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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
CITICASTERS CO. ) File No. EB-00-IH-0065
) NAL/Acct. No. X32080015
Licensee of Station KITT(FM) ) Facility ID# 46982
Shreveport, Louisiana ) JJS
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Adopted: May 5, 2000 Released: May 9, 2000
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we
find Citicasters Co. (``Citicasters''), licensee of Station
KITT(FM), Shreveport, Louisiana, apparently liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for a
violation of Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules, which
requires licensees, among other things, to fully and accurately
disclose material terms of a contest. We find that Citicasters
conducted a contest, ``Millionaire Monday,'' without disclosing a
material term of the contest, i.e., that the prize was one
million Turkish lira, not $1,000,000.
2. On February 16, 2000, the Investigations and Hearings
Division of the Enforcement Bureau received a complaint filed on
behalf of John Richard McRae. According to the complaint, on
February 14, 2000, Mr. McRae was selected to participate in a
contest ``Do You Want to Be a Millionaire?'' conducted by
KITT(FM). Mr. McRae answered all of the required questions
correctly on the air and was told by ``Coyote,'' the on-air
personality, that he was a millionaire. After he won the
contest, Mr. McRae was told that he had won ``one million Turkish
lira,'' which Coyote represented to be worth approximately $1.90.
3. On February 24, 2000, the Investigations and Hearings
Division sent a letter of inquiry to Citicasters. In its
response, which was filed on April 14, 2000, Citicasters admitted
it ran a contest called ``Millionaire Monday'' during the
``Coyote and Kathryn'' show on February 14, 2000 and that Mr.
McRae was the winner of that contest. According to Citicasters,
the contest was a parody of the ABC television show ``Who Wants
to Be a Millionaire?'' The station ran teases promoting the
contest approximately four times a day from February 4-6 and 11-
13. The following is a transcript of the teases:
Coyote: Hold it, stop, stop, stop. Hey, hey, check
this out. It's Coyote . . .
Kathryn: And Kathryn . . .
Coyote: And coming up Monday morning . . .
Kathryn: Ooh, you could be a millionaire.
Coyote: Yes. Do you have a dictionary there?
Kathryn: Yes, it, it says, millionaire . . .
Coyote: Oh, oh, don't tell them, don't tell them the
definition. Look it up yourself, read it, ok? You can
fall into that category Monday morning right here.
Kathryn: Millionaire Monday.
Coyote: Coyote and Kathryn, on Thunder Country.
Coyote: Where you can win a million, Monday morning.
4. Citicasters states that it intentionally did not state
what the grand prize was. Citicasters claims that the contest's
status as a parody was underscored by the fact that the prizes
for correct answers to qualifying questions were a CD,
hamburgers, and movie passes for two.
5. Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules provides:
A licensee that broadcasts or advertises information
about a contest it conducts shall fully and accurately
disclose the material terms of the contest, and shall
conduct the contest substantially as announced or
advertised. No contest description shall be false,
misleading or deceptive with respect to any material
Under Note 1 to that rule, the material terms of the contest
include ``the extent, nature, and value of prizes'' and ``the
basis for valuation of prizes.'' Note 2 to the rule states:
In general, the time and manner of disclosure of the
material terms of a contest are within the licensee's
discretion. However, the obligation to disclose the
material terms arises at the time the audience is first
told how to enter or participate and continues
thereafter. The material terms should be disclosed
periodically by announcements broadcast on the station
conducting the contest, but need not be enumerated each
time an announcement promoting the contest is
broadcast. Disclosure of material terms in a
reasonable number of announcements is sufficient. In
addition to the required broadcast announcements,
disclosure of the material terms may be made in a non-
6. In this case, it appears that Citicasters violated
Section 73.1216 of the Commission's rules by not disclosing a
material term of the ``Millionaire Monday'' contest - the fact
that the prize was 1,000,000 Turkish lira not $1,000,000.
Citicasters states that it intentionally did not disclose the
nature of the prize. The failure to disclose the nature and true
value of the prize is a clear violation of the rule. Moreover,
despite Citicasters's protestations that it never claimed that
the prize was $1,000,000, a listener had no way of determining
that the prize in question was 1,000,000 Turkish lira. The
Commission has held that licensees are ``responsible for
broadcasting accurate statements as to the nature and value of
contest prizes, and will be held accountable for any announcement
which tends to mislead the public.'' WMJX, Inc., 48 RR 2d 1339,
7. Section 503(b) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. §
503(b), and Section 1.80(a) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.
§ 1.80(a), both state that any person who willfully or repeatedly
fails to comply with the provisions of the Communications Act or
the Commission's rules shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.
For purposes of Section 503(b), the term ``willful'' means that
the violator knew it was taking the action in question,
irrespective of any intent to violate the Commission's rules.
See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
Furthermore, a continuing violation is ``repeated'' if it lasts
more than one day. Id., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.
8. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Citicasters conducted the ``Millionaire Monday'' contest without
disclosing a material term of the contest, in apparent willful
and repeated violation of Section 73.1216 of the Commission's
rules. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement sets a base
forfeiture amount of $4,000 for a violation of Section 73.1216 of
the rules.1 After considering the record and all of the factors
contained in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. §
503(b)(2)(D), and the Forfeiture Policy Statement, we believe a
$4,000 forfeiture is appropriate in this case.
9. We note that a station controlled by Citicasters'
corporate parent recently committed a similar violation.2 Future
violations by stations owned by these entities will likely result
in significantly higher forfeitures.
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, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's rules,3
Citicasters Co. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR
FORFEITURE in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for
willfully and repeatedly violating Section 73.1216 of the
11. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
Commission's rules, that within thirty days of the release of
this Notice, Citicasters SHALL PAY to the United States the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written
statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
12. Payment of the forfeiture may be made by credit card
through the Commission's Credit and Debt Management Center at
(202) 418-1995 or by mailing a check or similar instrument,
payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission, to
the Forfeiture Collection Section, Finance Branch, Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. The payment should note the NAL/Acct. No. referenced
13. The response, if any, must be mailed to Charles W.
Kelley, Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement
Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W,
Room 3-B443, Washington DC 20554 and MUST INCLUDE the file number
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice shall
be sent, by Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested, to
Citicasters's counsel, Christopher L. Robbins, Esq., Wiley, Rein
& Fielding, 1776 K Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20006.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of
Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17114
(1997), recon. denied 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b).
2 Clear Channel Broadcasting Licensees, Inc., DA 00-238 (EB
released February 10, 2000), forfeiture paid.
3 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80.