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                                                   Released: October 18, 2007

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554

                                 July 23, 2007



   AND FACSIMILE (202) 546-1218

   The Graham Williams Group

   Attn: Armstrong Williams, Chief Executive Officer

   201 Massachusetts Avenue, N.E.

   Suite C-3

   Washington, D.C. 20002

   Re: File No. EB-05-IH-0031

   Dear Mr. Williams:

   This is an official CITATION, issued pursuant to section 503(b)(5) of the
   Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("the Act"), for violations of the
   statutes and rules administered by the Federal Communications Commission
   ("Commission") that govern sponsorship identification in broadcast
   programming. Future violations of these statutory provisions and
   Commission rules may subject you and your company to monetary forfeitures.
   As explained below, you may appeal this citation.

   The Enforcement Bureau (the "Bureau") investigated whether various
   parties, including certain licensees of radio and television stations and
   cable operators, may have violated provisions of the Act, and the
   Commission's rules in connection with the airing of program material and
   announcements concerning the No Child Left Behind ("NCLB") law
   administered by the United States Department of Education ("DoED").
   Specifically, we investigated whether such licensees and operators aired
   the material without appropriately announcing that DoED was that
   material's sponsor and whether certain parties involved in the production
   and distribution of the program material, including Mr. Armstrong Williams
   ("Williams") and the Graham Williams Group ("GWG"), failed to make related
   disclosures required under the law.

   As a part of this investigation, by letters of inquiry dated February 14,
   2005 ("LOIs"), we requested certain information and materials from GWG and
   Ketchum, Inc. ("Ketchum"). GWG and Ketchum responded to those LOIs,
   providing various pertinent documents and recordings. GWG contended in its
   Response that it did not violate any statute or Commission rule and that,
   in any event, it was "not subject to the FCC's jurisdiction."
   Notwithstanding GWG's jurisdictional objection, the Commission has the
   responsibility, and the legal authority, to investigate and to enforce the
   above-noted provisions of the Act and its rules, including Section 507 of
   the Act.

   Our investigation focused on GWG's performance and that of Ketchum
   pursuant to the following agreements: (1) the "Order for Supplies or
   Services" dated May 14, 2003, as amended on January 6 and June 9, 2004,
   between Ketchum and DoED; and (2) contracts between GWG and Ketchum dated
   December 2, 2003, and June 29, 2004. By these agreements, Ketchum served
   as the general contractor to DoED to implement its campaign promoting NCLB
   and GWG acted as a subcontractor to Ketchum in this endeavor.

   In response to our inquiry, GWG has provided  documentary evidence,
   including recorded program material, that  details numerous instances
   where GWG's principal,  nationally  syndicated broadcast commentator
   Williams, apparently promoted NCLB during various programs in which he
   appeared without identifying such comments as being sponsored.   Moreover,
   the broadcasters to whom such material was supplied assert that they were
   not informed that the NCLB comments were sponsored by DoED and that they
   did not, therefore, air sponsorship announcements for the NCLB material.  
   GWG argues, however, that  in none  of these instances were  sponsorship
   disclosures required because Williams' comments were not paid  for or
   otherwise compensated. GWG contends that its  contract  with DoED 
   specified only that it would furnish  "two (2) television and two (2)
   radio advertisements featuring a one-minute read by Secretary Paige" 
   regarding the [NCLB] program, and would "include the television spot `on
   all of Mr. William's [sic] cable television affiliates.'"   GWG further
   asserts that advertisements on "The Right Side with Armstrong Williams"
   ("RSAW")  "were to be included as a bonus in the radio runs of the
   television show," but that they were not specifically required.  GWG notes
   in support of its contentions that "the Deliverables under SOW #9 and
   SOW#16 do not specify delivery of any comments on NCLB, other than
   placement of the DoED ads,"  and those advertisements included appropriate
   sponsorship disclosures.  

