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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee
Licensee of Station KZQZ St. Louis, MO Licensee of Station KQQZ DeSoto, MO
) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) File No.: EB-10-KC-0020 NAL/Acct. No.: 201132560003
FRN: 0014655476 Facility ID Nos.: 72391, 5281
Adopted: March 7, 2013 Released: March 7, 2013
By the Regional Director, South Central Region, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (Order), we issue a monetary forfeiture in
the amount of eight thousand five hundred dollars ($8,500) to
Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee (Entertainment
Media Trust or the Licensee), licensee of AM Station KZQZ, in St.
Louis, Missouri and AM Station KQQZ, in DeSoto, Missouri for willful
violation of Sections 73.1350 and 73.3526 of the Commission's rules
(Rules) and willful and repeated violation of Section 73.1590 of the
Rules.^ The noted violations involved Entertainment Media Trust's
failure to (1) operate Station KZQZ in accordance with the terms of
its station authorization, (2) make available complete public
inspection files for Stations KZQZ and KQQZ, and (3) conduct required
annual equipment performance measurements for Station KZQZ.
2. On May 19, 2011, the Enforcement Bureau's Kansas City Office (Kansas
City Office) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(NAL) ^ ^ to Entertainment Media Trust for its operation of Station
KZQZ with an incorrect directional pattern, its failure to conduct
required equipment performance measurements for Station KZQZ in 2008
and 2009, and its failure to maintain and make available complete
public inspection files for Stations KZQZ and KQQZ. As described in
detail in the NAL,^ an agent from the Kansas City Office conducted
inspections of Stations KZQZ and KQQZ on April 21, 2010. In view of
the record evidence, including the fact that agents from the
Enforcement Bureau found public inspection file violations in two
other stations owned by the Licensee on the same day as the inspection
here, the NAL proposed a forfeiture of $25,000 against Entertainment
Media Trust for violations of Sections 73.1350, 73.1590 and 73.3526 of
the Rules. Entertainment Media Trust submitted a response to the NAL
requesting reduction of the proposed forfeiture, because it asserts it
(1) operated outside of station parameters due to an equipment
malfunction, (2) maintained complete public inspection files and
temporarily misplaced them during the inspection, (3) has a history of
compliance with the Rules, and (4) is unable to pay the forfeiture.^
3. 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 Forfeiture Policy
Statement.^ In examining Entertainment Media Trust's response, Section
503(b)(2)(E) 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.^ As discussed below, we have considered Entertainment
Media Trust's response in light of these statutory factors and reduce
the forfeiture to $8,500 based on its documented inability to pay.
A. Failure to Operate Station with Correct Directional Pattern
4. We affirm the NAL's finding that Entertainment Media Trust violated
Section 73.1350 of the Rules. Section 73.1350 of the Rules states that
"[e]ach licensee is responsible for maintaining and operating its
broadcast station in a manner which complies with the technical rules
set forth elsewhere in this part and in accordance with the terms of
the station authorization."^ As reflected in the NAL, on April 20,
2010, an agent from the Kansas City Office observed Station KZQZ
operate with a daytime directional pattern at night. Although
Entertainment Media Trust does not dispute the agent's observations,
it requests reduction of the proposed forfeiture because it asserts
its violation was attributable to equipment failure.^ The Licensee
states that its supervising engineer was out of town on April 20, 2010
when the "equipment responsible for automatically switching the signal
went offline and could not be timely restored."^ Entertainment Media
Trust continues that the transmitter was switched manually from April
21, 2010 until the supervisory engineer was able to restore the failed
equipment.^ It also states that it has since "established procedures
to monitor the automatic switching to verify it occurs as required."^
5. Entertainment Media Trust does not dispute that, prior to April 21,
2010, it had (1) no station personnel monitoring the station's
transmitter, (2) no remote control equipment installed, (3) no
automated monitoring equipment to determine if the station was
operating outside authorized parameters for the pertinent time of day,
and (4) no established monitoring procedures or schedules for the
station to ensure compliance with the Rules and the station
authorization. Therefore, although its equipment may have
malfunctioned,^ Entertainment Media Trust's lack of monitoring and
maintenance of its equipment resulted in its failure to detect the
equipment malfunction and the improper directional pattern. These
omissions rendered Entertainment Media Trust's violation willful.
Accordingly, we find that Entertainment Media Trust willfully violated
Section 73.1350 of the Rules by operating with an incorrect
directional pattern and find no grounds to reduce the proposed
B. Failure to Conduct Required Equipment Performance Measurements
6. Similarly, we affirm the NAL's finding that Entertainment Media Trust
violated Section 75.1590 of the Rules. That provision states, in
relevant part, that "the licensee of each AM... station... must make
equipment performance measurements for each main transmitter ...
annually, ... with not more than 14 months between measurements..."^
and requires such measurements be kept on file for two years and made
available upon request.^ As set forth in the NAL, Entertainment Media
Trust could not produce the equipment performance measurements for
2008 and 2009 on April 20, 2010 and later admitted that it failed to
conduct the tests in those years. In response to the NAL,
Entertainment Media Trust states only that it "has established
procedures for making required measurements relative to spurious and
harmonic emissions required by S 73.1590(d)."^ Corrective action taken
to come into compliance with the Rules is expected, however, and does
not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or violations.^ Thus, we
find that Entertainment Media Trust willfully and repeatedly violated
Section 73.1590 of the Rules by failing to conduct required equipment
performance measurements for Station KZQZ in 2008 and 2009 and find no
grounds to reduce the proposed forfeiture.
