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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
) ) File No. EB-03-KC-045
File No. EB-03-TP-231 ) )
Cornell College ) ) FRN 0007006884
) ) NAL/Acct. No. 200332560026
NAL/Acct. No. 200332700030 )
Licensee of Radio Station KRNL- ) FRN 0002590552
Mt. Vernon, Iowa )
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Adopted: July 29, 2004
Released: August 2, 2004
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Memorandum Opinion and Order (``Order''),
we cancel the proposed monetary forfeiture in the amount of
thirteen thousand dollars ($13,000) issued to Cornell
College (``Cornell''), the licensee of noncommercial
educational FM Station KRNL, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. We find that
Cornell failed to maintain control of the station's
transmitter in apparent willful and repeated violation of
Section 73.1350(b)(2) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'')
and failed to make available the station's public file in
apparent willful violation of Section 73.3527(c) of the
Rules.1 While we cancel the forfeiture based primarily upon
the financial hardship that would result, we admonish
Cornell for its violations of Sections 73.1350(b)(2) and
73.3527(c) of the Rules.
2. On March 18, 2003, an agent from the Commission's
Kansas City Office (``Kansas City Office'') conducted an
inspection of Station KRNL-FM. The station's transmitter
site was not staffed and the only transmitter remote control
function available was an on/off switch at the studio with
no self-monitoring or automatic transmission system
monitoring equipment to control the transmitter. Although
the station operated twenty four hours per day, the studio
was staffed only at night. The station's contract engineer
advised the station of its need for transmitter remote
control equipment on November 13, 2002. No public
inspection file was made available upon request during the
inspection of the station, which occurred during regular
business hours. In a response to a Letter of Inquiry dated
May 1, 2003, Cornell stated that ``[d]uring normal business
hours, the station runs unattended.'' Cornell also stated
that it was purchasing a remote control unit and that it had
assembled a complete public file.
2. On June 27, 2003, the Kansas City Office issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(``NAL'') to Cornell in the amount of thirteen
thousand dollars ($13,000).2 Cornell filed a
response to the NAL on July 28, 2003, seeking a
reduction or cancellation of the proposed
forfeiture. Although it acknowledged that it did
not maintain transmitter control equipment or a
public file before the Commission's inspection,
Cornell argues it quickly corrected the violations
and adopted new procedures to prevent future
violations. Cornell also asserts the forfeiture
should be reduced or cancelled in light of its
overall history of compliance with the Rules.
Finally, Cornell states the forfeiture would
constitute an extreme financial hardship, given
the school's overall financial condition and the
fact that the proposed forfeiture exceeds the
station's annual budget for the 2003-2004 school
3. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was
assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended (``Act''),3
Section 1.80 of the Rules,4 and The Commission's
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997),
recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Forfeiture
Policy Statement''). In examining Cornell's
response, Section 503(b) of the Act requires that
the Commission take into account 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
4. Section 73.1350(b)(2) of the Rules states that the
transmitter control personnel of broadcast station
licensees must have the capability to turn the
transmitter off at all times.6 If the personnel
are at a remote location, the control system must
provide this capability continuously or must
include an alternate method of acquiring control
that can deactivate the transmitter within three
minutes. Section 73.3527(c) requires every
licensee of noncommercial educational broadcast
stations to make available upon request the
station's public file during regular business
hours.7 Cornell does not dispute that it did not
comply with the Commission's transmitter control
or public file rules prior to the Commission's
inspection. We find that Cornell's violation of
Section 73.1350(b)(2) of the Rules was willful8
and repeated9 and that its violation of Section
73.3527(c) of the Rules was willful.
5. Cornell asserts the forfeiture should be cancelled
or reduced in light of its overall history of
compliance with the Rules and its financial
situation. We agree. Prior to the NAL, Cornell
had not received a single notice of violation from
the Commission. Moreover, after reviewing the
financial information provided by Cornell, we
conclude that a $13,000 forfeiture would pose a
financial hardship to the station. Accordingly,
we cancel the proposed forfeiture. Nevertheless,
we find that it is appropriate to admonish Cornell
for its willful and repeated violation of
73.1350(b)(2) of the Rules and its willful
violation of Section 73.3527(c) of the Rules.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to
Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934,
as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and
1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules,10 the
forfeiture in the amount of thirteen thousand
dollars ($13,000) proposed in the June 27, 2003
Notice of Apparent Liability issued to Cornell
College IS CANCELLED.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Cornell College IS
ADMONISHED for failure to maintain transmitter
control and failure to make available the
station's public file in willful and repeated
violation of Section 73.1350(b)(2) of the
Commission's Rules and in willful violation of
Section 73.3527(c) of the Commission's Rules.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order
shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail
Return Receipt Requested to Dee Ann Rexroat,
Director of College Communications, 810 Commons
Circle, Mt. Vernon, Iowa 52314.
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
147 C.F.R. §§ 73.1350(b)(2) and 73.3527(c).
2Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
200332560026 (Enf. Bur., Kansas City Office, released June
347 U.S.C. § 503(b).
447 C.F.R. § 1.80.
547 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
647 C.F.R. § 73.1350(b)(2).
747 C.F.R. § 73.3527(c).
8Section 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,' ... 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
9As provided by 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), a continuous
violation is ``repeated'' if it continues for more than one
day. The Conference Report for Section 312(f)(2)
indicates that Congress intended to apply this definition
to Section 503 of the Act as well as Section 312. See H.R.
Rep. 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982). See Southern
California Broadcasting Company, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388
(1991) and Western Wireless Corporation, 18 FCC Rcd 10319
at fn. 56 (2003).
1047 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).