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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
In the Matter of )
Woodland Communications ) File Number EB-02-DV-313
) NAL/Acct. No. 200332800012
Licensee of Station WMF732 ) FRN 0002-3220-89
Montrose, Colorado )
Facility ID # 73626 )
NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE
By the Acting District Director, Denver Office, Enforcement
1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find that Woodland Communications
Corporation ("Woodland"), licensee of studio-transmitter-
link (STL), call sign WMF732, in Montrose, Colorado,
apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Sections
74.551(a)(2), 74.551(a)(3) and 74.561 of the Commission's
Rules ("Rules"),1 by failing to operate the STL transmitter
on the authorized frequency and failing to operate from the
authorized location. We conclude, pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,2 that
Woodland is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount
of eight thousand dollars ($8,000).
2. On August 1, 2002, a Denver Office agent inspected
broadcast stations KUBC(AM) and KKXK(FM), licensed to
Montrose, Colorado. During the inspection, the agent found
and advised station personnel that the STL transmitter
utilized by KUBC-AM, call sign WMF732, was operating on an
unauthorized frequency and from an unauthorized location.
Using a spectrum analyzer, the agent verified that the STL
transmitter was operating on the frequency of 948.873 MHz.
Woodland's license for WMF732 specified the authorized
frequency for the STL transmitter as 951.000 MHz with the
authorized location for the transmitter at 2018 South
Townsend, in Montrose, Colorado. At the time of the
inspection, the studio and the STL transmitter were located
at 106 Rose Lane in Montrose, Colorado.
3. A follow-up record search in September 2002, of
the FCC database revealed that Woodland had failed to modify
either the frequency or the transmitter location for WMF732,
as the licensed frequency was shown as 951.000 MHz with a
transmitter address of 2018 South Townsend, Montrose,
4. A Notice of Violation ("NOV") was issued to
Woodland on November 21, 2002, for violations of, among
others, Sections 74.551(a)(2) and 74.551(a)(3) of the Rules,
for failing to modify the authorization to indicate the
change in operating frequency and transmitter location for
WMF732. On December 10, 2002, Woodland requested an
extension of time to respond to the NOV. On December 13,
2002, the Denver Office granted Woodland until December 20,
2002, to respond.
5. In Woodland's December 20, 2002, response to the
NOV, Woodland stated with regard to the violation of
74.551(a)(2), that "...for as long as we have owned the
radio stations - since 1988 - we have never modified the
equipment for WMF732. This is to say we have operated the
unit as it was sold to us some 14 years ago, with the
license that the prior owner obtained for it. Indeed, it
was not until we asked the FCC inspector, who had a spectrum
analyzer with him during the inspection, to check the
assigned frequency of the unit, did it become apparent to
any of us that there was a variance between the frequency
used and the frequency authorized." With regard to the
violation of 74.551(a)(3), Woodland responded that when the
application for change in the main studio location was
filed, they "overlooked, however, the resulting application
that would be required to change transmitter location for
6. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person
who willfully fails to comply substantially with the terms
and conditions of any license, or willfully fails to comply
with any of the provisions of the Act or of any rule,
regulation or order issued by the Commission thereunder,
shall be liable for a forfeiture penalty.3 The term
"willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been interpreted to
mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
knowingly and the term "repeated" means the commission or
omission of the act more than once or for more than one
7. Section 74.551(a)(2) of the Rules states that,
"[p]rior Commission approval ... is required for ... [a]
change in the operating frequency or channel bandwidth."
Woodland's license for station WMF732 specified operation on
951.000 MHz. At the time of the inspection, Woodland was
operating STL WMF732 on 948.873 MHz. Section 74.561 of the
Rules requires that the licensee shall maintain the
operating frequency of the transmitter within 0.005% of the
assigned frequency. At the time of the inspection, WMF732
was transmitting on 948.873 MHz which is more than 0.22%
from the assigned frequency. Woodland asserts that it was
not aware that the STL was not operating on its authorized
and assigned frequency until the time of the inspection.
Woodland admitted in the response to the NOV that it had not
monitored the STL frequency to determine if the STL was
operating on a frequency other than that for which it was
licensed. Woodland stated that the equipment for WMF732 had
never been modified, as Woodland did not doubt the "match of
the equipment to the license." The lack of routine
maintenance and performance measurements indicates that
during Woodland's fourteen years of ownership, no effort had
been made so as to ascertain compliance with these
particular Rule sections.
8. During the August 1, 2002, inspection, Woodland
was advised that the STL was operating on an unauthorized
frequency. Woodland did not promptly change the operating
frequency of WMF732 to that authorized, nor did Woodland
promptly file an application to change the operating
frequency pursuant to section 74.551(a)(2) of the Rules.
