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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Lazer Licenses, LLC Licensee of Broadcast Station
KSSB(FM) Calipatria, California ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) File No.: EB-09-SD-0156
NAL/Acct. No.: 201132940004 FRN: 0015079908 Facility ID No.: 52469
Adopted: February 14. 2013 Released: February 15, 2013
By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order, we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount
of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) to Lazer Licenses, LLC (Lazer),^
licensee of Station KSSB(FM), in Calipatria, California, for willfully
and repeatedly violating Section 73.3526 of the Commission's rules
(Rules), which requires broadcast stations to maintain a complete
public inspection file.^ The noted violations involve Lazer's failure
to maintain multiple issues/programs list in the Station KSSB(FM)
public inspection file. In addition, no later than thirty (30)
calendar days from the date of this Forfeiture Order, Lazer must
submit a statement signed under penalty of perjury that the Station
KSSB(FM) public inspection file is in compliance with Section 73.3526
of the Rules.
2. On April 21, 2010, agents from the Enforcement Bureau's San Diego
Office inspected the main studio of Station KSSB(FM), located in
Brawley, California. The agents reviewed the content of the Station
KSSB(FM) public inspection file with the general manager of the
station and discovered that required issues and programs lists were
missing for all quarters of 2007, the second, third, and fourth
quarters of 2008, the first quarter of 2009, and the first quarter of
2010. A San Diego agent telephoned the general manager on April 28,
2010 to confirm the missing issues and programs lists, but the general
manager advised that she was not familiar with the documents and would
have her manager contact the agent later. The San Diego agent did not
receive a follow-up call from any representative of Station KSSB(FM).
3. On May 25, 2010, San Diego agents returned to Station KSSB(FM) and
reexamined the contents of Station KSSB(FM)'s public inspection file
and discovered that, other than the issues/programs lists for the
second and third quarters of 2007, the above lists remained missing.
However, during this inspection, while the agents were examining the
file contents, copies of the issues/programs lists for the first
quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 were electronically sent
from Lazer's corporate offices and printed out to be placed into the
public inspection file.
4. On May 18, 2011, the San Diego Office issued a Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $8,000 to Lazer for
failing to maintain a complete public inspection file.^ Lazer
responded to the NAL on June 16, 2011.^ In its Response, Lazer argues
that the proposed forfeiture should be cancelled or reduced, based on
precedent and "overall compliance by the licensee."^
5. The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance
with Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(Act),^ Section 1.80 of the Rules,^ and the Commission's Forfeiture
Policy Statement.^ In examining Lazer's Response, Section 503(b) of
the Act requires that the Commission take into account the nature,
circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation 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.^ We consider Lazer's Response to the NAL in light of these
statutory factors and find that neither cancellation nor reduction of
the forfeiture is warranted for the reasons discussed below.
6. Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules requires that every licensee of an
AM or FM station shall maintain a public inspection file containing
the material relating to that station described in Section 73.3526(e)
of the Rules.^ Specifically, Section 73.3526(e)(12) 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 radio issues/programs list and
copies of the lists must be maintained in the file until final action
has been taken on the station's next renewal application.^ Further, as
required by Section 73.3526(b), the public inspection file shall be
maintained at the station's main studio.^ On April 21, 2010, and again
on May 25, 2010, San Diego agents found that Lazer failed to maintain
a complete public inspection file for Station KSSB(FM), by omitting
from the station's file nine and then seven quarterly issues/programs
lists, for each inspection date respectively, of the 13 quarterly
issues/programs lists required for the period between January 2007 and
the inspection in April of 2010.
7. Lazer does not dispute that quarterly issues/programs lists were
missing from the Station KSSB(FM) public inspection file as described
above.^ Rather, Lazer argues that it complied with other aspects of
Section 73.3526 of the Rules, including maintaining the other items as
required and making the public file accessible, and that the NAL
should be cancelled, because station KSSB(FM) is an "active member of
its community and serves the broad market of listeners in and around
its licensed community."^ We find no merit to Lazer's argument. The
Commission has consistently held that "licensees are expected to
comply with the Commission's Rules as well as to make continued
efforts to serve the community to which they are licensed and will not
be relived of liability for violations of the Rules by the fact they
have fulfilled their responsibility to serve their communities."^
8. We also disagree with Lazer's argument that the amount of the
forfeiture should be reduced "in light of overall compliance with the
rule" and consistent with precedent.^ We first note that Lazer has no
history of compliance with Section 73.3526 of the Rules. To the
contrary, the Commission recently affirmed a forfeiture assessed
against Lazer, and three other Lazer stations in California, for
similar violations of Section 73.3526 of the Rules, specifically for
missing quarterly issues/programs lists.^ Also, while Lazer cites to a
2006 Notice of Apparent Liability against another licensee for a
similar violation in which a $4,000 forfeiture was proposed,^ we note
that other more recent precedent proposed even larger forfeitures for
similar numbers of missing issues/programs lists.^ As each case
presents a unique set of considerations and facts, we must review this
case consistent with the statutory factors listed above.^ We also note
that the San Diego Office already reduced the proposed base forfeiture
amount from $10,000 to $8,000.^ Given the facts of this case, that
Lazer failed to maintain a complete public inspection file, beginning
in 2007, and that the Station KSSB(FM) public inspection file
continued to be incomplete over three years later, along with Lazer's
history of violations of Section 73.3526 of the Rules, we see no
reason to reduce the forfeiture amount any further.
