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Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

Jeannine M. Mason

Licensee of Station KTZZ(FM)

Conrad, Montana







File No.: EB-FIELDWR-12-00004903 NAL/Acct. No.: 201332800007

FRN: 0022857825

Facility ID No.: 81886


Adopted: August 21, 2014 Released: August 22, 2014

By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:


* We find that Jeannine M. Mason operated a studio-transmitter link (STL) station without a FCC license. In light of Ms. Mason's documented inability to pay and history of compliance, however, we do not impose a forfeiture. Nevertheless, we admonish Ms. Mason for her violations and warn her that future violations may result in substantial forfeitures, regardless of her financial situation.

* Specifically, we find that Ms. Mason, licensee of Station KTZZ(FM), in Conrad, Montana, willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), by operating a STL station without a FCC authorization.


* On July 24, 2013, the Enforcement Bureau's Denver Office (Denver Office) issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) proposing a $10,000 forfeiture against Ms. Mason for operating a STL station associated with Station KTZZ(FM) without a FCC authorization. In her NAL Response, Ms. Mason does not deny the violations, but states that she is unable to pay the proposed forfeiture and provides financial documentation to support her claim.


* The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance with Section 503(b) of the Act, Section 1.80 of the Commission's rules, and the Forfeiture Policy Statement. In examining Ms. Mason's NAL Response, Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires that 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.

* As Ms. Mason does not deny any of the facts stated in the NAL, we affirm the NAL's findings and conclude that Ms. Mason willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act by operating an STL station without an FCC authorization.

* Although Ms. Mason does not deny the violations, she requests cancellation of the $10,000 proposed forfeiture, asserting that she is unable to pay the penalty. She supports her inability to pay argument with financial documentation, including three years of tax returns. With regard to an individual or entity's inability to pay claim, the Commission has determined that, in general, gross income or revenues are the best indicator of an ability to pay a forfeiture. We have reviewed the documents provide by Ms. Mason, and we find sufficient basis to downwardly adjust the proposed forfeiture to impose no penalty due to her demonstrated inability to pay. We also have reviewed our records and determined that Ms. Mason has a history of compliance with the Commission's rules.

* Nevertheless, we find that it is appropriate to admonish Ms. Mason for willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Act. We also warn Ms. Mason that any future violations of the Commission's rules may result in substantial monetary penalties, regardless of her financial condition.


* Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Act and Sections 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the Rules, the proposed forfeiture in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) issued to Jeannine M. Mason WILL NOT BE IMPOSED, and the finding of willful and repeated violations of Section 301 of the Act against Jeannine M. Mason IS AFFIRMED.

* IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Jeannine M. Mason IS ADMONISHED for willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Act.

* IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order shall be sent by both First Class and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Jeannine M. Mason at her address of record, and to her counsel, Steven T. Potts, PLLC, 625 Central Avenue West, Suite 200, Great Falls, MT 59404-2874.


* Rebecca L. Dorch

* Regional Director, Western Region

* Enforcement Bureau