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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Ora Roberts Smallwood, III ) File Number: EB-06-NF-048
Licensee of WCRR (AM) ) NAL/Acct. No.: 200732640001
Rural Retreat, Virginia ) FRN: 8733727
Facility ID No. 27190 )
Adopted: July 30, 2007 Released: August 1, 2007
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000) to Ora Roberts
Smallwood, III, the licensee of AM radio station WCRR in Rural
Retreat, Virginia, for willful violation of Sections 11.35 and 73.3526
of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The noted violations involve Mr.
Smallwood's failure to maintain operational receiving equipment for
required Emergency Alert System ("EAS") monitoring functions and
failure to make available a complete public inspection file.
2. On June 22, 2006, an agent from the Commission's Norfolk Office of the
Enforcement Bureau ("Norfolk Office") conducted a main studio
inspection of radio station WCRR in Rural Retreat, Virginia during
normal business hours. WCRR's station manager identified a portable
receiver and a rack mounted receiver as the station's EAS Attention
receiving equipment. The portable receiver was inoperative, but this
fact or the date of the malfunction was not noted in any logs. The
agent noticed that the station's rack mounted receiver was not
connected to the AC outlet, but the receiver was still inoperative
after reconnecting its power cord. Furthermore, there were no records
to indicate that the station had ever received required Weekly or
Monthly EAS Tests during the year 2006. Also, in response to a request
to inspect the station's public inspection file, the station manager
was unable to make the file or any of the documents required to be
kept in the file available. The station manager stated that Mr.
Smallwood probably knew the whereabouts of the file.
3. On or about June 29, 2006, Mr. Smallwood left a voice message for the
agent in the Norfolk Office. He did not deny any of the violations
found at the station, did not provide an explanation of the
whereabouts of the station's public file, and requested leniency in
any possible enforcement actions.
4. On October 20, 2006, the Norfolk Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Mr. Smallwood in the amount of eighteen
thousand dollars ($18,000) for the apparent willful violation of
Sections 11.35 and 73.3526 of the Rules. On November 11, 2006, the
Norfolk Office received Mr. Smallwood's response to the NAL requesting
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules
("Rules"), 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 Mr. Smallwood'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 may require.
6. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules states that Broadcast stations are
responsible to ensure that EAS Encoders, EAS Decoders and Attention
signal generating and receiving equipment used as part of the EAS are
installed so that the monitoring and transmitting functions are
available during the times the stations are in operation. On June 22,
2006, neither of station WCRR's EAS receivers were operative, so the
station had no way to monitor or receive EAS messages. There were no
records to indicate that the station had ever received required Weekly
or Monthly EAS Tests during the year 2006. There were also no records
documenting when the EAS receivers became inoperative.
7. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules states that every licensee of an AM
station in the commercial broadcast services shall maintain a public
inspection file containing the material, relating to that station,
described in paragraphs (e)(1) through (e)(10) and paragraph (e)(13)
of this section. On June 22, 2006, in response to a request to inspect
the public file during normal business hours, the station manager was
unable to make the file or any of the documents required to be
maintained in the file available. There was no evidence that the
station maintained a public inspection file.
8. In response to the NAL, Mr. Smallwood states that he was not present
during the inspection, and the new owner to the station pulled the
public inspection file the week of the inspection. He also states that
the new owner inspected the station's EAS that week. We do not find
Mr. Smallwood's arguments persuasive. Mr. Smallwood was still the
licensee of station WCRR on June 22, 2006 and was responsible for
compliance with all Commission rules. If the new owner of the station
removed the station's public inspection file, Mr. Smallwood was
responsible for ensuring that the file was returned to the station's
main studio. Moreover, it is irrelevant whether the new owner
inspected the EAS equipment prior to the agent's inspection. There is
no evidence or allegation that the owner tampered with the station's
EAS equipment or somehow caused it to be non-operational.
9. Finally, Mr. Smallwood requests cancellation of the forfeiture based
on his inability to pay. The Commission has determined that, in
general, an entity's gross revenues are the best indicator of its
ability to pay a forfeiture. Mr. Smallwood, however, has not provided
sufficient documentation of his income and the station's gross
revenues. Therefore, we are unable to determine if a reduction of the
forfeiture would be appropriate.
10. We have examined Mr. Smallwood's response to the NAL pursuant to the
statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy
Statement. As a result of our review, we conclude that Mr. Smallwood
willfully violated Sections 11.35 and 73.3526 of the Rules and that no
reduction of the proposed $7,000 forfeiture is warranted.
IV. ordering clauses
11. 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, Ora Roberts Smallwood, III IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of eighteen thousand
dollars ($18,000) for willfully violating Sections 11.35 and 73.3526
of the Rules.
12. Payment of the 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. 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 Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may
be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670,
Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA
Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account
number 911-6106. Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables Group, 445 12th
Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Ora Roberts
Smallwood, III at his address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. S:S: 11.35, 73.3526
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200532640001
(Enf. Bur., Norfolk Office, October 20, 2006) ("NAL").
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(D).
Mr. Smallwood's assignment application was granted October 12, 2006 and
consummated October 16, 2006.
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992)
(forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented approximately 2.02
percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long Distance, Inc., 16
FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 7.9 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Hoosier
Broadcasting Corporation, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed
excessive where it represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's
47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3442
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-3442