9. We have examined Lazer's Response to the NAL pursuant to the statutory
factors above, and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy
Statement. As a result of our review, we conclude that Lazer willfully
and repeatedly violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules. Considering the
entire record and the factors listed above, we find that a forfeiture
in the amount of $8,000 is warranted. We also note that Lazer did not
indicate in its Response whether the public inspection file for
Station KSSB(FM) has come into compliance with the requirements of
Section 73.3526 of the Rules. We therefore order Lazer to submit a
written statement pursuant to Section 1.16 of the Rules^ signed under
penalty of perjury by an officer or director of Lazer within thirty
(30) calendar days of the release date of this Forfeiture Order that
Station KSSB(FM) is now in compliance with Section 73.3526 of the
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
10. 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(f)(4) of the Commission's Rules, Lazer
Licenses, LLC, IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of
eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating
Section 73.3526 of the Commission's Rules.^
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Lazer Licenses, LLC, SHALL SUBMIT a written
statement, as described in paragraph 9, within thirty (30) calendar
days of the release date of this Forfeiture Order. The statement must
be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau,
Western Region, San Diego Office, 4542 Ruffner Street - Suite 370, San
Diego, CA 92111. Lazer Licenses, LLC, shall also e-mail the written
statement to WR-Response@fcc.gov.
12. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in
Section 1.80 of the Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the
release date of this Forfeiture Order.^ If the forfeiture is not paid
within the period specified, the case may be referred to the U.S.
Department of Justice for enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to
Section 504(a) of the Act.^ Lazer Licenses, LLC, shall send
electronic notification of payment to WR-Response@fcc.gov on the date
said payment is made.
13. The payment must be made by check or similar instrument, wire
transfer, or credit card, and must include the NAL/Account number and
FRN referenced above. 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.
14. Any request for full payment 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, ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
15. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be
sent by both First Class Mail and Certified Mail, Return Receipt
Requested to Lazer Licenses, LLC, 200 South A Street, Suite 400,
Oxnard, CA, 93030, and to Harry C. Martin, its counsel of record, at
Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C., 11th Floor, 1300 North 17th St.,
Arlington, VA 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
^ The FRN for Lazer has been updated in the caption from 0015149842 to
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.3526.
^ Lazer Licenses, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC
Rcd 6850 (Enf. Bur. 2011) (NAL).
^ See Response of Lazer Licenses, LLC (filed June 16, 2011, in
^ Id. at 1.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 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), recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999)
(Forfeiture Policy Statement).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b)(2)(E).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.3526(a)(2).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.3526(e)(12).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.3526(b).
^ Lazer states that five lists were missing. Response at 1. However, the
record shows that nine were missing during the April 21, 2010, inspection
and that seven were missing during the May 25, 2010, inspection until
Lazer's corporate offices emailed two of the missing lists to the KSSB(FM)
main studio after the San Diego agent began the inspection.
^ Response at 2.
^ Radio Beaumont, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 50 FCC 2d 904 (1975)
(a licensee's public service to its community will not justify a reduction
in the amount of a forfeiture for a licensee); see Esther Blodgett,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 18 FCC 2d 6 (1969) (a licensee is not
relieved of responsibility for complying with applicable statutes and
rules by the fact that it has performed an outstanding public service to
the community); Discussion Radio Incorporated, Memorandum Opinion and
Order and Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 19 FCC Rcd 7433
(2004) (a Commission licensee is charged with knowledge of the full range
of its obligations pursuant to the Act, the Rules and its authorization).
^ Response at 3.
^ See Lazer Licenses, LLC, Order on Review, 27 FCC Rcd 626 (2012)
(forfeiture paid) (upholding an Enforcement Bureau forfeiture against
three Lazer stations that were each missing multiple quarterly
issues/programs lists in their public inspection files).
^ Response at 4, citing to Cortaro Broadcasting Corporation, Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 200632940003 (Enf. Bur.,
Western Region, San Diego Office, released Mar.14, 2006) (forfeiture
^ Crocodile Broadcasting Corp., Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 1173 (Enf. Bur. 2011) (proposing a
$10,000 forfeiture for missing eight issues/programs list from a public
inspection file); Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee,
Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 6877 (Enf. Bur.
2011) (proposing a $12,000 forfeiture for eight issues/programs lists
missing from a public inspection file).
^ See, e.g., Twenty-One Sound Communications, Inc., Order on Review, 23
FCC Rcd 2436, 2439 (2008) (affirming an Enforcement Bureau decision that
an incomplete public inspection file, missing only three items, could
subject a licensee to monetary forfeitures regardless of why or for how
long the items were missing).
^ NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 6852.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.16.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b), 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80(f)(4),
^ 47 C.F.R. S 1.80.
^ 47 U.S.C. S 504(a).
^ 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.
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-211
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-211