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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
) File Number EB-07-PA-386
Licensee of UHF Translator Station
WIIC-LP ) NAL/Acct. No. 200932400001
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ) FRN: 0010-72-4557
Facility ID # 68411 )
Adopted: February 18, 2010 Released: February 22, 2010
By the Regional Director, Northeast Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of three thousand two hundred dollars ($3,200) to Abacus
Television ("Abacus"), licensee of UHF translator station WIIC-LP in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for willfully and repeatedly violating
Section 1.903(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") by failing to
operate the station consistent with the terms of the station
2. The authorization for UHF Translator station WIIC-LP requires that the
station operate on Television Channel 29. On December 6, 2007, agents
determined that the station was operating on Television Channel 32.
Subsequent to the inspection, Abacus provided the Philadelphia Office
with an invoice showing that station WIIC-LP had been operating on
Channel 32 since April 7, 2007.
3. On October 15, 2008, the Commission's Philadelphia Office issued a
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") to Abacus in the
amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for willful and repeated
violation of Section 1.903(a) of the Rules. In its response, Abacus
does not dispute any of the findings in the NAL, but requests a
cancellation or reduction based on its inability to pay and its
history of compliance with the Commission's Rules.
4. The forfeiture amount proposed 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. In assessing forfeitures,
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act requires that we 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 such other matters as justice may
5. Abacus does not dispute the findings in the NAL, but asks that the
forfeiture amount be cancelled or substantially reduced because of its
inability to pay. To support this claim, Abacus supplied profit and
loss statements for Abacus for the three years prior to the issuance
of the NAL. When considering an inability to pay claim, the Commission
has determined that, in general, a licensee's gross revenues are the
best indicator of its ability to pay a forfeiture. If gross revenues
are sufficiently great, the mere fact that a business is operating at
a loss does not itself mean that it cannot afford to pay a forfeiture.
The Commission has also concluded that it is appropriate to take into
account "income derived from other affiliated operations. . . ."
Because Abacus is operated as a sole proprietorship, it is appropriate
to look at the gross income of its sole proprietor, Benjamin Perez.
Despite repeated efforts by Commission staff to obtain documentation
of Mr. Perez's gross income, Mr. Perez has failed to submit such
documentation. We therefore are unable to assess Mr. Perez's inability
to pay claim.
6. We have examined Abacus's response to the NAL pursuant to the
statutory factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy
Statement. Because Abacus does not dispute any of the findings in the
NAL, we find that Abacus willfully and repeatedly violated Section
1.903(a) of the Rules by failing to operate WIIC-LP consistent with
the terms of the station's authorization. Mr. Perez has failed to
submit documentation regarding his gross revenues in order for us to
assess his request for a reduction based on an inability to pay and
therefore such request is denied. We do find, however, that a
reduction is warranted based on Abacus's history of compliance with
the Commission's Rules and we reduce the forfeiture amount on that
basis to $3,200.
IV. Ordering clauses
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act,
and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules that Abacus
Television IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of three
thousand two hundred dollars ($3,200) for willful and repeated violation
of 47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a).
7. 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/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). 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.
Abacus Television shall also send electronic notification on the date
said payment is made to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Abacus
Television's address of record.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
G. Michael Moffitt.
Regional Director, Northeast Region
47 C.F.R. S: 1.903(a). Although many of the rules that apply to low power
TV stations are found in Part 74 (47 C.F.R. S:S: 74.701-74.796), Section
1.901 provides that the purpose of the Part 1 rules "is to establish the
requirements and conditions under which entities may be licensed in the
Wireless Radio Services as described in this part and in parts 13, 20, 22,
24, 26, 27, 74, 80, 87, 90, 95, 97 and 101 of this chapter." 47 C.F.R. S:
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200932400001
(Enf. Bur., Philadelphia Office, released October 15, 2008).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(D).
PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 7 FCC
Rcd 2088, 2089 (1992).
KASA Radio Hogar, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 6256,
6258 (2002) (quoting Emery Telephone, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC
Rcd 23854, 23859-60 (1998), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 7181 (1999)).
Playa del Sol Broadcasters, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 1073
(2007) (finding that the gross income of the sole proprietor, when
compared to the forfeiture amount, effectively negated the financial
47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f).
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
(Continued from previous page)
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-268
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-268