   The evidentiary record, however, belies GWG's explanations. In this
   connection, the pertinent contract statements of work ("SOW") indicate
   that the parties mutually  intended that  GWG and/or Williams would 
   devise and broadcast promotional messages on behalf of NCLB  beyond the
   provision of discrete advertisements.   Furthermore,  contrary to its 
   explanation, GWG's  promise  that Williams would deliver such on-air
   commentary  appears to have been specifically contemplated in the
   contract, and not gratuitously supplied by GWG.   Moreover, GWG's and
   Ketchum's own correspondence contains numerous references that support a
   finding that the contract work requirements contemplated the preparation
   and delivery of comments on NCLB in addition to the  production and
   placement of discrete NCLB advertisements. Finally, we note that  GWG's
   monthly reports to DoED  appear to report on the totality of broadcast
   promotional efforts made on behalf of NCLB as having satisfied GWG's
   contract duties, and not merely its placement of specific advertisements. 
   We find GWG's explanations that its monthly reporting efforts, made over a
   year-long period, "were incorrect in listing all of [Williams's] media
   interviews and activities and automatically includ[ing] them,"   or that
   Williams only "realized for the first time" such significant  reporting
   errors  in January 2005, after this matter was disclosed  by the national
   press to be unpersuasive. 

   In sum, the record here establishes that Williams and GWG received  more
   than nominal consideration from DoED  to include particular material in
   programming supplied to and  intended for transmission by broadcast
   stations and that the material was, in fact, aired by various broadcast
   stations.   In these circumstances, Williams and GWG were obliged under
   Section 507(c) to disclose to the licensees receiving the programming that
   the NCLB-related broadcast material was sponsored by DoED. The record also
   establishes that such disclosure was not provided by either Williams or
   GWG. We conclude that GWG  and Williams violated Section 507 of the
   Communications Act.

   If, after receipt of this citation, you or your company violates the
   Communications Act or the Commission's rules in any manner described
   herein, the Commission may impose monetary forfeitures not to exceed
   $11,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation.

   You may respond to this citation within 30 days from the date of this
   letter either through (1) a personal interview at the Commission's Field
   Office nearest to your place of business, or (2) a written statement. You
   may use this response to appeal this citation. In addition, your response
   should specify the actions that you are taking to ensure that you do not
   violate the Commission's rules governing sponsorship identification in
   broadcast programming, as described above.

   You may schedule a personal interview at the nearest Commission field
   office. These offices are located in: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago,
   IL; Columbia, MD; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Kansas City, MO;
   Los Angeles, CA; New Orleans, LA; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; San
   Diego, CA; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, WA; and Tampa, FL. Please call
   Hillary S. DeNigro at 202-418-7334 if you wish to schedule a personal
   interview. You should schedule any interview to take place within 30 days
   of the date of this letter. You should send any written statement within
   30 days of the date of this letter to:

   Hillary S. DeNigro

   Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division

   Enforcement Bureau

   Federal Communications Commission

   445 - 12th Street, S.W.

   Washington, D.C. 20554

   You should reference EB-05-IH-0031 when corresponding with the Commission.

   If you request a meeting, reasonable accommodations for people with
   disabilities are available upon request. Include a description of the
   accommodation you will need including as much detail as you can. Also
   include a way we can contact you if we need more information. Please allow
   at least 5 days advance notice; last minute requests will be accepted, but
   may be impossible to fill. Send an e-mail to or call the
   Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau:

   For sign language interpreters, CART, and other reasonable accommodations:

   202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (tty)

   For accessible format materials (braille, large print, electronic files,
   and audio

   format): 202-418-0531 (voice), 202-418-7365 (tty)

   As required by the Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. S: 552(a)(e)(3), you are
   hereby notified that the Commission's staff will use all relevant material
   information to determine what, if any, enforcement action is required to
   ensure your compliance with the Commission's rules. This will include any
   information that you disclose in your interview or written statement.

   Finally, you should be aware that the knowing and willful making of any
   false statement or the concealment of any material fact in reply to this
   citation is punishable by fine or imprisonment under 18 U.S.C. S: 1001.


   Kris Anne Monteith

   Chief, Enforcement Bureau

   cc: Colby M. May, Esq.

   See Sections 317 and 507 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
   codified at 47 U.S.C. S:S: 317 and 508, respectively, and Section 73.1212
   of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S:S: 73.1212.

   Id. As to the disclosure obligation, Section 507(c) of the Act provides in
   pertinent part:

   [A]ny person who supplies to any other person any program or program
   matter which is intended for broadcasting over any radio station shall, in
   advance of such broadcast, disclose to such other person any information
   of which he has knowledge, or which has been disclosed to him, as to any
   money, service or other valuable consideration which any person has paid
   or accepted, or has agreed to pay or accept, for the inclusion of any
   matter as a part of such program or program matter. . . .

