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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Fellowshipworld, Inc. Licensee of Station WFWO, Medina,
New York ) ) ) ) ) ) ) File No.: EB-FIELDNER-12-00004958 NAL/Acct. No.:
201332400003 FRN: 0020533394 Facility ID No.: 172262
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: July 17, 2013 Released: July 17, 2013
By the District Director, Philadelphia Office, Northeast Region,
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL), we find
that Fellowshipworld, Inc. (Fellowshipworld), licensee of
noncommercial educational FM Station WFWO in Medina, New York (Station
WFWO or the Station), apparently willfully and repeatedly violated
Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),^ and
Section 73.1350(a) of the Commission's rules (Rules),^ by failing to
operate the Station in accordance with its authorization. We conclude
that Fellowshipworld is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the
amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
2. Pursuant to its license, Station WFWO is authorized to operate its
transmitter on frequency 89.7 MHz from Presbyterian Road in
Knowelsville, New York, at coordinates 43^o 14' 33" north latitude and
78^o 18' 27" west longitude.^ On the morning of October 18, 2012, in
response to a complaint, an agent from the Enforcement Bureau's
Philadelphia Office (Philadelphia Office) used radio direction finding
techniques to determine if the Station's transmitter was operating
from its authorized location, and the agent determined that it was
not. The agent found that the transmitter was operating, instead, from
the Fellowship Christian Center, located at 1420 Main Street in
Buffalo, New York, which is 36 miles from the location authorized in
its license. The agent also measured the field strength of the signal
on 89.7 MHz to determine if the transmitter was otherwise authorized
to operate under Part 15 of the Rules,^ and confirmed that it exceeded
the maximum permitted level of 250 uV/m at 3 meters for non-licensed
devices and, therefore, required a license to operate. A review of the
FCC database revealed that there was no license to operate the Station
on 89.7 MHz in Buffalo. In the evening of October 18, 2012, the agent
also determined that no station was operating on 89.7 MHz from the
transmitter site authorized in the Station WFWO authorization, which
further confirmed that the Station's transmitter had been moved.
3. On October 23, 2012, after several unsuccessful attempts to reach a
Fellowship representative, the agent eventually received a telephone
call from John Young, the President of Fellowshipworld. Mr. Young
stated that, on October 13, 2012, Fellowshipworld ceased operating
Station WFWO from its authorized location so that the property owner
could remove some trees around the antenna. Mr. Young also reported
that he was operating a one watt low-powered transmitter on 89.7 MHz
at 1420 Main Street in Buffalo. The agent informed Mr. Young that he
needed to cease operating the Station's transmitter from Buffalo,
because the Station exceeded the maximum permissible power level for
operation without a license and that the Station's authorization
required operation of the transmitter in Knowelsville. During the
call, Mr. Young agreed to cease operating the transmitter from
Buffalo. To ensure that there was no misunderstanding about the
directive, the Philadelphia Office, on November 1, 2012, issued
Fellowshipworld a Notice of Unlicensed Operation (NOUO), warning the
licensee of the violation and the possibility that a monetary
forfeiture might be imposed; the NOUO also ordered the licensee to
cease operation of the transmitter from the unauthorized location.^
4. On November 5, 2012, the Philadelphia Office received information
alleging that Station WFWO was again operating in the Buffalo, New
York area.^ On November 15, 2012, the agent used radio direction
finding techniques to determine if the Station was operating on 89.7
MHz from 1420 Main Street in Buffalo, and confirmed that it was.^
Later that day, the agent conducted a station inspection at 1420 Main
Street while Mr. Young was present. During the inspection, Mr. Young
claimed that he was unaware that the Station was operational and
alleged that his children must have turned on the transmitter at 1420
Main Street. Mr. Young immediately ceased operation of the Station.
Mr. Young also informed the agent that he had not yet returned the
Station to service at the authorized transmitter location in
Knowelsville. The agent later learned that Fellowshipworld filed a
request for special temporary authority to remain silent, which the
Media Bureau granted on April 10, 2013.^
5. 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. Station Operation at an Unauthorized Location
6. The evidence in this case establishes that Fellowshipworld violated
Section 301 of the Act and Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules. Section
301 of the Act prohibits the use or operation of any apparatus for the
transmission of energy or communications or signals by radio, except
under and in accordance with the Act and with a license granted under
the provisions of the Act.^ Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules state that
each licensee is responsible for maintaining and operating its
broadcast station in accordance with the terms of the station
authorization.^ Based on the Commission's records, the license for
Station WFWO authorizes a transmitter location on specific coordinates
on Presbyterian Road in Knowelsville, New York. However, on October
18, 2012, an FCC agent determined (in response to a complaint) that
Fellowshipworld was operating the Station's transmitter from a
different location--i.e., at 1420 Main Street in Buffalo, New York,
which is 36 miles from the authorized location. Notwithstanding a
verbal and written warning to Fellowshipworld that it must cease
operating the transmitter from the unauthorized location, an agent
confirmed (in response to another complaint) that Fellowship, again,
on November 15, 2012, resumed operating the transmitter from the same
unauthorized location. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Fellowshipworld apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section
301 of the Act and Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules by operating
Station WFWO's transmitter from an unauthorized location.
