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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554

     In the Matter of                                                        
                                             )   File No. EB-03-IH-0501      
     CHRISTIAN VOICE OF CENTRAL OHIO INC.                                    
                                             )   NAL/Acct. No. 200532080016  
     Licensee of Formerly Noncommercial                                      
     Educational                             )   Facility ID No. 11126       
     Station WCVZ(FM), South Zanesville,     )   FRN # 0002990828            

                                FORFEITURE ORDER

   Adopted: May 9, 2008 Released: May 9, 2008

   By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:


    1. By this Forfeiture Order, we impose a forfeiture of $9,000 on
       Christian Voice of Central Ohio, Inc. ("Christian Voice"), licensee of
       formerly noncommercial educational television Station WCVZ(FM), South
       Zanesville, Ohio, for its willful and repeated broadcast of
       advertisements over the station, in violation of Section 399B of the
       Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"), and Section
       73.503(d) of the Commission's rules. We take this action pursuant to
       47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1)(D) and 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(f)(4).


   2. This case arises from a complaint filed with the Commission in
   September 2003, alleging that then-noncommercial educational Station
   WCVZ(FM) broadcast prohibited underwriting announcements during the month
   of August 2003. In April 2004, after the complaint had been filed, but
   before the Enforcement Bureau (the "Bureau") had inquired into this
   matter, Christian Voice sought to modify its station's noncommercial
   educational license so that it could operate Station WCVZ(FM) as a
   commercial facility. By letter dated June 17, 2004, the Bureau inquired of
   the licensee concerning the allegations contained in the complaint. The
   licensee responded to the Bureau's letter of inquiry on July 19, 2004.
   Because the licensee's response failed to answer the specific questions
   posed, among other things, the Bureau thereafter contacted the licensee's
   counsel and directed that Christian Voice file a further response
   providing such information, as required by the LOI. Christian Voice
   further responded to the LOI on September 8, 2004.

   3. By Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, issued December 7,
   2004, the Chief, Enforcement Bureau, found that the licensee had
   apparently violated the pertinent statute and Commission rules, and
   proposed a monetary forfeiture of $20,000. On January 3, 2005, Christian
   Voice responded to the NAL, maintaining that the Bureau's ruling is
   erroneous, and that the proposed forfeiture should be either cancelled or


   4. Advertisements are defined by the Act as program material broadcast "in
   exchange for any remuneration" and intended to "promote any service,
   facility, or product" of for-profit entities. As noted above, stations
   such as then-noncommercial educational Station WCVZ(FM) may not air
   advertisements. Although contributors to such stations may receive on-air
   acknowledgements, the Commission has held that such acknowledgements may
   be made for identification purposes only, and should not promote the
   contributors' products, services, or businesses.

   5. Commission Standards. Specifically, such announcements may not contain
   comparative or qualitative descriptions, price information, calls to
   action, or inducements to buy, sell, rent or lease. Nevertheless, the
   Commission has acknowledged that it is at times difficult to distinguish
   between language that promotes versus that which merely identifies the
   underwriter. Consequently, it expects that licensees exercise reasonable,
   good-faith judgment in this area, and affords some latitude to the
   judgments of licensees who do so.

   6. The Announcements. Christian Voice maintains that the Bureau erred in
   finding that three of the ten announcements cited in the NAL, viz., those
   made on behalf of Tastee Freeze, The School House, and Prindle-GMAC Real
   Estate, violate the Commission's underwriting rules by promoting their
   respective sponsors. Christian Voice argues that those announcements are
   specifically acceptable because they do not contain price information,
   qualitative comparisons, or calls to action, and are "at least as
   compliant with the rule [as those] found by the Commission to be compliant
   in Xavier." On further consideration, we agree that the announcement made
   on behalf of The School House, which identifies the underwriter's
   available stock of "creative learning materials," was made consistent with
   the licensee's discretion under Xavier. As to the arguments Christian
   Voice has made concerning the other two announcements it cites, however,
   we disagree, for the reasons set forth below.

