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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of
Christian Broadcasting Corporation )
File No. EB-00-OR-117
WBOK (AM) ) NAL/Acct.
New Orleans, Louisiana )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
Released: January 3, 2001
By the Enforcement Bureau, New Orleans Field Office:
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture,
we find that Christian Broadcasting Corporation ("Christian
Broadcasting"), licensee of AM broadcast station WBOK, has
apparently violated sections 1.89(b) and 17.4(a) of the
Commission's Rules ("Rules") by failing to respond to
Commission correspondence and for failing to register its
antenna structure.1 We conclude that Christian Broadcasting is
apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of fourteen
thousand dollars ($14,000).
2. On July 7, 2000, an agent of the Commission's New
Orleans Field Office (``Field Office'') inspected the antenna
structure of radio station WBOK. This structure is greater
than 200 feet in height and is painted and lighted in
accordance with the Rules. During the inspection, the agent
determined that there was no antenna structure registration
number displayed near the base of the structure, and a search
of the Commission's records revealed no indication that this
structure had been registered. On July 11, 2000, a Notice of
Violation (``NOV'') was mailed to Christian Broadcasting citing
these deficiencies. No reply to this notice was received. On
July 31, 2000, a letter was sent by Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested to Christian Broadcasting. This
correspondence stated that no reply had been received to the
NOV issued on July 11, 2000, and included a copy of this NOV.
Additionally, the letter cautioned the licensee concerning
failure to reply to Commission correspondence. A signed
Certified Mail Receipt evidenced delivery of this letter. No
reply to this correspondence or the original NOV has been
3. Section 1.89(b) of the Rules requires licensees to
respond in writing within ten days from receipt of a notice
from the Commission.2
4. Section 17.4(a) of the Rules requires existing
antenna structures that were assigned painting or lighting
requirements prior to July 1, 1996, be registered with the
Commission prior to July 1, 1998.3 The antenna structure of
station WBOK is governed under this section.
5. Christian Broadcasting is the licensee of station
WBOK licensed to New Orleans, Louisiana. Commission records
indicate that the owner of Christian Broadcasting is Bishop L.
E. Willis, Sr. According to Commission records, Bishop L. E.
Willis, Sr. is also the owner of Willis Broadcasting
Corporation. Bishop L. E. Willis, Sr., through Willis
Broadcasting Corporation (``Willis''), had been notified at
least twice of violations regarding each of these rule
sections. Willis was issued Notices of Violation for failure
to register antenna structures on June 2, 1999 (KEAZ/KDLA,
DeRidder, LA), and on July 20, 1999 (WJNS-FM, Yazoo City, MS).
Willis was issued warnings for failure to respond to Commission
Notices on April 20, 1999 (KLPL AM & FM, Lake Providence, LA),
June 21, 1999 (KEAZ/KDLA DeRidder, LA), July 9, 1999 (KVLA,
Vidalia, LA), and September 23, 1999 (WJNS-FM, Yazoo City, MS).
In fact, no responses have been received concerning any of the
17 pieces of correspondence from the Commission associated with
the inspections of these stations.
6. Based on the evidence before us, we find that on July
7, 2000, Christian Broadcasting Corporation willfully4 violated
Sections 1.89(b) and 17.4(a) of the Rules by failing to respond
to Commission correspondence and for failing to register its
7. Pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Rules, Guidelines for
Assessing Forfeiture, the base amount for failure to respond to
official Commission correspondence is $4,000, and the base
forfeiture amount for failure to register antenna structures is
$3,000 (failure to file required forms or information).5 The
total base forfeiture for both violations is $7,000. In
assessing the monetary forfeiture amount, we must also
take into account the statutory factors set forth in
Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Communications Act of 1934
(``Act''), as amended, which include the nature, circumstances,
extent, and gravity of the violation(s), 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 Applying Section 1.80 of the Rules and statutory
factors to the instant case, an upward adjustment is warranted
due to the owner's history of non-compliance and flagrant
disregard for the Commission's rules. Therefore, we find
Christian Broadcasting liable for a forfeiture in the amount of
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Act,7 and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules,8 Christian Broadcasting Corporation is
hereby NOTIFIED of their APPARENTLY LIABLE FOR A FORFEITURE in
the amount of fourteen thousand dollars ($14,000) for violating
Sections 1.89(b) and 17.4(a) of the Commission's Rules, 47
C.F.R. §§ 1.89(b) and 17.4(a).
9. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 1.80 of
the Rules, within thirty days of the release date of this
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Christian Broadcasting
Corporation, SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction
or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10. Payment of the forfeiture may be made 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. 200132620002.
11. The response if any must be mailed to Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street,
S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Enforcement Bureau - TPSD,
NAL/Acct. No. 200132620002 and must include the NAL/Acct. No.
12. 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;
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
13. 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. 20554.9
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE OF
APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return
Receipt Requested, to Christian Broadcasting Corporation, 645
Church Street, Suite 400, Norfolk, Virginia 23510.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
James C. Hawkins
New Orleans Field Office
1 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.89(b) and 17.4(a)
2 47 C.F.R. § 1.89(b)
3 47 C.F.R. 17.4(a)
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1), which
applies to Section 503(b) of the Act, provides that ``[t]he
term `willful', when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate
commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent
to violate any provision of this Act ....'' See Southern
California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).
5 47 C.F.R. § 1.80
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D)
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)
8 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80
9 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914