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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Flagship Communications, Inc. ) File Number: EB-05-TP-363
Licensee of WNWF (AM) ) NAL/Acct. No.200732700002
Destin, Florida ) FRN 0008-8704-87
Facility ID No. 72803 )
Adopted: January 30, 2007 Released: February 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 three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500) to Flagship
Communications, Inc. ("Flagship"), the licensee of AM radio station
WNWF in Destin, Florida, for willful and repeated violation of Section
17.57 of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") and for willful violation of
Section 73.3526 of the Rules. The noted violations involve Flagship's
failure to notify the Commission of a change in ownership information
for antenna structure # 1226311 and its failure to make available a
complete public inspection file.
2. On November 30, 2005, agents from the Commission's Tampa Office of
the Enforcement Bureau ("Tampa Office") conducted an inspection of AM
radio station WNWF located in Destin, Florida. During regular business
hours, the agents requested to inspect the station's public inspection
file. The station's General Manager was unable to produce copies of
the station's contour maps; the ownership reports; the political file,
the Public and Broadcasting Manual; the Issues-Program lists for any
quarter; or copies of the station's local public notice announcements.
3. On January 4, 2006, a search of the Commission's Antenna Structure
Registration ("ASR") database revealed that station WNWF's antenna
structure with ASR # 1226311 was registered to Bayou Communications,
Inc. According to Commission records, ownership of antenna structure #
1226311 was transferred to Flagship when it acquired station WNWF in
2003. On January 11, 2006, the General Manager for the station
confirmed that Flagship is the owner of the antenna structure. On that
date, an agent from the Tampa Office informed the General Manager that
he needed to update the ownership information in the ASR database. As
of October 10, 2006, Flagship had not updated its antenna structure's
4. On October 17, 2006, the Tampa Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Flagship in the amount of thirteen
thousand dollars ($13,000) for the apparent willful and repeated
violation of Section 17.57 of the Rules and for the apparent willful
violation of Section 73.3526 of the Rules. Flagship submitted a
response to the NAL stating that it had corrected the public file and
antenna structure registration violations and requesting a reduction
or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture based on its inability to
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
("Act'), Section 1.80 of the 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 Flagship'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 17.57 of the Rules requires the owner of any antenna structure
for which an ASR Number has been obtained to immediately notify the
Commission using FCC Form 854 upon any change in ownership
information. Flagship became the owner of antenna structure # 1226311
in 2003 when it acquired station WNWF. As of October 10, 2006,
Flagship failed to notify the Commission of the change in ownership of
its antenna structure. In its response to the NAL, Flagship states
that it updated the antenna structure ownership information on
approximately October 17, 2006.
7. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules requires commercial broadcast
stations to maintain for public inspection, a file containing
materials listed in that section. On November 4, 2005, in response to
a request made to inspect the station's public file during normal
business hours, station WNWF was unable to produce the most current
contour maps; ownership reports; the political file; "The Public and
Broadcasting" manual; any quarterly issues and programs lists; or any
local public notice announcements. There was also no evidence that
these items were ever in the file. In its response to the NAL,
Flagship states that it immediately took steps to include the missing
documentation in its public file violation after the inspection.
8. Thus, based on the evidence, we find that Flagship willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 17.57 of the Rules by failing to notify
the Commission immediately of a change in ownership for antenna
structure # 1226311 and willfully violated Section 73.3526 of the
Rules by failing to make available a complete public inspection file.
9. In its response to the NAL, Flagship asserts that a $13,000 forfeiture
would produce a financial hardship and requests that the forfeiture be
cancelled or significantly reduced. The Commission has determined
that, in general, an entity's gross revenues are the best indicator of
its ability to pay a forfeiture. After reviewing Flagship's financial
documentation, we conclude that a reduction of the forfeiture to
$3,500 would be appropriate.
10. We have examined Flagship'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 Flagship
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 17.57 of the Rules and
willfully violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules. Although cancellation
of the proposed monetary forfeiture is not warranted, reduction of the
forfeiture amount to $3,500 is appropriate based on Flagship's
demonstrated inability to pay.
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, Flagship Communications, Inc. IS
LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of three thousand five
hundred dollars ($3,500) for violation of Sections 17.57 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: Associate Managing Director, Financial Operations,
445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1A625, 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 Flagship
Communications, Inc. at its address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. SS 17.57, 73.3526.
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732700002
(Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, October 17, 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).
47 C.F.R. S 17.57.
47 C.F.R. S 73.3526(a)(2).
Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S 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 (1991).
The term "repeated," when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, "means the commission or omission of such act more
than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous, for more than
one day." 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(2).
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 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 17.57, 73.3526.
47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-376
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-376