received donations from the concerts' for-
profit promoters, $1,500 from The Veggie Tales Show, and
$2,359 from Fernando Ortega/Watermark's ``The Storm Tour,''
along with the circumstance that the announcements were
aired by the station repeatedly five to six weeks in advance
of the events, belies any assertion that they were based on
public-spirited determinations rather than the licensee's
private economic considerations. See Policy Statement, at
911; see also Second Report and Order, at 151. Moreover, we
do not consider it significant in this case that the
concerts took place at a non-profit venue. See, e.g., In re
Isothermal Community College (WNCW(FM)), 16 FCC Rcd 21360
(EB 2001) (where the fact that concert event was
``sponsored'' by not-for-profit entity was found immaterial
to the issue of compliance with Section 399B because ticket
proceeds directly benefited a for-profit entity).1 More
importantly, Calvary has conceded that the concert events
themselves directly benefited for-profit concerns.
Consequently, we reject any suggestion that Calvary's
broadcast promotion of the concerts was permissible under
Section 399B of the Act.
9. We next find that the announcement made on behalf
of Burrow Photography appears to be impermissibly
promotional because it represents that its proprietor is a
member of the Professional Photographers of America, which
suggests a favorable professional qualification or
comparative distinction. See Tri-State Inspirational
Broadcasting Corporation, 16 FCC Rcd 16800 (EB 2001) citing
Letter from the Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division,
Enforcement Bureau, to Station KOUZ(FM) (July 12,
2000)(where use of the phrase ``ICAR gold-class
certification'' to describe underwriter's service
qualifications was found impermissible). We further find
that the announcement made on behalf of Wilson & Associates
was promotional because it improperly attempted to induce
business patronage by referring to its firm's ``reduced
rates'' on services and products. See Public Notice.
10. Finally, Calvary's professed ignorance of
Commission underwriting policy is not a mitigating factor
warranting its excusal from liability for any sanction we
impose. Licensees are responsible for learning and
complying with the statutes and rules administered by the
Commission. See In the Matter of Rego, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd
16795, 16797 (EB 2001), citing Gaffney Broadcasting, Inc.,
23 FCC 2d 912, 913 (1970).
11. Sanction. In view of the foregoing, we conclude
that a sanction is appropriate. However, we do not believe
a monetary sanction is necessary to redress the instant rule
violations, and instead conclude that an admonishment is
sufficient at this time. See Note to 47 C.F.R. §
IV. Ordering Clauses
12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that Calvary Bible
College, licensee of noncommercial educational station
KLJC(FM), Kansas City, Missouri, IS ADMONISHED for
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.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice
shall be sent, by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested,
to Calvary Bible College, 15800 Calvary Road, Kansas City,
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
The following text was transcribed from audio-taped
recordings of underwriting announcements broadcast on
KLJC(FM), Kansas City, Missouri, during the period March 11,
2002, through April 19, 2002:
1. The Veggie Tales Show (60 seconds.)
First Voice: Welcome. It's Veggie Tales like you've never
seen them before. Live on stage, April 16th through the
21st at the Midland Theater. Have we got a show for you!
Second Voice: Hi kids! I'm Bob the Tomato!
Third Voice: And I'm Larry the Cucumber!
First Voice: That's right. Join Bob, Larry and all their
veggie friends for a first ever live show. Tickets are
available at Ticketmasters Outlets and the Midland Theater
box office. 816-931-3330. Or online at Ticketmasters.com.
It's the award-winning Veggie Tales, live on stage April
16th through the 21st at the Midland Theater. Call 816-931-
3330. It's Veggie Tales live!
2. Fernando Ortega's ``The Storm Tour'' Concert (60
Two gifted artists; one extraordinary concert. Fernando
Ortega's ``The Storm Tour,'' with special guest, Watermark.
Together, on one stage, Fernando Ortega and Watermark,
performing their best-loved hits. Plus, songs from
Fernando's new album, ``Storm.'' And songs from Watermark's
new album, ``Constant.'' Fernando Ortega and Watermark, in
one incredible night of music, Friday, April 19th at the
First Baptist Church of Raytown. Calvary 88.5 KLJC welcomes
Fernando Ortega and Watermark in concert. Tickets available
at Christian bookstores or online at
christianhappenings.com. Fernando Ortega at the First
Baptist Church of Raytown, Friday, April 19th at 7:30 p.m.
3. Wilson & Associates (30 seconds.)
For their financial support of Calvary 88.5, we wish to
thank Wilson & Associates, providers of dental, vision,
prescription and chiropractic care membership plans. Wilson
& Associates links with retailers and doctors' offices for
reduced rates on services and products. 913-768-9852. Full
or part-time positions available as representatives; not
requiring buying or selling. Wilson & Associates, 913-768-
4. Burrow Photography (30 seconds.)
Calvary 88.5 thanks Burrow Photography for their support.
Jeff Burrow, a Calvary graduate, has owned and operated
Burrow Photography for over seven years. Jeff can be
reached at 816-322-9263. Jeff is a member of the
Professional Photographers of America, and specializes in
weddings, family portraits, and services, either on location
or in-studio. 816-322-9263.
1 Petition seeking reconsideration on other grounds is