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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
World Media Broadcast Company File No: EB-10-NF-0003
Licensee of Station WCLM(AM) NAL/Acct. No.: 201032640002
Highland Springs, Virginia FRN: 5016308
Facility ID # 73728
Adopted: May 17, 2011 Released: May 17, 2011
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order ("Order"), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of five thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500) to World
Media Broadcast Company, ("World Media"), licensee of Station
WCLM(AM), in Highland Springs, Virginia for willful and repeated
violation of sections 11.35(a), 73.1400(a)(1)(ii) and 73.3526 of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules"). The noted violations involve World
Media's failure to maintain: (1) functioning Emergency Alert System
("EAS") equipment; (2) functioning transmission system remote control
equipment; and (3) a public inspection file at its main studio, and
make that file available upon request.
2. As discussed in detail in the Notice of Apparent Liability ("NAL") in
this case, on January 26, 2010, during an inspection of the main
studio and transmitter site for Station WCLM in Richmond, Virginia, an
agent of the Enforcement Bureau's Norfolk Office ("Norfolk Office")
observed that the station's EAS encoder/decoder unit installed at the
main studio was not operational. Both the station manager and the
"technical representative" for the station admitted that neither of
them knew if an EAS Encoder/Decoder unit was installed at the main
studio or when the last EAS test was sent. In addition, World Media
was unable to produce any evidence that required EAS weekly or monthly
tests had ever been sent or received.
3. In response to a request to inspect Station WCLM's public inspection
file during regular business hours, the station manager was unable to
make the public inspection file or any of the required contents of the
file available for inspection. The station manager stated that Station
WCLM's public inspection file was maintained at World Media's
headquarters in Washington, DC. The agent also observed that the
installed transmitter dial-up remote control system at the Station
WCLM transmitter site was inoperative. According to the station
manager and "technical representative," the transmitter remote control
unit was "hit by lightning" sometime in November 2009 and had not been
repaired or replaced.
4. In view of the record evidence, including World Media's admissions,
the NAL proposed a forfeiture of $21,000 against the licensee for
violation of sections 11.35(a), 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), and 73.3526 of the
Rules. World Media submitted a response to the NAL requesting
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture based on its
history of compliance with the Rules, its prompt action to repair its
EAS equipment, and its inability to pay the forfeiture. World Media's
response does not dispute the violations identified in the NAL.
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 Forfeiture Policy
Statement. In examining World Media'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 World Media's response
in light of these statutory factors and reduce the proposed forfeiture
to $5,500, based on its documented inability to pay.
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 when
a station is in operation. Section 73.1400(a)(1)(ii) of the Rules
states that if a remote control system of the transmission system is
used, the "remote control system must provide sufficient transmission
system monitoring and control capability so as to ensure compliance
7. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules states that "[e]very permittee or
licensee of an AM, FM, TV or a Class A station in the commercial
broadcast services shall maintain a public inspection file containing
the material" set forth in this section. The public inspection file
must be maintained at the main studio of the station, and must be
available for public inspection at any time during regular business
8. World Media does not deny any of facts stated in the NAL and
"appreciates the seriousness of the violations in this matter." We
agree that its violations are serious, particularly with respect to
the EAS violations. Thus, based on the evidence before us, we find
that World Media willfully and repeatedly violated sections 11.35(a),
73.1400(a)(1)(ii), and 73.3526 of the Rules by failing to: (1)
maintain functioning EAS equipment; (2) provide functioning
transmission system remote control equipment from November 2009 until
January 26, 2010; and (3) maintain a public inspection file at its
main studio. We also find that World Media willfully failed to make
available a public inspection file on January 26, 2010.
9. World Media asserts that its prompt action to correct the violations
and its record of compliance with the Commission's rules warrants
mitigation of the forfeiture. The Commission has long held that
post-notification corrective action taken to come into compliance with
the Rules is expected, however, and such corrective action does not
nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or violations. Moreover, the
Commission may take into account the duration of a violation in
considering whether a licensee has a history of overall compliance.
Here, station management was unaware that EAS equipment was even
located in the main studio, and there is no evidence that World
Media's EAS equipment was ever operational. Given the duration and
seriousness of the violation, we do not believe that World Media has
demonstrated a history of overall compliance with the Commission's
Rules and therefore find that no reduction of the forfeiture based on
this factor is warranted.
10. Finally, World Media asserts that the forfeiture would pose a
financial hardship and requests reduction or cancellation of the
forfeiture on this basis. With regard to an individual's or entity's
inability to pay, the Commission has determined that, in general,
gross revenues are the best indicator of an ability to pay a
forfeiture. We have reviewed our records and World Media's submitted
documentation and conclude that the forfeiture should be reduced to
$5,500, based on its documented inability to pay the forfeiture amount
proposed in the NAL.
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, 0.204,
0.311 and 1.80(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, World Media Broadcast
Company IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of five
thousand five hundred dollars ($5,500) for violations of section
11.35(a), 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), and 73.3526 of the Rules.
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/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.
World Media will also send electronic notification on the date said
payment is made to SCR-Response@fcc.gov.
13. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by First
Class and Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to World Media at
3165 Hull St., Richmond, VA 23224.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
47 C.F.R. S:S: 11.35(a), 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), 73.3526.
World Media Broadcast Company, Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 4758 (Enf. Bur., 2010).
See Letter from George C. Lacey, President, World Media Broadcast Company,
to Norfolk Office, Enforcement Bureau (June 3, 2010) ("NAL Response").
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 C.F.R. S: 11.35(a).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1400(a)(1)(ii).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(a)(2).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(c).
NAL Response at 1.
As the nation's emergency warning system, the EAS is critical to public
safety, and broadcasters play a vital role in ensuring the success of the
EAS. The Commission takes seriously any violations of the Rules
implementing the EAS and expects full compliance from its licensees.
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 Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991), recon. denied, 7 FCC
Rcd 3454 (1992).
As provided by 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), a 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 International Broadcasting Corporation, Order on Review, 25 FCC Rcd
1538, 1540, para. 6 (2010); Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC
Rcd 6099 (1994); Rama Communications, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order,
24 FCC Rcd 4981 (Enf. Bur. 2009); Bethune-Cookman College, Inc..
Forfeiture Order, 24 FCC Rcd 4513 (South Central Region 2009).
See Commercial Radio Service Corp., Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 3543,
3545 (Enf. Bur. Tech. & Pub. Safety Div., 2001) (denying a reduction for a
history of overall compliance where the licensee operated eleven
specialized mobile radio stations without authorization for five months).
See TV 45 Productions, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 11259 (Enf. Bur.
2002) (denying a reduction for a history of overall compliance where the
licensee operated without operational EAS for one year).
See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 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., Forfeiture Order, 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, Forfeiture
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b); 47 C.F.R. S:S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4),
11.35(a), 73.1400(a)(1)(ii), 73.3526.
47 U.S.C. S: 504(a).
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-890
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-890