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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Bold Gold Media Group, Inc. File Number: EB-09-PA-0286
Licensee of FM station WWRR NAL/Acct. No.: 201132400004
Scranton, PA FRN: 0014795496
Facility ID Number: 36508
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: January 28, 2011 Released: January 31, 2011
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Bold Gold Media Group, Inc. ("Bold Gold"), the licensee of FM
Radio Station WWRR in Scranton, Pennsylvania, apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 11.35(a) of the Commission's Rules
("Rules") by failing to install the required Emergency Alert System
("EAS") equipment. We conclude that Bold Gold is apparently liable for
a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000).
2. On November 24, 2009, in response to a complaint that Station WWRR did
not have EAS equipment, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's
Philadelphia Office ("Philadelphia Office") conducted an inspection of
Station WWRR's main studio in Scranton, Pennsylvania. During the
inspection at the main studio in Scranton, the agent found that
Station WWRR did not have any EAS equipment installed. The station
engineer also acknowledged the failure to install EAS equipment for
Station WWRR at the main studio.
3. The agent also observed that the two co-located and co-owned stations
- WICK and WYCK - had operational EAS equipment at the main studio.
The station engineer claimed that an EAS test for Station WWRR could
possibly be transmitted by switching the audio source from its studio
location in Plains, Pennsylvania to the main studio location in
Scranton, Pennsylvania, and then conducting the test using the EAS
equipment shared by stations WICK and WYCK. At the agent's request,
the engineer attempted to conduct a test in that manner and the test
appeared to be successful. The station engineer admitted, however,
that the station had never conducted any EAS tests for Station WWRR
following such procedure. The station engineer also acknowledged that
the studio location in Plains did not have any EAS equipment installed
at the time.
4. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act")
provides that any person who willfully or repeatedly fails to comply
substantially with the terms and conditions of any license, or
willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of the provisions of
the Act or of any rule, regulation or order issued by the Commission
there under, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. The term
"willful" as used in Section 503(b) of the Act has been interpreted to
mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed knowingly. The
term "repeated" means the commission or omission of such act more than
once or for more than one day.
5. Every broadcast station is part of the nationwide EAS network and is
categorized as a participating national EAS source unless the station
affirmatively requests authority to refrain from participation, and
that request is approved by the Commission. The EAS enables the
President and state and local governments to provide immediate and
emergency communications and information to the general public. State
and local area plans identify local primary sources responsible for
coordinating carriage of common emergency messages from sources such
as the National Weather Service or local emergency management
officials. Required monthly and weekly tests originate from EAS Local
or State Primary sources and must be retransmitted by the
participating station. As the nation's emergency warning system, the
Emergency Alert System is critical to public safety, and we recognize
the vital role that broadcasters play in ensuring its success. The
Commission takes seriously any violations of the Rules implementing
the EAS and expects full compliance from its licensees.
6. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires all broadcast stations to
ensure that EAS encoders, EAS decoders, and attention signal
generating and receiving equipment are installed and operational so
that the EAS monitoring and transmitting functions are available
during the times a station is in operation. The rules do not specify
at which studio a station must install its EAS equipment; therefore
Bold Gold could have installed EAS equipment for Station WWRR at
either the main studio in Scranton or the studio in Plains. During the
November 24, 2009, inspection at Station WWRR's main studio in
Scranton, the Philadelphia Office agent found that Station WWRR did
not have any EAS equipment installed. Bold Gold also acknowledged that
it did not have any EAS equipment installed at its studio in Plains.
Indeed, there is no evidence that Station WWRR had any EAS equipment
for Station WWRR installed at either location from the time Bold Gold
purchased the station in 2006 until February 2010. Accordingly, based
on the evidence before us, we find that Bold Gold apparently willfully
and repeatedly violated Section 11.35(a) of the Rules by failing to
install the required EAS equipment for Station WWRR.
7. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture for EAS equipment that is not
installed or operational is $8,000. In assessing the monetary
forfeiture amount, we must also take into account the statutory
factors set forth in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include
the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, 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. Because Bold Gold failed to install EAS equipment for
Station WWRR from the time it purchased the station in 2006 until
February 2010, we find that an upward adjustment of $2,000 is
warranted. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and
the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Bold Gold
is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $10,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Bold Gold Media Group is
hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for violation of Section
11.35(a) of the Rules.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules within thirty days of the release date of this
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Bold Gold Media Group,
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a
written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
10. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by credit card, check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission. The payment must include the 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. If you have questions, please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. Bold Gold shall also send electronic notification
to NER-Response@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made.