   7. The announcement made on behalf of Tastee Freeze characterizes the
   underwriter's ice cream products in prohibited qualitative terms, by
   noting that they are "tastefully decorated," and by attempting to induce
   patronage by asking listeners whether they are "planning a special
   occasion" which might require use of the underwriter's products. The
   Prindle GMAC Real Estate announcement also impermissibly adverts to
   favorable qualities possessed by the underwriter that seek to distinguish
   its business from similar enterprises, and thus seeks to induce patronage
   by stating that "we're all about family," and that "we love selling real
   estate." In this case, the announcements in question characterize their
   respective underwriters' products or services in qualitative terms or
   otherwise attempt to induce business patronage, which references are
   specifically forbidden. Such statements, in the context of this case, are
   inconsistent with the identification-only purpose of underwriting
   acknowledgments, and are not value neutral. In the instant case, the
   references concerning the underwriter's real estate agency imply that the
   agency possesses special business affinity or experience that attempts to
   favorably distinguish it from others. That the cited underwriting
   announcements do not also contain price information does not render them
   acceptable, and is not a mitigating factor.

   8. We further find no merit to Christian Voice's claim that the forfeiture
   proposed is inconsistent with recent similar precedent. The forfeiture
   amount proposed in the instant NAL reflects the substantial number of
   announcements involved, i.e., nine, and the lengthy period of time during
   which the violations occurred, i.e., 15 months. Those factors, taken as a
   whole, compound the seriousness of this case and distinguish it from
   others. In addition, Christian Voice's contention that "no civil penalty
   is appropriate for a [noncommercial educational] station operating on a
   non-reserved channel," as here, is baseless. The Commission has
   specifically rejected this contention. Moreover, the case on which
   Christian Voice attempts to rely for this proposition is inapposite. In
   High I-Q, the Commission found that, in the context of a license renewal
   proceeding, the licensee's premature commencement of commercial operations
   on its noncommercial educational station, in conjunction with other
   alleged rule violations, did not amount to disqualifying misconduct.
   Noting that the licensee's broadcast of advertisements prior to its
   receiving authorization to modify such facilities from noncommercial to
   commercial operation would otherwise have subjected it to a monetary
   forfeiture, the Commission declined to pursue such a penalty for
   underwriting rule violations occurring several years prior because the
   statute of limitations for doing so had already expired. The Commission is
   not similarly constrained in this case, and Christian Voice has not
   demonstrated otherwise. For the reasons set forth in the NAL, we conclude
   that Christian Voice ignored settled precedent and failed to properly
   exercise its good faith discretion in broadcasting the underwriting
   announcements in question.

   9. Nor do we find mitigating Christian Voice's claim that several local
   charities, who allegedly rely on support from the station, will suffer
   financially if the licensee is required to pay the instant forfeiture
   amount. That claim, even if true, is irrelevant to the matters at issue in
   this case. Moreover, we note that Christian Voice has neither provided
   financial evidence suggesting that it is unable to pay the forfeiture, nor
   argued that such payment would create an undue hardship threatening its
   station's continued operation. However, in recognition of the fact that
   Christian Voice has maintained heretofore a good overall compliance
   record, we will reduce the forfeiture accordingly.

   10. Forfeiture Calculation. Under Section 503(b)(1) of the Act, any person
   who is determined by the Commission to have willfully or repeatedly failed
   to comply with any provision of the Act or any rule, regulation, or order
   issued by the Commission shall be liable to the United States for a
   monetary forfeiture penalty. In order to impose such a forfeiture penalty,
   the Commission must issue a notice of apparent liability, the notice must
   be received, and the person against whom the notice has been issued must
   have an opportunity to show, in writing, why no such forfeiture penalty
   should be imposed. The Commission will then issue a forfeiture if it finds
   by a preponderance of the evidence that the person has violated the Act or
   a Commission rule. In this case, the NAL found that Christian Voice
   engaged in a conscious and deliberate decision to broadcast the
   announcements at issue, a finding which the licensee does not dispute.
   Accordingly, we find that the announcements aired in violation of 47
   U.S.C. S: 399b and 47 C.F.R. S: 73.503(d) were willful.

