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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
West Helena Broadcasters, Inc. File Number: EB-07-OR-096
Licensee of KCLT-FM NAL/Acct. No. 200832620002
West Helena, Arkansas FRN: 0010279719
Facility ID # 71608
Adopted: January 7, 2008 Released: January 9, 2008
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of seven thousand dollars ($7,000) to West Helena
Broadcasters, Inc. ("Broadcasters, Inc."), licensee of station
KCLT-FM, in West Helena, Arkansas, for willful and repeated violation
of Sections 11.35 and 73.3526 of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The
noted violations involve Broadcasters, Inc.'s failure to have an
operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") and failure to maintain and
make available a complete public inspection file.
2. On August 22, 2007, in response to a complaint, an agent from the
Commission's New Orleans Office of the Enforcement Bureau ("New
Orleans Office") inspected station KCLT-FM's main studio in West
Helena, Arkansas accompanied by the station's general manager. During
the inspection, the EAS unit was set in manual mode, and the DJ who
was responsible for running EAS tests was not present. The general
manager was unable to run an EAS test to verify the EAS equipment was
operational. All logs and printouts for the EAS, provided by the
general manager the day of the inspection, were over a year old. The
general manager could provide no evidence that the EAS had been
operational after June 2006. In response to a request made during
normal business hours, the general manager was only able to produce an
old contour map and the most recent ownership report.
3. On August 23, 2007, an agent from the New Orleans Office monitored
station KCLT-FM from 8:20 - 9:00 A.M. C.D.T. During this time, the
agent did not hear an EAS test broadcast by the station. After
arriving at the main studio at 9:00 A.M. C.D.T., the general manager
stated that the station conducted an EAS test at 8:30 A.M. C.D.T. and
was unable to run another test because he hit a button preventing
activation of the EAS. At 9:10 A.M., the general manager provided the
printout for the test run earlier that morning. The time on the
printout was listed as 9:30 A.M., but the general manager stated the
time was an hour off. The agent also asked to inspect the station's
public inspection file. The general manager was able to produce a copy
of the current station authorization, the old contour map and the
ownership report, but he had been unable to locate any other documents
from the station's public inspection file.
4. On November 14, 2007, the New Orleans Office issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Broadcasters, Inc. in the amount
of eighteen thousand dollars ($18,000) for the apparent willful and
repeated violation of Sections 11.35 and 73.3526 of the Rules.
Broadcasters, Inc. submitted a response to the NAL requesting a
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture based on its
inability to pay.
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 Broadcasters, Inc.'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
6. Section 11.35 of the Rules requires all broadcast stations to ensure
that EAS encoders, EAS decoders and Attention Signal generating and
receiving equipment is installed and operational so that the
monitoring and transmitting functions are available during the times
the station is in operation. Broadcast stations must also determine
the cause of any failure to receive required monthly and weekly EAS
tests, and must indicate in the station's log why any required tests
were not received and when defective equipment is removed and restored
to service. On August 22, 2007, station KCLT-FM was unable to run an
EAS test. The most recent EAS printout for the station was dated June
2006, and the station had no evidence that its EAS was operational
after June 2006. On August 23, 2007, station KCLT-FM transmitted an
EAS test but the test was not broadcast over the air.
7. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules requires broadcast stations to
maintain for public inspection, a file containing materials listed in
that section. Section 73.3526(c)(1) of the Rules states that the file
shall be available for public inspection at any time during regular
business hours. Section 73.3526(e) of the Rules specifies the material
to be retained in the public inspection file. On August 22 and 23,
2007, in response to requests made during regular business hours,
station KCLT-FM's general manager was unable to locate or make
available a complete public inspection file. He was only able to
locate an old contour map, an ownership report, and the current
8. Thus, based on the evidence, we find that Broadcasters, Inc. willfully
and repeatedly violated Sections 11.35 and 73.3526 of the Rules by
failing to have operational EAS and failing to maintain or make
available a complete public inspection file.
9. In its response to the NAL, Broadcasters, Inc. asserts that a $18,000
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
Broadcasters, Inc.'s financial documentation, we conclude that a
reduction of the forfeiture to $7,000 would be appropriate.
10. We have examined Broadcasters, Inc.'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
Broadcasters, Inc. willfully and repeatedly violated Sections 11.35
and 73.3526 of the Rules. Although cancellation of the proposed
monetary forfeiture is not warranted, reduction of the forfeiture
amount to $7,000 is appropriate based on Broadcasters, Inc.'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, West Helena Broadcasters, Inc.
IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of seven thousand
dollars ($7,000) for violation of Sections 11.35 and 73.3526 of the
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 West Helena
Broadcasters, Inc. at its 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. 200832620002
(Enf. Bur., New Orleans Office, November 14, 2007) ("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: 11.35(a) and (b).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(a)(2).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(c)(1).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(e).
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. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 11.35,
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-25
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-25