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                         Before the
              Federal Communications Commission
                   Washington, D.C. 20554


In the Matter of                  )
                                 )
WBLB, Inc.                        )   File No. EB-03-NF-061
Licensee of Station WBLB(AM)      )   NAL/Acct. No. 200432640001
Pulaski, Virginia                 )   FRN 0009992025



                MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER 

 Adopted:  December 7, 2004             Released:   December 
9, 2004 

 By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.   INTRODUCTION

      1.  In this Memorandum Opinion and Order (``Order''), 
 we grant in part and deny in part the petition for 
 reconsideration filed by WBLB, Inc. (``WBLB''), licensee 
 of Station WBLB(AM), Pulaski, Virginia,1 of the Forfeiture 
 Order issued on June 14, 2004,2 and reduce the assessed 
 forfeiture amount to one thousand five hundred dollars 
 ($1,500).  The Forfeiture Order imposed a monetary 
 forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand dollars 
 ($8,000) for repeated violation of the Emergency Alert 
 System (``EAS'') requirements of Section 11.35(a) of the 
 Commission's Rules (``Rules'').3  

II.   BACKGROUND

      2.  On March 26, 2003 and on February 26, 2004, the 
 Commission's Norfolk, Virginia Field Office (``Norfolk 
 Office'') conducted on-site inspections of Station 
 WBLB(AM)'s facilities.  The station's EAS equipment 
 malfunctioned (i.e., did not interrupt programming and did 
 not transmit EAS attention signals) during both 
 inspections.  As a result of the inspections, the Norfolk 
 Office released a Notice of Apparent Liability for 
 Forfeiture (``NAL'').4  The NAL found that WBLB apparently 
 repeatedly violated Section 11.35(a) of the Rules and 
 proposed a $8,000 forfeiture.

      3.  On June 14, 2004, the Enforcement Bureau 
 (``Bureau'') released a Forfeiture Order,5 having had no 
 record of receiving response to the NAL.  The Bureau 
 received WBLB's petition on June 25, 2004.6  In its 
 petition, WBLB did not dispute that its EAS equipment had 
 malfunctioned during the Norfolk Office's March 2003 and 
 February 2004 inspections.  However, WBLB sought 
 cancellation or reduction of the assessed forfeiture based 
 on its corrective actions, overall history of compliance 
 and inability to pay.  

III.        DISCUSSSION

      4.  The forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in 
 accordance with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act 
 of 1934, as amended (``Act''),7 Section 1.80 of the 
 Rules,8 and the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement 
 and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate 
 the Forfeiture Guidelines.9  In examining WBLB's petition, 
 Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires us to 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 such other matters as justice may 
 require.10  We will respond to each of WBLB's claims 
 separately below.

      5.  First, WBLB claimed that it corrected and brought 
 the EAS equipment into compliance.  In support, WBLB 
 submitted a February 27, 2004 invoice, which indicates 
 that the station's EAS audio switch was replaced and that 
 its equipment was repaired and is now fully operational.11  
 The Commission expects licensees to correct violations 
 observed during an inspection,12 but such corrective 
 measures do not mitigate or warrant forfeiture 
 cancellations or reductions for past violations.13  
 Moreover, we note that WBLB implemented corrective 
 measures only after the second inspection.  

      6.  Second, WBLB claimed that Station WBLB(AM) has an 
 unblemished history of serving its community in compliance 
 with Commission regulations.  Our search of Commission, 
 Bureau and Field Office decisions confirms that Station 
 WBLB(AM) has no record of prior sanctions.  After 
 considering WBLB's overall history, we conclude that a 
 reduction of the forfeiture amount to $6,500 is 
 appropriate.14 

      7.  Finally, WBLB claimed that payment of the assessed 
 forfeiture would pose a financial hardship on its ``small 
 hometown gospel radio station,'' which is located in the 
 Appalachian Region of southwestern Virginia.  In support, 
 WBLB submitted tax returns for 2000, 2001 and 2002.  In 
 analyzing a financial hardship claim, the Commission 
 generally considers gross revenues to be a reasonable and 
 appropriate yardstick in determining whether a licensee is 
 able to pay the assessed forfeiture.15  After reviewing 
 WBLB's claim and supporting documentation, we believe that 
 payment of the $6,500 forfeiture would pose a financial 
 hardship.  We thus conclude that a further reduction of 
 the proposed forfeiture amount to $1,500 is appropriate.16   

IV.    ORDERING CLAUSES

      8.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to 
 Section 405 of the Act17 and Section 1.106 of the Rules,18 
 the Petition for Reconsideration filed by WBLB, Inc. of 
 the Bureau's June 14, 2004, Forfeiture Order IS GRANTED to 
 the extent noted herein and DENIED in all other respects. 