   11. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement establishes a base
   forfeiture amount of $2,000 for the broadcast of programming in violation
   of enhanced underwriting requirements. It also specifies that the
   Commission shall adjust a forfeiture based upon consideration of the
   factors enumerated in Section 503(b)(2)(E), such as "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." The
   statutory maximum forfeiture amount for the violation in this case is
   $27,500. In this case, the NAL appropriately considered the circumstances
   of this case, in particular the significant period of time during which a
   significant number of prohibited announcements --nine-- were aired, and
   the substantial number of repetitions involved, in concluding that an
   upward adjustment of the forfeiture amount from the base amount of $2,000
   is warranted. However, in recognition of the fact that Christian Voice has
   maintained heretofore a good overall prior compliance record, and because
   partial reduction is appropriate for excluding the announcement
   permissibly made on behalf of The School House, we will reduce the
   forfeiture amount proposed in the NAL from $20,000 to $9,000.


   12. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
   Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80
   of the Commission's rules, that Christian Voice of Central Ohio, Inc.,
   licensee of then-noncommercial educational Station WCVZ(FM), South
   Zanesville, Ohio, FORFEIT to the United States the sum of Nine Thousand
   Dollars ($9,000) for willfully and repeatedly broadcasting advertisements
   in violation of Section 399B of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 399b, and Section
   73.503(d) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. S: 73.503(d).

   13. 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/Account Number and FRN Number referenced above.
   Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal Communications
   Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by
   overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
   SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101. Payment by wire
   transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank TREAS/NYC,
   and account number 27000001. For payment by credit card, an FCC Form 159
   (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.  When completing the FCC Form 159,
   enter the NAL/Account number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and
   enter the letters "FORF" in block number 24A (payment type code).
   Christian Voice will also send electronic notification on the date said
   payment is made to, and to Requests for full payment under an installment
   plan should be sent to:  Chief Financial Officer -- Financial Operations,
   445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington, D.C.  20554.     Christian
   Voice may contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at
   1-877-480-3201 or Email: with any questions regarding
   payment procedures.

   14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be
   sent, by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Christian Voice of
   Central Ohio, Inc., P.O. Box 783, New Albany, Ohio 43054, and to its
   counsel, David J. Kaufman, Esq., Brown, Nietert & Kaufman, Chartered,
   Suite 817, 2000 L Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.


   Kris Anne Monteith

   Chief, Enforcement Bureau

   See 47 U.S.C. S: 399b.

   See 47 C.F.R. S: 73.503(d).

   See Letter from confidential complainant to Maureen Del Duca, Chief,
   Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, dated September
   11, 2003 ("Complaint").

   See File No. BMLH-20040415AEI, granted July 19, 2004 ("WCVZ Commercial

   See Letter from William D. Freedman, Deputy Chief, Investigations and
   Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, to Christian Voice of Central Ohio,
   Inc., dated June 17, 2004 ("LOI").

   See Letter from David J. Kaufman, Esq., to William D. Freedman, Deputy
   Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, dated
   July 19, 2004 ("July 19th Response").

   See Letter from David J. Kaufman, Esq., to William D. Freedman, Deputy
   Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, dated
   September 8, 2004 ("September 8th Response").

   See Christian Voice of Central Ohio, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability
   for Forfeiture, 19 FCC Rcd 23663 (Enf. Bur. 2004) ("NAL").

   See id.

   See Response to Notice of Apparent Liability, filed January 3, 2005
   ("January 3rd Response").

   See 47 U.S.C. S: 399b(a).

   See Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational
   Broadcasting Stations, Public Notice (1986), republished, 7 FCC Rcd 827
   (1992) ("Public Notice").

   See Xavier University, Letter of Admonition, issued November 14, 1989
   (Mass Med. Bur.), recons. granted, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 5 FCC Rcd
   4920 (1990).

   Only ten announcements are at issue. We note that the NAL miscounted them
   as eleven.

   See September 8th Response at 9-10. Although Christian Voice generally
   contends that the other announcements "arguably comply" with the
   Commission's underwriting rule, it does not specify how. See id.

   See January 3rd Response at 9, citing Xavier.

   See, e.g., Xavier, supra, note 13, where the Commission found the
   reference to the underwriter's "creative services for advertising,
   marketing and training," to be non-promotional because employing creative
   material is the stock-in-trade of all advertising agencies.

   Minority TV NAL, 17 FCC Rcd 15646, 15652 (where airline underwriter was
   depicted as "harmoniously-run carrier" through portrayal of its content
   workers, message found to impermissibly encourage business patronage).

   See Public Notice supra.

   See id.

   Cf. Xavier, supra, note 13.

   January 3rd Response at 6-8.

