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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Hispanic-Multicultural Broadcasting ) File Number:
Licensee of Station WJRN-LP NAL/Acct. No.
) FRN: 0010330488
Facility ID # 133510
Adopted: March 5, 2008 Released: March 7, 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 six thousand four hundred dollars ($6,400) to
Hispanic-Multicultural Broadcasting Association ("Hispanic"), licensee
of station WJRN-LP, Summerfield, Florida, for repeated violation of
Section 11.35(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The noted
violations involve Hispanic's failure to install an Emergency Alert
System ("EAS") decoder.
2. On August 30, 2006, agents from the Commission's Tampa Office of the
Enforcement Bureau ("Tampa Office") conducted an inspection of station
WJRN-LP at its main studio in Summerfield, Florida. The agents found
the station had not installed an EAS decoder. At the time of
inspection, the station manager admitted that the station did not have
an EAS decoder and stated he was not aware that the station was
required to have one.
3. On January 23, 2007, the Tampa Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture to Hispanic in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000), for the apparent repeated violation of Section
11.35(a) of the Rules. Hispanic submitted a response the NAL
requesting a reduction of the proposed forfeiture.
4. The proposed forfeiture amounts 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 Hispanic'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.
5. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires Broadcast stations to be
responsible for ensuring that ... EAS Decoders ... 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. Section
11.11(a) of the Rules states that as of January 1, 1997, low power FM
stations are required to have an EAS decoder. During an inspection
when the station was in operation, station WJRN-LP did not have an
installed EAS decoder. Station personnel were not aware at the time of
the inspection that the station was required to have an installed EAS
decoder. There was no evidence that the station had ever installed an
EAS decoder at the station, and the station's license was granted May
2, 2005. In response to the NAL, Hispanic reiterates that it wasn't
aware of the EAS decoder requirement and that previously it did not
have the financial resources to purchase an EAS decoder. Hispanic
states that it has since purchased and installed an EAS decoder. Thus,
based on the evidence before us, we find that Hispanic repeatedly
violated Section 11.35(a) of the Rules by failing to install an EAS
6. Hispanic also states that imposition of the $8000 forfeiture would
pose a financial hardship for the station, but it failed to provide
financial documentation of its finances with its response to the NAL.
Hispanic was provided another opportunity to provide corroborating
documentation of its finances and requested additional time to do so.
Hispanic subsequently told the Tampa Office that it would pay the
forfeiture in installments. However, as of March 4, 2008, Hispanic has
neither provided documentation of its finances nor entered into an
installment payment plan for the proposed forfeiture. Because Hispanic
has not provided any documentation of its finances, we are unable to
determine whether a reduction of the proposed forfeiture on the basis
of inability to pay would be appropriate.
7. Finally, Hispanic requests a reduction of the proposed forfeiture
because it has not received a prior violation. We have reviewed our
records and reduce the forfeiture to $6,400, based on Hispanic's
history of compliance with the Rules.
8. We have examined Hispanic'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 a reduction of
the proposed forfeiture to $6,400 is warranted, based on its history
of compliance with the Rules.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
9. 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, Hispanic-Multicultural
Broadcasting Association IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the
amount of six thousand four hundred dollars ($6,400) for violation of
Section 11.35(a) of the Rules.
10. 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[s] 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). 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. Please contact the Financial Operations
Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with
any questions regarding payment procedures.
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to
Hispanic-Multicultural Broadcasting Association at its address of
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. S: 11.35(a).
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200732700007
(Enf. Bur., Tampa Office, January 23, 2007) ("NAL").
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 C.F.R. S: 11.35(a).
47 C.F.R. S: 11.11(a).
We do not need to address whether this apparent violation was willful,
because we find that the apparent violation was repeated. However, "prior
knowledge or understanding of the law is unnecessary to a determination of
whether a violation existed [and] ... [t]he Commission also does not
consider ignorance of the law a mitigating factor." Profit Enterprises,
Inc., 8 FCC Rcd 2846, 2846 (1993), cancelled on other grounds, 12 FCC Rcd
14999 (1997); see also Southern California Broadcasting Company, 6 FCC Rcd
As provided by 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), a continuous violation is
"repeated" if it continues for more than one day. The Conference Report
for Section 312(f)(2) indicates that Congress intended to apply this
definition to Section 503 of the Act as well as Section 312. See H.R. Rep.
97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982). See Southern California Broadcasting
Company, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) and Western Wireless Corporation, 18
FCC Rcd 10319 at fn. 56 (2003).
See Letter from Juan Nieves, Hispanic-Multicultural Broadcasting, to Ralph
Barlow, District Director, Tampa Office, dated March 29, 2007.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4), 11.35(a).
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-505
Federal Communications Commission DA 08-505