   47 U.S.C. S: 508(c).

   See Letter from GWG to Kenneth M. Scheibel, Jr., Attorney, Investigations
   & Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, dated April 6, 2005 ("GWG
   Response"), and Letter from Ketchum to William D. Freedman, Deputy Chief,
   Investigations & Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, dated April 13,
   2005 ("Ketchum Response").

   Section 507's disclosure obligations, and hence our jurisdiction, extend
   to "any person" engaged in the conduct described in that provision, not
   just licensees or regulatees of the Commission. See 47 U.S.C. S:S:
   503(b)(1)(B) (authorizing FCC to impose a forfeiture penalty on any person
   who has "willfully or repeatedly failed to comply with any of the
   provisions of this Act"), 508(g) ("Any person who violates any provision
   of this section shall, for each such violation, be fined not more than
   $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both."). See also id. at
   S: 503(b)(5) (before imposing a forfeiture penalty on a non-licensee, FCC
   must issue a citation to non-licensee and non-licensee must subsequently
   engage in prohibited conduct). Ketchum's contention that the Commission
   has no authority to enforce Section 507 because it is a criminal provision
   over which the Department of Justice has primary jurisdiction simply
   overstates the case. The Commission recognizes the jurisdictional
   responsibilities of the Department of Justice and its sole authority to
   bring criminal cases, but it also has a long history of exercising
   concurrent administrative jurisdiction where provisions in the
   Communications Act include civil and criminal penalties. See, e.g., our
   administrative enforcement of the criminal provisions governing the
   broadcast of indecent, obscene or profane material at 18 U.S.C. S: 1464,
   referenced in Sections 503(b)(1) and 312(a)(6) of the Communications Act.

   See GWG Response, Tab 1.

   See Ketchum Response, Tab 9; see also GWG Response, Tab 3.

   See, e.g., GWG Response, Tab 21.

   We note that in November 2006 and May 2007, the Bureau inquired of 15
   licensees of 60 television stations concerning eight specific episodes of
   "Right Side with Armstrong Williams," and one episode of "America's Black
   Forum," during which Williams discussed NCLB. In their responses, the
   licensees who received such programming from GWG uniformly denied that GWG
   furnished any sponsorship identification announcement or other information
   concerning Williams' relationship with DoED and/or the NCLB comments.

   See GWG Response at 4.

   See id.

   See GWG Response at 9. This citation addresses GWG's failure to identify
   as sponsored numerous intra-program mentions and discussion of NCLB. We do
   not dispute its contention that the television advertisements it prepared
   concerning NCLB, featuring DoED Secretary Paige, contained appropriate
   sponsorship acknowledgments.

   See SOW # 9 (Attachment B to January 24, 2004, Amendment of Contract
   between DoED and Ketchum).

   See Ketchum Response, Tab 2.

   See, e.g.,GWG Response, Tabs 6 and 8; Ketchum Response, Tab 24.

   See GWG Response, Tab 11.

   See GWG Response at 4-5.

   See id.

   GWG Response, Tab 3; Ketchum Response, Tab 9.

   The broadcast stations that aired all or part of such material without
   providing appropriate sponsorship identification, include one licensed to
   Sonshine Family Television, Inc. - WBPH-TV, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which
   aired 5 episodes of RSAW; several licensed to subsidiaries of Sinclair
   Broadcast Group, Inc. - WABM(TV), Birmingham, Alabama; KSMO-TV, Kansas
   City, Missouri; WVTV(TV), Milwaukee, Wisconsin; WUXP-TV, Nashville,
   Tennessee; KOCB(TV), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, WEAR-TV, Pensacola, Florida;
   WPMY(TV), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; KABB(TV), San Antonio, Texas; and
   WTWC-TV, Tallahassee, Florida, all of which aired one episode of ABF; and
   one licensed to Glory Communications, Inc. - WGCV(AM), Cayce, South
   Carolina, which aired an audio version of 8 episodes of RSAW and one
   episode of ABF. Glory indicates that it provided an announcement
   identifying GWG, but not DoED, as the material's sponsor. See also  note
   8, supra.

   Although in this case certain broadcast stations actually aired the
   subject material, this is not a prerequisite to a finding of violation of
   Section 507(c). That provision states that disclosure is required whenever
   any person supplies program material "which is intended for broadcast...."
   47 U.S.C. S: 507(c).

   See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b)(3).

   Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3351


   Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3351