      9.  Payment of the $1,500 forfeiture shall be made in 
 the manner provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules 
 within 30 days of the release of this Order.  If the 
 forfeiture is not paid within the period specified, the 
 case may be referred to the Department of Justice for 
 collection pursuant to Section 504(a) of the Act.19  
 Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar 
 instrument, payable to the order of the Federal 
 Communications Commission.  The payment must include the 
 NAL/Acct. No. and FRN No. referenced above.  Payment by 
 check or money order may be mailed to Forfeiture 
 Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal Communications 
 Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois 60673-7482.  
 Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Bank One/LB 
 73482, 525 West Monroe, 8th Floor Mailroom, Chicago, IL 
 60661.  Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 
 071000013, receiving bank Bank One, and account number 
 1165259.  Requests for full payment under an installment 
 plan should be sent to:  Chief, Revenue and Receivables 
 Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 
 20554.20





      10.      IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this 
 Order shall be sent by First Class and Certified Mail 
 Return Receipt Requested to WBLB, Inc., 3570 Robinson 
 Tract Road, P.O. Box 150, Pulaski, Virginia 24301, and by 
 first class mail to Kathy Nipper, 751 East Main Street, 
 Pulaski, Virginia 24301.  

                              FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS 
COMMISSION

                              David H. Solomon              
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
                              
               
                              
_________________________

1On October 1, 2003, WBLB's license expired, and on January 
3, 2004,  its call sign  was deleted and changed  to DWBLB.  
WBLB had been operating under  a grant of Special Temporary 
Authority, which was issued on December 16, 2003, and which 
expired on June 16, 2004.  

2WBLB, Inc., 19 FCC Rcd 10218 (Enf. Bur. 2004).  

347  C.F.R.   11.35(a)  (requiring  broadcast stations  to 
install functional  generating, as  well as  receiving, EAS 
equipment  ``so   that  the  monitoring   and  transmitting 
functions are  available during the times  the stations ... 
are in operation).

4WBLB, Inc., NAL/Acct. No. 200432640001 (Enf. Bur., Norfolk, 
Virginia Office, released March 11, 2004).

5See note 2, supra. 

6According  to   WBLB,  it  sent  the   pleading  captioned 
``Response of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture'' on March 
30, 2004, and  resent the pleading on June  21, 2004, after 
it received the Forfeiture Order.    Because the Bureau has 
no record  of receiving the  initial filing, we  will treat 
and consider the pleading as a petition for reconsideration 
of the Forfeiture  Order under Section 1.106  of the Rules, 
47 C.F.R.  1.106.

747 U.S.C.  503(b).

847 C.F.R.  1.80.

912 FCC  Rcd 17087  (1997), recon. denied,  15 FCC  Rcd 303 
(1999) (``Forfeiture Policy Statement'').  

1047 U.S.C.  503(b)(2)(D).

11Additionally,  it  has  been noted  that  WBLB's  station 
engineer contacted the Norfolk Office on February 27, 2004,  
to advise that the station replaced the audio switch, fully 
repairing the EAS equipment.   See NAL at  3.  

12See AT&T Wireless Services, Inc., 17 FCC Rcd 21866, 21875 
  26 (2002)  (finding  that all  Commission licensees  and 
regulatees  are  ``expected  to  promptly  take  corrective 
action when  violations are  brought to  their attention,'' 
and that such corrective  action does not warrant reduction 
or cancellation  of a forfeiture for  past violations); see 
also Seawest  Yacht Brokers, 9  FCC Rcd  at 6099, 6099   7 
(1994); TCI Cablevision of Maryland,  Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 6013, 
6014  8 (1992); Sonderling  Broadcasting Corp.,  69 FCC 2d 
289, 291  (1978);  South  Central Communications  Corp., 18 
FCC Rcd 700, 702-03  9 (Enf. Bur. 2003). 

13Id.

14See, e.g., Rotijefco,  Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 14629,  14631  8 
(Enf.   Bur.   2003);    Southern   Rhode   Island   Public 
Broadcasting, Inc., 15 FCC Rcd 8115, 8117-18  8 (Enf. Bur. 
2000); Aurio A. Matos and Juan Carlos Matos, DA 99-1931  7 
(MMB 1999).

15See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17106-07  
43.  

16See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 
2089,  8 (1992).

1747 U.S.C.  405.

1847 C.F.R.  1.106.

1947 U.S.C.  504(a).

20See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.