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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )) File N0.: EB-11-PA-0156
Curran Communications, Inc. ) NAL/Acct. No.: 201232400003
Licensee of AM Station WPAM ) Facility ID #: 14741
Pottsville, Pennsylvania ) FRN: 0003789781
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE AND ORDER
Adopted: February 14, 2012 Released: February 14, 2012
By the Acting District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order (NAL),
we find that Curran Communications, Inc. (Curran), licensee of AM
Station WPAM, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania (Station), apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 73.3526(e)(12) of the
Commission's rules (Rules) by failing to maintain and make available
the quarterly issues/programs lists in the local public inspection
file. We conclude that Curran is apparently liable for a forfeiture in
the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000). We further direct Curran
to submit a written statement signed under penalty of perjury stating
that the Station is now in compliance with Section 73.3526(e)(12) of
2. On August 10, 2011, agents from the Enforcement Bureau's Philadelphia
Office conducted an inspection with the Station's chief operator at
the Station's main studio in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The agents
reviewed the materials in the Station's public inspection file and
found that the station was missing twenty quarterly issues/programs
lists, i.e., all quarterly issues/programs lists since the Commission
granted the Station's renewal application on July 28, 2006. The agent
asked the Station's chief operator if any of the quarterly radio
issues program lists were available. The chief operator responded that
the Station does not maintain such records.
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.
A. Failure to Maintain Issues/Programs Lists
4. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules requires broadcast stations to
maintain for public inspection a file containing materials listed in
that section. Section 73.3526(c)(1) of the Rules specifies that the
file shall be available for public inspection at any time during
regular business hours, and 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 10, 2011, agents reviewed the Station's
public inspection file and found that it did not contain any quarterly
issues/programs lists. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Curran 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 the Station's public inspection file.
A. Proposed Forfeiture and Reporting Requirements
5. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement, and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount 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, 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
Curran is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of ten
thousand dollars ($10,000) for its failure to maintain any quarterly
issues/programs lists during the current license term.
6. We direct Curran to submit a statement signed under penalty of perjury
by an officer or director of Curran stating: (1) the radio
issues/program lists are being compiled, and (2) the radio
issues/program lists are being placed in the public inspection file by
the tenth day of the succeeding calendar quarter. This statement must
be provided to the Philadelphia Office at the address listed in
paragraph 11 within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of
this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order.
IV. 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, 0.311,
0.314 and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Curran Communications, Inc.
is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in the
amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for violation of Section
73.3526(e)(12) of the Rules.
8. 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 and Order, Curran
Communications, Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Curran Communications, Inc. SHALL SUBMIT a
sworn statement as described in paragraph 6 to the Enforcement Bureau
Office listed in paragraph 11 within thirty (30) days of the release
date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order.
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. If payment is made, Curran Communications, Inc.
shall send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
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. Mail the written statement
to Federal Communications Commission. , Enforcement Bureau, Northeast
Region, Philadelphia Office, One Oxford Valley Building, Suite 404,
2300 East Lincoln Highway, Langhorne, Pennsylvania 19047 and include
the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. Curran Communications,
Inc. also shall email the written response to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
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 and Order shall be sent by both Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested, and regular mail, to Curran Communications, Inc. at
101 N. Centre Street, Pottsville, Pennsylvania 17901.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Acting District Director
Philadelphia District Office
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(e)(12).
See BR-20060317AAV, granted July 28, 2006.
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).
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." See Callais Cablevision, Inc.
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(a)(2).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(c)(1).
47 C.F.R. S: 73.3526(e)(12).
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,
See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.
47 C.F.R. S:S: 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 12-198
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-198