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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Entertainment Media Trust )
Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee )
Licensee of Station WQQX ) EB-10-CG-0080
East St. Louis, Illinois ) NAL/Acct. No. 201132320003
Facility ID # 72815 ) FRN: 0014655476
Licensee of Station WQQW )
Highland, Illinois )
Facility ID # 90598 )))
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: May 18, 2011 Released: May 19, 2011
By the District Director, Chicago Office, Northeast Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee,
("Entertainment Media Trust"), licensee of AM Stations WQQX, East St.
Louis, Illinois and WQQW, Highland, Illinois, apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated section 73.3526 of the Commission's Rules
("Rules") by failing to maintain and make available local public
inspection files for Stations WQQW and WQQX. We conclude that
Entertainment Media Trust is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the
amount of twenty-four thousand dollars ($24,000).
2. On April 20, 2010, in response to a complaint regarding possible rule
violations, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's Chicago Office
conducted an inspection of co-located Stations WQQX and WQQW at the
stations' main studio in Belleville, Illinois. The agent conducted the
inspection with the stations' general manager and broadcast
consultant. The agent found that neither station was maintaining a
local public inspection file. When asked about the stations' public
inspection files, station personnel were only able to produce
ownership reports from 2008.
3. 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
thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty. Section
312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as the "conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to
violate" the law. The legislative history to section 312(f)(1) of the
Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both section
312 and 503(b) of the Act and the Commission has so interpreted the
term in the section 503(b) context. The Commission may also assess a
forfeiture for violations that are merely repeated, and not willful.
The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of such act more
than once or for more than one day.
4. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules states that "[e]very permittee or
licensee of an AM, FM, TV or a Class A TV 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
hours. During regular business hours on April 21, 2010, an agent
inspected Stations WQQX and WQQW and found that neither station was
maintaining a public inspection file, and, accordingly, could not make
such file available for inspection. Based on the evidence before us,
we find that Entertainment Media Trust apparently willfully violated
section 73.3526 of the Rules by failing to make available public
inspection files for Stations WQQX and WQQW and willfully and
repeatedly violated section 73.3526 of the Rules by failing to
maintain complete public inspection files for those stations.
5. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for each violation of
the public file rules is $10,000. 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, and history of prior
offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may
require. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, section 1.80 of the
Rules, and the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that
Entertainment Media Trust is apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of $24,000 ($12,000 for Station WQQX and $12,000 for WQQW).
Our decision to upwardly adjust the base forfeiture amount by $2,000
for each station is influenced by our finding in another enforcement
action issued today involving an inspection of two other stations
owned by Entertainment Media Trust on the same day as the inspection
here. That inspection found additional public inspection file
violations at both stations, raising concerns that Entertainment Media
Trust may have a systematic compliance issue with the Commission's
public inspection file rules. We strongly encourage Entertainment
Media Trust to review those rules closely and ensure that all of its
facilities are in compliance.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
6. 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, Entertainment Media Trust,
Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee, is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT
LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of twenty-four thousand
dollars ($24,000) for violations of section 73.3526 of the Rules.
7. 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, Entertainment Media
Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee, SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
8. 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. 20554.8 If you have questions, please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. If payment is made, Entertainment Media Trust
shall send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
9. 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, Chicago Office, 1550 North Northwest
Highway, Room 306, Park Ridge, Illinois 60068 and must include the
NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. The statement should also be
emailed to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
10. 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.
11. 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 regular mail, to Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J.
Watkins, Trustee, at 6500 W. Main Street, Suite 315, Belleville, IL
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James M. Roop
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(e)(12).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).
47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).
H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) ("This provision
[inserted in section 312] defines the terms `willful' and `repeated' for
purposes of section 312, and for any other relevant section of the act
(e.g., section 503).... As defined ... `willful' means that the licensee
knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless of whether there
was an intent to violate the law. `Repeated' means more than once, or
where the act is continuous, for more than one day. Whether an act is
considered to be `continuous' would depend upon the circumstances in each
case. The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language in
sections 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission's application
of those terms ...").
See, e.g., Application for Review of Southern California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991) ("Southern
California Broadcasting Co."), recon. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 P: 10 (2001) ("Callais
Cablevision, Inc.") (proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable
television operator's repeated signal leakage).
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: 73.3526(a)(2).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(b).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(c).
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).
Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee, Notice of Apparent
Liability, DA 11- 900 (Enf. Bur. rel. May 19, 2011).
47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80, 73.3526.
8 See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-902
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-902