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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of File No.: EB-11-DT-0223
Townsquare Media of Flint, Inc. NAL/Acct. No.: 201232360006
Licensee of AM Station WLCO Facility ID # 14225
Lapeer, Michigan FRN: 0004282216
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: June 4, 2012 Released: June 4, 2012
By the District Director, Detroit Office, Northeast Region, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), we find
that Townsquare Media of Flint, Inc. (Townsquare), licensee of AM
Station WLCO in Lapeer, Michigan (Station), apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 73.1745(a) of the Commission's rules
(Rules) by operating at times other than those specified in its
license. We conclude that Townsquare is apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000).
2. Station WLCO is authorized to operate only during daytime hours and
must cease operating at sunset. During the month of September of each
year, the Station must cease operating at 7:45 p.m. Eastern Daylight
Time (EDT). On September 12, 2011, in response to a complaint of
nighttime operation, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's Detroit
Office monitored the Station beginning at 7:45 p.m. EDT and observed
that the Station continued to operate until at least 8:45 p.m. EDT,
when the agent ceased monitoring.
3. On October 12, 2011, the agent inspected the Station and notified the
Station's General Manager and Chief Engineer that the agent observed
the Station operating at nighttime, in direct contravention of its
daytime-only authorization. Both the General Manager and Chief
Engineer stated that they were not aware that the Station was
operating after sunset. Later that day, the Chief Engineer reported to
the agent via electronic mail that he discovered that the battery in
the transmitter's control unit had died, which resulted in the
transmitter not automatically shutting down at sunset. The Chief
Operator further reported that the battery had been replaced and that
an alarm system was programmed into the transmitter's control unit so
that, going forward, Station personnel will be notified if the
transmitter does not shut down at sunset.
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
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 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. The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or for more than one day.
A. Operation at Times not Authorized by Station's License
5. Section 73.1745(a) of the Rules states that no broadcast station shall
operate at times, or with modes or power, other than those specified
and made a part of the license. Station WLCO is a daytime-only
station, and its license specifies that the Station must cease
operating at 7:45 p.m. EDT during the month of September. On September
12, 2011, an agent from the Detroit Office observed the Station
operating after sunset. The Chief Engineer later reported to the agent
that the battery in the transmitter's control unit had died, which
resulted in the transmitter not shutting down at sunset. Based on the
evidence before us, we find that Townsquare apparently willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 73.1745(a) of the Rules by operating at
times not specified in its license.
B. Proposed Forfeiture Amount
6. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for exceeding power
limits is $4,000. 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
Townsquare is apparently liable for a total forfeiture of $4,000 for
operating its daytime-only station after sunset.
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, 0.204,
0.311, 0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission's rules, Townsquare Media of
Flint, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for
violation of Section 73.1745(a) of the Commission's rules.
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's rules, within thirty (30) calendar days of the release
date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Townsquare
Media of Flint, 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. 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
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.
Regardless of the form of payment, 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 regarding
payment procedures, please contact the Financial Operations Group Help
Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or E-mail: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov. Townsquare
will send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
10. 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 1.16 and .80(f)(3) of the Rules. Mail the written statement
to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Northeast
Region, Detroit Office, 24897 Hathaway Street, Farmington Hills,
Michigan, 48335, and include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the
caption. Townsquare also shall e-mail the written response to
11. 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
12. 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 Townsquare Media of Flint, Inc. at
G3338 Bristol Road, Burton, Michigan 48529, and to Townsquare Media of
Flint, Inc. c/o Townsquare Management Company, LLC 240 Greenwich
Avenue Greenwich, Connecticut 06830.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James A. Bridgewater
Detroit District Office
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1745(a).
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, para. 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., 16 FCC Rcd at 1362.
47 C.F.R. S: 73.1745(a).
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), recons. 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, 0.204(b), 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 12-872
Federal Communications Commission DA 12-872