B. Proposed Amount
7. Pursuant to the Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section
1.80 of the Rules, the base forfeiture amount for operating at an
unauthorized location 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.^ In doing so, we find that the violation here warrants a
proposed forfeiture above the base amount. The fact that
Fellowshipworld continued to operate the Station's transmitter from an
unauthorized location after being put on notice (i.e., a verbal
warning and issuance of a NOUO) that such operation contravened the
Act and the Rules--and after promising to cease operating the
transmitter from the unauthorized location--demonstrates a deliberate
disregard for the Commission's requirements.^ In addition, we view the
misconduct in this case to be egregious because Fellowshipworld moved
the location of its transmitter more than 30 miles from its authorized
location to a significantly more populous area (i.e., from
Knowelsville to Buffalo, New York), affording Fellowshipworld a
significantly larger listening audience while potentially causing
economic or competitive harm to radio broadcast stations that have
Buffalo as their community of license.^ Thus, we find that an upward
adjustment of $4,000 in the forfeiture amount is warranted. Applying
the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80 of the Rules, and the
statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that
Fellowshipworld is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. 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, Fellowshipworld,
Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in
the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for violations of
Section 301 of the Act and Section 73.1350(a) of the Rules.^
9. 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,
Fellowshipworld, Inc. SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
wire transfer, or credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number
and FRN referenced above. Fellowshipworld shall also send electronic
notification on the date said payment is made to
NER-Response@fcc.gov. Regardless of the form of payment, a
completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.^ When
completing the FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number in block number
23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters "FORF" in block number
24A (payment type code). Below are additional instructions you
should follow based on the form of payment you select:
* Payment by check or money order must be made payable to the order of
the Federal Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the
completed Form 159) must be mailed to Federal Communications
Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent
via overnight mail to U.S. Bank - Government Lockbox #979088,
SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
* Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004,
receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete
the wire transfer and ensure appropriate crediting of the wired funds,
a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank at (314) 418-4232 on
the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
* Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit
card information on FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159
to authorize the credit card payment. The completed Form 159 must then
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St.
Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank -
Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101.
11. Any request for making full payment over time under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer--Financial
Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 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 by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail,
12. 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 1.80(f)(3) 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. Fellowshipworld, Inc.
also shall e-mail the written response to NER-Response@fcc.gov.
13. 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 principles (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
14. 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 first class mail to Fellowshipworld, Inc. at 1420 Main
Street, Buffalo, New York 14209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David C. Dombrowski
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.1350(a).
^ See BLED-20120727AFJ.
^ 47 C.F.R. Part 15.
^ Fellowshipworld, Inc., Notice of Unlicensed Operation (Nov. 1, 2012) (on
file in EB-FIELDNER-12-00004958).
^ E-mail from the director of engineering for a licensed station in
Buffalo, New York (Nov. 5, 2012) (on filed in EB-FIELDNER-12-00004958).
^ The agent listened to the Station's broadcast and heard the Station
identify itself as "Totally Gospel" and "Powered by Fellowshipworld." The
agent measured the field strength of the signal on 89.7 MHz and found that
it exceeded the maximum permitted level of 250 uV/m at 3 meters for
non-licensed devices and, therefore, required a license to operate.
^ See Request for Special Temporary Authority to Remain Silent,
BLSTA-20130212AAB (granted April 10, 2013).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 312(f)(1).
^ H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97^th 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), recons. 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." See Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at
^ 47 U.S.C. S 301.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.1350(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).
^ See, e.g., Pierre Nixon Jean, Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 27 FCC Rcd 6331 (Enf. Bur. 2012) (proposing upward adjustment
for engaging in unlicensed operation after being put on notice by FCC
agent that unlicensed operation violated the Act and Rules), aff'd,
Forfeiture Order, 28 FCC Rcd 1849 (Enf. Bur. 2013).
^ Station WFWO's community of license is Medina, New York. Medina has a
reported population of 6,060 in 2011. See City-Data.com,
http://www.city-data.com/city/Medina-New-York.html (last visited May 24,
2013). In comparison, the reported population for the City of Buffalo was
261,025 in 2011. See United States Census Bureau, State and County
QuickFacts page, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/36/3611000.html
(last visited May 24, 2013).
^ 47 U.S.C. SS 301, 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
^ An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be
obtained at http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
^ See 47 C.F.R. S 1.1914.
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 1.16, 1.80(f)(3).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1589
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1589