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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Stephen R. Peters ) File Number: EB-10-CF-153
Licensee of FM Station WHAW ) NAL/Acct. No. 201132340001
Lost Creek, WV ) FRN: 0004993507
Facility ID # 63489 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: May 23, 2011 Released: May 24, 2011
By the District Director, Columbia Field Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
that Stephen R. Peters, licensee of AM Station WHAW, Lost Creek, West
Virginia, apparently willfully and repeatedly violated section
73.3526(e)(12) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") by failing to
maintain and make available quarterly radio issues/programs lists in
the local public inspection file. We conclude that Mr. Peters is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand
2. On August 24, 2010, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's Columbia
Office conducted an inspection during normal business hours with Mr.
Peters at Station WHAW's main studio, located at 300 Harrison Avenue
in Weston, West Virginia. The agent reviewed the materials in the
public inspection file and found that the file did not contain any
issues/programs lists for the current license term. Mr. Peters
admitted to the agent that the station did not maintain
3. Section 503(b)(1) 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 to the United States 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 sections 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. "Repeated" means that the act was
committed or omitted more than once, or last more than one day.
4. Section 73.3526 of the Rules (known as the "public inspection file
rule") requires broadcast stations to maintain and make available a
public inspection file for public inspection at any time during normal
business hours. Section 73.3526(e)(12) of the Rules specifically
requires licensees to place in their public inspection file, for each
calendar quarter, a list of programs that have provided the station's
most significant treatment of community issues during the preceding
three month period. This list is known as the "issues/programs list"
and must include a brief narrative describing what issues were given
significant treatment and the programming that provided this
treatment. The description of the programs must include, but shall not
be limited to, the time, date, duration, and title of each program in
which the issue was treated. Copies of the issues/programs list must
be retained in the public inspection file until final action has been
taken on the station's next license renewal application. On August 24,
2010, an agent reviewed Station WHAW's public inspection file and
found that it did not include any quarterly issues/programs lists for
the current license term, which began October 1, 2003. Mr. Peter's
admitted that the station did not maintain issues/programs lists.
Accordingly, based on the evidence before us, we find that Mr. Peters
apparently willfully and repeatedly violated section 73.3526(e)(12) of
the Rules by failing to maintain the issues/programs lists and make
them available in Station WHAW's public inspection file.
5. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture for violation of the public
file rule 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, any 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
Stephen R. Peters is apparently liable for a ten thousand dollar
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, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314 and 1.80 of the Rules, Stephen R. Peters is hereby
NOTIFIED of his APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of
ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for violations of section
73.3526(e)(12) of the Rules.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to section 1.80 of the Rules,
within thirty days of the release date of this Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, Stephen R. Peters 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. If you have questions, please contact the
Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email:
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. Stephen R. Peters shall also send electronic
notification on the date said payment is made to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
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 must
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau,
Northeast Region, Columbia Office, 9200 Farm House Lane, Columbia, MD,
21046, and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
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 Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested, and regular mail, to Stephen R. Peters at his address of
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
See 47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(e)(12).
The current license term began on October 1, 2003. See BR-20030527ACZ,
granted September 25, 2003.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b). See also 47 C.F.R. S: 1.80(a)(1).
47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1).
See 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., Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991).
See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 (2001) ("Callais Cablevision")
(proposing a forfeiture for, inter alia, a cable television operator's
repeated signal leakage).
See Southern California Broadcasting, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388; Callais
Cablevision, 16 FCC Rcd at 1362.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526.
See 47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(e)(12).
See 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.
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).
See 47 U.S.C. S: 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-940
Federal Communications Commission DA 11-940