Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
This document was converted from Microsoft Word.
Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.
All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.
Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.
If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
File Number: EB-08-PA-0270
Clarion County Broadcasting Corp. )
NAL/Acct. No.: 201032400002
Licensee of Station WKQW )
Facility ID #63290 )
Adopted: October 18, 2011 Released: October 20, 2011
By the Regional Director, Northeast Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) to Clarion County
Broadcasting Corp. ("Clarion"), the licensee of FM Station WKQW in Oil
City, Pennsylvania, for willfully and repeatedly violating section
73.1745(a) of the Commission's rules ("Rules"). The noted violations
concern Clarion's operation of Station WKQW beyond the station's
2. On March 4, 2010, the Commission's Philadelphia Office issued a Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL") proposing a $4,000
forfeiture against Clarion for apparently willfully and repeatedly
violating section 73.1745 of the Rules. Specifically, an agent in the
Enforcement Bureau's Philadelphia Office observed Station WKQW
operating beyond its post-sunset authorization on three days in
October 2008 and on eighteen days in November 2008. In its response to
the NAL, Clarion does not dispute those findings, but seeks
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture claiming that, pursuant to
section 503(b)(6) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the
"Act"), the Philadelphia Office was required to issue an NAL within
one year of the date of the first violation. Clarion states that this
action is therefore time barred because the first violation occurred
on October 28, 2008, but the NAL was not issued until March 4, 2010.
In the event that the Commission does not agree that the NAL was
issued after the expiration of the statute of limitations, Clarion
claims in the alternative that it is entitled to a reduction in the
amount of the proposed forfeiture based on its history of compliance
with the Commission's rules.
3. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with section 503(b) of the Act, section 1.80 of the Rules, and the
Forfeiture Policy Statement. In examining Clarion'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. As discussed below, we have considered Clarion's response in
light of these statutory factors and decline to reduce the proposed
4. We reject Clarion's argument that the Commission was required to issue
the NAL against it within one year of the date of the violation. In
the case of broadcast station licensees, the statute of limitations in
section 503(b)(6) of the Act permits the Commission to issue a notice
of apparent liability for forfeiture if (1) the violation charged did
not occur more than one year prior to the date of issuance of the
notice of apparent liability or (2) the violation charged did not
occur prior to the date of commencement of the current license term.
Here, the violations charged occurred in October and November 2008,
and the NAL was issued on March 4, 2010. Clarion's current license
term began in 2006 and does not expire until August 1, 2014. While the
NAL was not issued within one year of the violation dates, section
503(b)(6)(A)(ii) permits the Commission to determine or impose a
forfeiture in this case because the violations charged did not occur
prior to 2006, the commencement of the Station's current license term.
Accordingly, we find that the NAL was timely issued under section
503(b)(6)(A)(ii) of the Act, and we deny Clarion's request that we
cancel the NAL.
5. We also decline to grant Clarion's request that we reduce the
forfeiture amount based on its alleged history of compliance with the
Commission's rules. We have reviewed our records and found that the
Philadelphia Office issued Clarion a Notice of Violation on March 4,
2010, for violations found during an inspection conducted on August
12, 2009. When determining an appropriate forfeiture amount, we have
the discretion to issue a higher or lower forfeiture based on the
particular facts and circumstances of each case. Here, we conclude
that a reduction based on a history of compliance with the
Commission's rules is not warranted in light of the violations found
during the inspection on August 12, 2009.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that Clarion willfully and
repeatedly violated section 73.1745(a) of the Rules by operating
Station WKQW beyond the station's post-sunset authorization.
Accordingly, pursuant to the statutory factors above, and in
conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy Statement, we conclude that
cancellation or reduction of the forfeiture is unwarranted and we
impose a forfeiture in the amount of $4,000.
III. ORDERING CLAUSES
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and sections 0.111, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's rules, Clarion County
Broadcasting Corp. IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount
of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for violations of section 73.1745(a)
of the Rules.
8. 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 enforcement 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 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.
Clarion County Broadcasting Corp. shall also send electronic
notification on the date said payment is made to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent both by
First Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Clarion
County Broadcasting Corp., 222 Seneca Street, Oil City, Pennsylvania
16301 and to its counsel, Frederick A. Polner, 16 Forest Hills Drive,
Madison, Connecticut 06443.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
G. Michael Moffitt
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1745(a).
Clarion County Broadcasting Corp., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 201032400002 (Enf. Bur., Philadelphia Office,
rel. March 4, 2010).
Section 73.1745 of the Rules provides that "[n]o broadcast station shall
operate . . . with modes or power, other than those specified and made a
part of the license." 47 C.F.R. S: 73.1745.
A comprehensive recitation of the facts and history of this case can be
found in the NAL and is incorporated herein by reference.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(6).
See Letter from Frederick A. Polner, Counsel for Clarion, to Gene Stanbro,
District Director, Philadelphia Office, dated March 23, 2010 at 2.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 1.80.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, Report and Order,
12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(6). See, e.g., KGNT, Inc., Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 15 FCC Rcd 5806, 5809 (Enf. Bur. 2000), aff'd,
Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 4656 (Enf. Bur. 2001); see also Emmis
Broadcasting Corp. of Boston, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 11 FCC Rcd
8541, 8543 (1996); Lester T. Pritchard, Letter, 6 FCC Rcd 2210 (1991) n.4.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(6)(A)(ii).
Clarion County Broadcasting Corp., Notice of Violation, NOV No.
V201032400033 (Enf. Bur., Philadelphia Office, rel. March 4, 2010).
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(b)(4); see also, e.g., World Communications, Notice
of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 19 FCC Rcd 837, 841-842
(2004)(noting that, "[a]s provided by the Commission's rules, the
Commission and its staff retain the discretion to issue a higher or lower
forfeiture, as permitted by statute").
47 U.S.C. S:, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314,
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1737
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1737