11. The written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the
proposed forfeiture, if any, must include a detailed factual statement
supported by appropriate documentation and affidavits pursuant to
Sections 1.80(f)(3) and 1.16 of the Rules. The written statement, if
any, must be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement
Bureau, Northeast Region, Philadelphia Office, One Oxford Valley
Building, Suite 404, 2300 East Lincoln Highway, Langhorne,
Pennsylvania 19047 and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in
the caption. The statement should also be emailed to
12. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in
response to a claim of inability to pay unless the petitioner submits:
(1) federal tax returns for the most recent three-year period; (2)
financial statements prepared according to generally accepted
accounting practices ("GAAP"); or (3) some other reliable and
objective documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner's
current financial status. Any claim of inability to pay must
specifically identify the basis for the claim by reference to the
financial documentation submitted.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
for Forfeiture shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and by regular mail, to Bold Gold Media Group, at 1049
North Sekol Road, Scranton, Pennsylvania, 18504.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Gene J Stanbro
47 C.F.R. S: 11.35(a).
Section 11.51(l) of the Rules states that "EAS Participants that are
co-owned and co-located with a combined studio or control facility, (such
as an AM and FM licensed to the same entity and at the same location or a
cable headend serving more than one system) may provide the EAS
transmitting requirements contained in this section for the combined
stations or systems with one EAS Encoder." 47 C.F.R. S: 11.51(l).
Bold Gold has the capability of originating programming from the main
studio in Scranton, but originates all of its programming from a studio at
the Mohegan Sun Casino at Pocono Downs in Plains, Pennsylvania. Bold Gold
uses a Studio Transmitter Link (STL) to transmit the broadcasts for
Station WWRR from the Mohegan Sun Casino back to the station's transmitter
site in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Bold Gold also is configured with an STL
to transmit the broadcasts from Station WWRR's main studio to the
station's transmitter site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
During the November 24, 2009 inspection at the main studio in Scranton,
the agent found a copy of the maintenance log for Station WWRR, dated
September 1, 2008, and signed by the station engineer, which stated that
"[a]t this time, when broadcasting from Plains PA, WWRR (FM) does not meet
the requirements of Part 11 of the FCC rules regarding EAS Encoding, EAS
Decoding or EAS Retransmission."
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
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', when used with reference to the
commission or omission of any act, 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, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting
Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991), recon. denied, 7
FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of
the Act, provides that "[t]he 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 C.F.R. S:S: 11.11, 11.41.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 11.1, 11.21.
47 C.F.R. S: 11.18. State EAS plans contain guidelines that must be
followed by broadcast and cable personnel, emergency officials and
National Weather Service personnel to activate the EAS for state and local
emergency alerts. The state plans include the EAS header codes and
messages to be transmitted by the primary state, local and relay EAS
47 C.F.R. S: 11.35(a).
Bold Gold states that, subsequent to the inspection, it installed EAS
equipment for Station WWRR at the Plains studio and that it successfully
transmitted an EAS test on February 4, 2010. See Letters from Robert
VanDerheyden, Chief Operating Officer, Bold Gold Media Group, to
Philadelphia Office, dated November 27, 2009, and February 6, 2010. We
note that it is irrelevant that Bold Gold was able to conduct an EAS test
for Station WWRR by switching the composite audio source from the Plains
location to the Scranton main studio using Stations WICK and WYCK's EAS
equipment during the November 24, 2009 inspection because, by its own
admission, Bold Gold had not previously used such a procedure, and it was
therefore not operational as required by the Rules. Additionally, using
such a procedure would not bring Bold Gold into compliance with our EAS
Rules. Stations must have the capability to monitor their local primary
sources for unscheduled emergency messages and to retransmit such messages
on an emergency basis when necessary. If an actual and unscheduled EAS
message was received, someone would need to be present at the Station WWRR
studio (1) to hear that an EAS message was being received by Stations WICK
and WYCK, (2) to switch the audio source from the studio location in
Plains, Pennsylvania to the main studio location in Scranton,
Pennsylvania, (3) to interrupt normal programming, and (4) to conduct the
test using the EAS equipment shared by Stations WICK and WYCK. Moreover,
this procedure could not be followed without undermining the ability of
co-owned Stations WICK and WYCK to comply with their EAS requirements.
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) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. S:1.80.
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 11.35(a).
See 47 C.F.R. S:1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-178
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-178