Commission records indicate that Woodland submitted an
application to change the STL frequency on Form 601 on
December 19, 2002, over 4 months after the inspection and
nearly one month after the NOV was issued.
9. Section 74.551(a)(3) of the Rules states that,
"[p]rior Commission approval ... is required for ... [a]
change in the location of the transmitter or transmitting
antenna except when relocation of the transmitter is within
the same building." At the time of the inspection, the STL
was not authorized to operate from the location at which it
was installed. Woodland acknowledged in response to the NOV
that it failed to modify the authorization to indicate the
new location for the STL transmitter when the studio and
associated STL were moved in January 1998. Moreover, even
though Woodland was advised during the August 1, 2002,
inspection that the STL was operating at an unauthorized
location, Woodland did not promptly file an application to
change the transmitter location pursuant to section
74.551(a)(3) of the Rules. Rather, Woodland waited 4 months
after the inspection and nearly one month after the NOV
before submitting an application on Form 601 to the
Commission on December 19, 2002, to change the station's
location of operation.
10. Operation on the frequency and at the location
licensed is a fundamental requirement of the FCC's licensing
policy and is critical to spectrum coordination and non-
interference. As a licensee, Woodland is aware of its
obligations to operate in accordance with the terms and
conditions of its authorizations. We do not find Woodland's
suggestion that, at the time of the inspection, they
requested verification of the STL's frequency mitigating.
Verification of operation by licensees on their authorized
frequencies is a normal component of a station inspection.
And, licensees are expected to comply with the Rules .
11. Based on the evidence before us, we find that
Woodland willfully and repeatedly violated Sections
74.551(a)(2), 74.551(a)(3) and 74.561 of the Commission's
Rules by failing to operate the STL transmitter on the
authorized frequency and failing to operate the STL at the
12. The base forfeiture amount set by The Commission's
Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of
the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
("Forfeiture Policy Statement"),6 and Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules,7 for operating on an unauthorized
frequency is $4,000 and for operating at an unauthorized
location is $4,000. 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 Act,8 which include
the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the
violation(s), and with respect to the violator, the degree
of culpability, and history of prior offenses, ability to
pay, and other such matters as justice may require.
Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement and the statutory
factors to the instant case, an $8,000 forfeiture is
IV. ORDERING CLAUSES
13. 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, Woodland Communications Corporation is
hereby NOTIFIED of an APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A FORFEITURE in
the amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for violations
of Sections 74.551(a)(2), 74.551(a)(3) and 74.561 of the
14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT, pursuant to Section
1.80 of the Commission's Rules10 within thirty days of the
release date of this NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY, Woodland
Communications Corporation SHALL PAY the full amount of the
proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed
15. 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 MUST INCLUDE the FCC Registration Number (FRN)
and the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.
16. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Technical and
Public Safety Division, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington,
D.C. 20554, and must include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in
17. 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
18. Requests for payment of the full amount of this
Notice of Apparent Liability under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief, Revenue and Receivables
Operations Group, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C.
19. Under the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of
2002, Pub L. No. 107-198, 116 Stat. 729 (June 28, 2002), the
FCC is engaged in a two-year tracking process regarding the
size of entities involved in forfeitures. If you qualify as
a small entity and if you wish to be treated as a small
entity for tracking purposes, please so certify to us within
thirty (30) days of this NAL, either in your response to the
NAL or in a separate filing to be sent to the Technical and
Public Safety Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street S.W., Washington,
D.C. 20554. Your certification should indicate whether you,
including your parent entity and its subsidiaries, meet one
of the definitions set forth in the list provided by the
FCC's Office of Communications Business Opportunities (OCBO)
set forth in Attachment A of this Notice of Apparent
Liability. This information will be used for tracking
purposes only. Your response or failure to respond to this
question will have no effect on your rights and
responsibilities pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act. If you have any questions regarding any
of the information contained in Attachment A, please contact
OCBO at (202) 418-0990.
20. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this NOTICE
OF APPARENT LIABILITY shall be sent by Certified Mail # 7001
0320 0002 9702 3682, Return Receipt Requested and First
Class Mail, to Woodland Communications Corporation, P.O. Box
970, Montrose, CO 81401.
Nikki P. Shears
Acting District Director,
Encl.: Attachment A
1 47 C.F.R §§ 74.551(a)(2), 74.551(a)(3) and 74.561.
2 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1),
which applies to violations for which forfeitures are
assessed under 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).
Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2), which
also applies to Section 503(b), provides: "[t]he term
"repeated", when used with reference to the commission or
omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
such act more than once or, if such commission or omission
is continuous, for more than one day."
5 47 C.F.R. §§ 74.551(a)(2), 74.551(a)(3) and 74.561.
6 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd
7 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D).
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 1.80,
74.551(a)(2), 74.551(a)(3) and 74.561.
10 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
11 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.