   See Family Life Educational Foundation (KOUZ(FM)), Notice of Apparent
   Liability, 17 FCC Rcd 16137 (Enf. Bur. 2002) (forfeiture paid) ($2,000
   forfeiture imposed for repeated violation involving 120 repetitions of one
   message over a three-month period); Southern Rhode Island Broadcasting,
   Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability, 15 FCC Rcd 8115 (Enf. Bur. 2000)
   (forfeiture paid) ($1,000 forfeiture imposed for unspecified number of
   repetitions of five prohibited messages over two-day period); Window to
   the World Communications, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd
   10025 (Enf. Bur. 2000) (forfeiture reduced) ($2,000 forfeiture imposed for
   unspecified number of repetitions of single prohibited message over an
   unspecified period); Minority TV FO, 18 FCC Rcd 26611, 26614, P: 11 (Enf.
   Bur. 2003) ($10,000 forfeiture imposed for 1,911 repetitions of seventeen
   prohibited announcements over two-year period). Although Minority TV FO
   presents many facts analogous to those of the instant case, it was decided
   several years ago, and proposed a forfeiture amount that we believe is
   insufficient when compared to recent similar precedent. Furthermore,
   citing Fort Wayne Public Television, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order,
   19 FCC Rcd 20869 (Enf. Bur. 2004) (forfeiture paid), Christian Voice also
   attempts to rely on a case that was settled through consent decree. That
   reliance is misplaced. The voluntary contribution amount set in a consent
   decree case is affected by many additional factors not present in a
   straight-forward forfeiture proceeding, including other negotiated terms
   and the avoidance of further enforcement efforts by the Commission.
   Accordingly, Fort Wayne, in which the Commission agreed to a minimal
   voluntary contribution amount of $1,000 because the licensee had
   voluntarily proposed acceptable settlement terms, is inapposite.

   January 3rd Response at 1-4.

   See Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational
   Broadcast Stations, First Report and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 69 FCC
   2d 200, 230, P: 61 (1978) (the Commission held that noncommercial
   educational stations operating on the non-reserved channels are also
   required to follow the underwriting rules pertaining to similar stations
   operating on the reserved bands).

   See High I-Q Radio, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 7225

   See id. at 7235, P: 38; 7240, P: 51.

   See Xavier, supra, note 13 (the Commission defers to the reasonable good
   faith judgments exercised by licensees and finds violations where material
   is clearly promotional as opposed to merely identifying).

   See January 3rd Response at 4-6.

   See id. at 4-5.

   See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(a)(1). Section
   312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as "the conscious and deliberate
   commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to
   violate" the law. 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1). The legislative history to
   Section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful
   applies to both Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act, H.R. Rep. No. 97-765,
   97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982), and the Commission has so interpreted the
   term in the Section 503(b) context. See, e.g., Application for Review of
   Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC
   Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) ("Southern California Broadcasting Co."). The
   Commission may also assess a forfeiture for violations that are merely
   repeated, and not willful. See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Grand
   Isle, Louisiana, Notice of Apparent Liability, 16 FCC Rcd 1359 (2001)
   (issuing a Notice of Apparent Liability for, inter alia, a cable
   television operator's repeated signal leakage).  "Repeated" merely means
   that the act was committed or omitted more than once, or lasts more than
   one day. Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388, P: 5;
   Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at 1362, P: 9.

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(f).

   See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability,
   Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7591, P: 4 (2002) (forfeiture paid).

   See The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section
   1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd
   17087, 17113 (1997), recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
   Policy Statement"); 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b).

   Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-101, P: 27.

   Effective September 7, 2004, the Commission amended its rules to increase
   the maximum penalties to account for inflation since the last adjustment
   of the penalty rates. See Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Commission's
   Rules, Order, 19 FCC Rcd 10945, 10946, P: 6 (2004). Under the revised
   rules, for violations occurring after the effective date, the Commission
   may propose forfeitures against broadcast licensees of up to $32,500 per
   violation. This broadcast occurred before that effective date, so the
   statutory maximum applicable here is $27,500.

   See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b)(4); see, e.g., Pittman Broadcasting Services,
   LLC, Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 15320, 15322 (Enf. Bur. 2004) (where
   reduction based on prior record of compliance was found warranted).

   See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).

   See 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80.

   See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.

   (...continued from previous page)


   Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1092


   Federal Communications Commission DA 08-1092