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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Booth-Newsome Broadcasting, Inc. )
WKTE (AM) ) File Number: EB-00-
NF- 138 King, North Carolina )
) NAL/Acct. No.: X3264001
Adopted: July 27, 2000 Released: July 31,
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Forfeiture Order (``Order''), we issue a
monetary forfeiture in the amount of five thousand dollars
($5,000) against Booth-Newsome Broadcasting, Inc. (``Booth''),
licensee of AM station WKTE, King, North Carolina, for willfully
and repeatedly violating Sections 11.35, 73.1590(a)(6),
73.1590(b), and 73.3526(a)(2) of the Commission's Rules
(``Rules'').1 The noted violations involve Booth's failure to
install Emergency Alert System (EAS) equipment, to perform the
required annual measurements for spurious and harmonic emissions
and to maintain a complete and up-to-date public inspection file
2. On April 17, 2000, the Commission's Norfolk, Virginia,
Resident Agent Office (``Norfolk Office'') issued a Notice of
Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (``NAL'') to Booth in the
amount of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) for the noted
violations.2 Booth has filed a response.
3. On February 18, 2000, an agent from the Norfolk Office
inspected WKTE in order to investigate a complaint against that
station. During the inspection, the agent discovered that there
was no EAS equipment installed at WKTE, that Booth had not
performed the required annual measurements for spurious and
harmonic emissions, and that the public inspection file did not
include a number of required items. The Norfolk Office issued an
Official Notice of Violation (``NOV'') to Booth on March 13, 2000
(corrected copy issued March 17, 2000) notifying Booth of several
violations, including those described above, that were found
during the inspection. Booth's response to the NOV, received on
March 27, 2000, indicated that Booth had corrected some of the
violations and was in the process of correcting the others.
4. As noted above, on April 17, 2000, the Norfolk Office
issued a $20,000 NAL to Booth for failure to install EAS
equipment, failure to perform the required annual measurements
for spurious and harmonic emissions and failure to maintain a
complete and up-to-date public inspection file. In its response
to the NAL, Booth states that it ``has made every effort to
correct the problems and to prevent future violations''3 and
requests cancellation or reduction of the proposed $20,000
monetary forfeiture on the basis of its inability to pay that
amount. Booth states that it has spent $8,000 to $9,000 to bring
WTKE into compliance and that payment of $20,000 would
necessitate borrowing money and would financially burden the
station. Booth provides, with its response, copies of its 1997,
1998 and 1999 federal income tax returns. The tax returns
indicate that Booth's gross revenues were $35,049 in 1997,
$44,935 in 1998 and $56,521 in 1999.
5. As the NAL explicitly states, the forfeiture amount in
this case was assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, (``Act''),4 Section 1.80
Rules, 5 and The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and
Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15
FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (``Policy Statement''). Section 503(b) of
the Act requires that, in examining Booth's response, 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.6
6. Section 11.35(a) of the Rules requires that broadcast
stations have EAS encoders, EAS decoders and attention signal
generating and receiving equipment installed and operating during
times the broadcast station is in operation. Sections
73.1590(a)(6) and 73.1590(b) of the Rules require annual
measurements for spurious and harmonic emissions. Section
73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules requires that licensees of commercial
broadcast stations maintain a complete and current public
inspection file. The FCC agent's observations establish that
Booth willfully and repeatedly violated those rules. Booth does
not dispute the violations.
7. Booth contends that it is unable to pay a $20,000
forfeiture without financial hardship. Although other factors can
be considered, the best indication of a company's ability to pay
a forfeiture amount is its gross revenues. See generally PJB
Communications of Virginia, Inc., 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1992). In view
of the number and seriousness of Booth's violations and the gross
revenues indicated by Booth's tax returns, we conclude that it is
appropriate to reduce Booth's forfeiture from $20,000 to $5,000.
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of Act, and Sections 0.111, 0.311, and 1.80(f)(4) of the
Rules,7 Booth-Newsome Broadcasting, Inc., IS LIABLE FOR A
MONETARY FORFEITURE in the amount of five thousand dollars
($5,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating Sections 11.35,
73.1590(a)(6), 73.1590(b), and 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules.
9. Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner
provided for in Section 1.80 of the Rules, within 30 days of the
release of this Order. If the forfeiture is not paid within the
period specified, the case may be referred to the Department of
Justice for collection pursuant to Section 504(a) of the Act.8
Payment 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 Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 73482, Chicago, Illinois
60673-7482. The payment should note NAL/Acct. X3264001
referenced above. Requests for full payment under an installment
plan should be sent to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management
Center, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.9
10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, a copy of this Order shall
be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested to Booth-
Newsome Broadcasting, Inc., at Route 2, Box 88D, King, North
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David H. Solomon
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 11.35, 73.1590 (a)(6), 73.1590(b), and
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No.
X3264001 (Enf. Bur., Norfolk Office, rel.April 17, 2000).
3 Booth's Response to the NAL.
4 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
7 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80(f)(4).
8 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.