C. Failure to Make Available a Complete Public Inspection File
7. We also affirm the NAL's finding that Entertainment Media Trust
violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules. Section 73.3526 of the Rules
states that "[e]very permittee or licensee of an AM, FM, TV or a Class
A station in the commercial broadcast services shall maintain a public
inspection file containing the material" set forth in that section.^
As described in the NAL, an agent from the Kansas City Office
requested to inspect the public inspection files for Station KQQZ and
Station KZQZ on April 20, 2010 and found that its public inspection
files were missing issues/programs lists for two quarters (Station
KQQZ) and eight quarters (Station KZQZ), respectively, as well as
comments received by Station KZQZ from the public via the station's
webpage. Entertainment Media Trust does not deny these facts, but
asserts that the "deficiencies in the KZQZ and KQQZ public files arose
from the ... attendant consolidation of business operations of all
four stations [KZQZ, KQQZ, WQQZ and KQQZ] into one location [in
Belleville, Illinois] resulting in the temporary mislocation of
certain portions of public files.... Offices were temporarily
relocated along with files and furnishings during the construction
process and the personnel on hand on [April 21, 2010] were unable to
locate the relevant documents."^
8. During the inspection of the Belleville main studio on April 21, 2010,
station management mentioned the consolidation and that some public
inspection file documents might be in a back room. The agent from the
Kansas City Office gave station staff ample time to look through the
boxes in the back room, but they were unable to locate the missing
documents or any evidence that the documents had been maintained.
Thus, even if Entertainment Media Trust did misplace the missing
contents of its public inspection files during the consolidation, the
Licensee's actions would still constitute a violation of Section
73.3526 of the Rules. That section requires that the file be made
available for public inspection upon request at the station's main
studio, which at the time of the inspection was the Belleville
location.^ Therefore, we find that Entertainment Media Trust willfully
violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules by failing to make available
complete public inspection files.
D. Inability to Pay
9. Entertainment Media Trust requests reduction of the proposed
forfeiture based on its inability to pay.^ With regard to an
individual's or entity's inability to pay, the Commission has
determined that, in general, gross revenues are the best indicator of
an ability to pay a forfeiture.^ Having reviewed Entertainment Media
Trust's submitted documentation, we conclude that the forfeiture
should be reduced further to $8,500, an amount within the range
determined by the Bureau to not be excessive.
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, Entertainment
Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE in the amount of eight thousand five hundred dollars
($8,500) for violations of Sections 73.1350, 73.1590, and 73.3526 of
the Commission's rules.^
11. 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.^ Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J.
Watkins, Trustee shall send electronic notification of payment to
SCR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both
First Class and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to
Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee at 6500 West
Main Street, Suite 315, Belleville, IL 62223 and to its counsel,
Anthony T. Lepore, Esq., PO Box 823662, South Florida, FL 33082-3662.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Dennis P. Carlton
Regional Director, South Central Region
^ 47 C.F.R. SS 73.1350, 73.1590, 73.3526.
^ Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee, Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 6877 (Enf. Bur. 2011).
^ A comprehensive recitation of the facts and history of this case can be
found in the NAL and is incorporated herein by reference.
^ Letter from Anthony T. Lepore, Esq., Counsel for Entertainment Media
Trust, to the Kansas City Office (June 13, 2011) (NAL Response) (on file
^ 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 73.1350.
^ NAL Response at 2.
^ See Declaration of Michael Petz, Station Engineer for Station KZQZ,
attached to NAL Response.
^ We note that the complaint that triggered this investigation alleged
that Station KQQZ had been operating 24 hours a day with full daytime
power for weeks, so there is some evidence that the violation was more
than an isolated occurrence.
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.1590(a)(6).
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.1590(d).
^ See Declaration of Michael Petz, Station Engineer for Station KZQZ,
attached to NAL Response.
^ See International Broadcasting Corporation, Order on Review, 25 FCC Rcd
1538 (2010); Seawest Yacht Brokers, Forfeiture Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6099
^ 47 C.F.R. S 73.3526(a)(2).
^ NAL Response at 1.
^ See Spirit Broadcasting, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 26 FCC Rcd 15276 (Enf.
Bur. 2011) aff'g Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, 26
FCC Rcd 10212 (Enf. Bur. 2011).
^ NAL Response at 2. Entertainment Media Trust also argues for a reduced
forfeiture because of its history of compliance and good-faith efforts to
comply with the Commission's public inspection file rules. Because we are
already reducing the forfeiture based on the Licensee's inability to pay
well beyond any reduction Entertainment Media Trust would receive for the
other arguments, we need not address these other claims.
^ See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 7 FCC Rcd
2088, 2089 (1992) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it represented
approximately 2.02 percent of the violator's gross revenues); Local Long
Distance, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 16 FCC Rcd 24385 (2000) (forfeiture not
deemed excessive where it represented approximately 7.9 percent of the
violator's gross revenues); Hoosier Broadcasting Corporation, Forfeiture
Order, 15 FCC Rcd 8640 (2002) (forfeiture not deemed excessive where it
represented approximately 7.6 percent of the violator's gross revenues).
^ 47 U.S.C. S 503(b); 47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80(f)(4),
73.1350, 73.1590, 73.3526.
^ 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 13-355
Federal Communications Commission DA 13-355