Click here for Microsoft Word Version
******************************************************** 
                      NOTICE
********************************************************

This document was converted from
WordPerfect or Word to ASCII Text format.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Word or WordPerfect version or Adobe Acrobat version, if available.

*****************************************************************



                           Before the
                Federal Communications Commission
                     Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                 )
                                )
WS COMMUNICATIONS, L.L.C.        )    File No. 99030159
                                )    NAL/Acct. No. X32080007
Licensee of Station KWGL(FM)     )    JJS
Ouray, Colorado                  )
                                )


           NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

   Adopted: March 15, 2000              Released: March 16, 2000   

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

                        I.   INTRODUCTION

     1.   In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, we 
find that WS Communications, L.L.C. (``WS''), licensee of station 
KWGL(FM), Ouray, Colorado, apparently violated Section 73.3526 of 
the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  73.3526, by not maintaining a 
public inspection file  from February 1999  through August  1999.  
We also find that WS violated the former version of the same rule 
from December 1997 through  October 1998 by  failing to keep  its 
public inspection file in its community of license.  We  conclude 
that WS is apparently liable for a ten thousand dollar  ($10,000) 
forfeiture.

                         II.  BACKGROUND

     2.   On February 26, 1999, the Mass Media Bureau received a 
complaint alleging that WS and Western Slope Communications, 
L.L.C. (``Western Slope''), a commonly-owned limited-liability 
company and the licensee of KZKS(FM), Rifle, Colorado, were not 
in compliance with the Commission's main studio and public 
inspection file requirements.1  As a result of that complaint, 
the Commission sent WS and Western Slope a letter of inquiry on 
August 3, 1999.

     3.   WS and Western Slope responded to the Commission's 
letter of inquiry on September 16, 1999.  With respect to 
KWGL(FM), WS stated that from the time it acquired the station in 
April 1995 until February 1999, the public inspection file was 
maintained at its main studio in Ridgway, Colorado.  From 
February 1999, when WS moved its main studio, through August 
1999, WS did not maintain a public inspection file for KWGL(FM) 
at any location.  In August 1999, WS established the public 
inspection file at the Ouray Public Library in Ouray, Colorado.  
In September 1999, WS also established its public inspection file 
at its current main studio location in Montrose, Colorado.

     4.   WS states that it has taken steps to avoid future 
violations of the Commission's public inspection file rule by 
replacing the station's General Manager with a new Station 
Manager, ``who is aware of the Commission's public file 
requirements and is committed to fully complying with those 
requirements.''

                      III.      DISCUSSION

     5.   Section 73.3526(a) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 
 73.3526(a),  requires  all licensees  of  commercial  broadcast 
stations to maintain a public inspection file containing  certain 
designated information.  Section  73.3526(b) of the  Commission's 
rules, 47 C.F.R.  73.3526(b), currently requires that the public 
inspection  file  be  maintained   at  the  main  studio.    This 
requirement became effective  on October 30,  1998.  See 63  Fed. 
Reg. 56578  (October 22,  1998).  Prior  to October  30, 1998,  a 
station whose main  studio was located  outside the community  of 
license was required, with one  exception not pertinent here,  to 
maintain its public inspection file at an accessible location  in 
its community of  license. See former  Section 73.3526(d) of  the 
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  73.3526(d) (1997).

     6.   WS violated the current  rule from February 1999,  when 
it ceased maintaining a  public inspection file, until  September 
1999, when it  reestablished the  public inspection  file at  its 
main studio in Montrose.  We note that while the file was  placed 
in Ouray in  August 1999, that  file was not  established in  the 
proper location.  WS also violated the former version of the rule 
from the time  it acquired the  station in April  1995 until  the 
rule was changed on October 30, 1998 because it did not keep  the 
public inspection file  in the  community of  license.  For  this 
violation, we will assess a  forfeiture only for the period  from 
December 11, 1997 until October 30, 1998 because WS'  application 
for renewal of license was granted  on December 11, 1997,2 and  a 
forfeiture for violations  prior to  that time is  barred by  the 
statute of limitations.  See 47 U.S.C.  503(b)(6)(A).

     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), each 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)  of the  Communications Act,  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,  4387-4388  (1991).   Furthermore,  a  continuing 
violation is ``repeated'' if it lasts more than one day.  Id.,  6 
FCC Rcd at 4388. 

     8.   The Commission's  Forfeiture  Policy Statement  sets  a 
base forfeiture  amount of  $10,000 for  public file  violations.  
The Commission's  Forfeiture Policy  Statement and  Amendment  of 
Section 1.80 of the Commission's  Rules, 12 FCC Rcd 17087,  17113 
(1997), recon. denied  FCC 99-407 (released  December 28,  1999).  
In this case, the existence of multiple violations, the  duration 
of the violations, and  WS's total failure  to maintain a  public 
inspection file for a  six-month period are aggravating  factors.  
On the other hand, we note that, during the earlier violation, WS 
maintained a  public  inspection  file  (although  at  the  wrong 
location).  While WS has replaced  personnel in order to  prevent 
future violations,  those remedial  efforts do  not excuse  prior 
violations.  See Sonderling  Broadcasting Corp., 69  FCC 2d  289, 
291 (Broadcast Bureau 1977), citing Executive Broadcasting Corp., 
3 FCC 2d  699 (1966).   Considering the  records as  a whole,  we 
believe  that  a  $10,000  forfeiture  is  appropriate  for   the 
violations in this case.

                      IV.  ORDERING CLAUSES

     9.   ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED  pursuant to Section  503(b) 
of the  Communications  Act of  1934,  as amended,  47  U.S.C.   
503(b), and Sections  0.111, 0.311 and  1.80 of the  Commission's 
rules,  47   C.F.R.     0.111,   0.311   and  1.80,   that   WS 
Communications,  L.L.C.  is  hereby  NOTIFIED  of  its   APPARENT 
LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE  in the amount  of ten thousand  dollars 
($10,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating Section  73.3526 
of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R.  73.3526.

     10.   IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the 
Commission's rules, that  within thirty  days of  the release  of 
this Notice, WS 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 forfeiture.

     11.   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 
above.

     12.   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 
listed above.

     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 practices  (``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  documentation 
submitted.  

     14.   Requests for payment of the full amount of this Notice 
of Apparent Liability under an installment plan should be sent 
to: Chief, Credit and Debt Management Center, 445 12th Street, 
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554.  See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.

     15.   IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice shall 
be sent,  by  Certified  Mail/Return  Receipt  Requested,  to  WS 
Communications, L.L.C., c/o Brill  & Meisel, 488 Madison  Avenue, 
Suite 500, New York, New York  10022, and to WS' counsel, Tom  W. 
Davidson, Esq., Akin, Gump, Strauss,  Hauer & Feld, L.L.P.,  1333 
New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20036.


          FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION



          David H. Solomon
          Chief, Enforcement Bureau
_________________________

1  At the time of the complaint, the call sign of WS's station 
was KURA(FM).  The call sign of the station was changed to KWGL 
on March 1, 1999.  For ease of reference, we will use the current 
call letters when referring to the station.  The remaining 
allegations in the complaint will be addressed separately.

2  See Broadcast Actions, Report No. 44139 (released December 11, 
1997) (File No. BRH-19961202Q1).