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Central Ohio Association of Christian Broadcasters

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Released: October 28, 2013

Federal Communications Commission


DA 13-2073

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Central Ohio Association of Christian
)
Facility I.D. No. 66172
Broadcasters
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201341420055
Licensee of Station WGCT-CD
)
FRN: 0003020260
Columbus, Ohio
)

NOTICE OF APPARENT

LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: October 25, 2013

Released: October 28, 2013

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION:

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”) issued pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), and Section 1.80 of the
Commission’s Rules (the “Rules”),1 we find that Central Ohio Association of Christian Broadcasters (the
“Licensee”), licensee of Station WGCT-CD (the “Station”), apparently willfully and/or repeatedly
violated (i) Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules by failing to file timely with the Commission the
Station’s Children’s Television Programming Reports2 and (ii) Section 73.3514(a) of the Rules by failing
to report the violations in its renewal application.3 Based upon our review of the facts and circumstances
before us, we conclude that the Licensee is apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of
three thousand dollars ($3,000).

II.

BACKGROUND:

2.
Section 73.3526 of the Rules requires each commercial broadcast licensee to maintain a
public inspection file containing specific types of information related to station operations.4 As set forth
in subsection 73.3526(e)(11)(iii), each commercial television licensee is required to prepare and place in
its public inspection file a Children’s Television Programming Report (FCC Form 398) for each calendar
quarter reflecting, inter alia, the efforts that it made during that quarter to serve the educational and
informational needs of children. That subsection also requires licensees to file the reports with the
Commission and to publicize the existence and location of the reports.
3.
Section 73.3514(a) of the Rules provides that “[e]ach application shall include all
information called for by the particular form on which the application is required to be filed. . . .” Section
IV, Question 3 of the Form 303-S license renewal application requires licensees to certify “that the
documentation, required by 47 C.F.R. Section 73.3526 . . . has been placed in the station’s public
inspection file at the appropriate times.” Section IV, Question 3 of the license renewal application
requires licensees to certify that all documentation has been placed in the station’s public file at the


1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
2 See 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
3 47 C.F.R. § 73.3514(a).
4 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2073

appropriate times as required under Section 73.3526 of the Rules and requires the Licensee to submit an
exhibit of explanation if it has failed to do so.
4.
On June 1, 2013, the Licensee filed its license renewal application (FCC Form 303-S) for
Station WGCT-CD (the “Application”).5
The Licensee failed to report that Children’s Television
Programming Reports were filed late for three quarters during the license period.6

III.

DISCUSSION

5. The Licensee’s failure to file with the Commission in a timely manner its Children’s
Television Programming Reports constitutes apparent willful and/or repeated violations of Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii). Moreover, the Licensee’s failure to report these violations in its renewal application
constitutes a violation of Section 73.3514 of the Commission’s Rules.7
6. This NAL is issued pursuant to Section 503(b)(1)(B) of the Act. Under that provision, any
person who is determined by the Commission to have willfully and/or repeatedly failed to comply with
any provision of the Act or any rule, regulation, or order issued by the Commission shall be liable to the
United States for a forfeiture penalty.8 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines willful as “the conscious and
deliberate commission or omission of [any] act, irrespective of any intent to violate” the law.9 The
legislative history to Section 312(f)(1) of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to both
Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act,10 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section
503(b) context.11 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act provides that “[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.”12
7. The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b) of the Rules establish a
base forfeiture amount of $3,000 for failure to file a required form or information.13 In determining the
appropriate forfeiture amount, we may adjust the base amount upward or downward by considering the
factors enumerated in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, including “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 such other matters as justice may require.”14 In this case, the Licensee
repeatedly failed to file the reports with the Commission in a timely manner for three quarters during the
license period, and we therefore conclude that the Station is apparently liable for a $1,500 forfeiture for
these apparent violations. We further find that the Licensee omitted information regarding violations


5 File No. BRDVA-20130603ABB.
6 In total, the Licensee filed its Children’s Television Programming Reports late for 15 of the 18 quarters during the
license period.
7 47 C.F.R. § 73.3514.
8 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a)(1).
9 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
10 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
11 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.
12 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
13 See Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80(b) of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture
Guidelines
, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113-15 (1997) (“Forfeiture Policy Statement”), recon. denied,
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b), Section I.
14 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D); see also Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-01; 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(5);
47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b), Section II.
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DA 13-2073

from its renewal application and is therefore liable for an additional $1,500 forfeiture. We thus conclude
that the Licensee is liable for a total forfeiture of $3,000 for these apparent violations.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, and Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules, that Central Ohio Association of
Christian Broadcasters is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the
amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) for its apparent willful and repeated violations of Sections
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) and 73.3514 of the Commission’s Rules.
9.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules, that,
within thirty (30) days of the release date of this NAL, that Central Ohio Association of Christian
Broadcasters SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement
seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
10.
In the event that the Licensee wishes to revert WGCT-CD to low power television status,
the Licensee need only notify us of this election and request a change in status for the station.15 Should
the Licensee elect to revert the station to low power status, the Licensee would no longer be apparently
liable for the forfeiture amount described herein.
11.
Payment of the proposed forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument, payable
to the order of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment must include the NAL/Acct. No.
and FRN No. referenced in the caption above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
Communications Commission, at P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000. Payment by overnight
mail may be sent to U.S. Bank-Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St.
Louis, MO 63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank:
TREAS NYC, BNF: FCC/ACV--27000001 and account number as expressed on the remittance instrument.
If completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID),
and enter the letters “FORF” in block number 24A (payment type code).
12.
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: Peter Saharko, Attorney Adviser,
Video Division, Media Bureau, and MUST INCLUDE the NAL/Acct. No. referenced above. We further
request that an electronic copy of any response be sent via email to peter.saharko@fcc.gov.
13.
The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in response to a
claim of inability to pay unless the respondent 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
respondent’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 full payment of the forfeiture proposed in this NAL under the installment
plan should be sent to: Associate Managing Director- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room
1-A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.16


15 See 47 C.F.R. § 73.6001(d).
16 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-2073

15.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this NAL shall be sent, by First Class and
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Central Ohio Association of Christian Broadcasters,
Attention: David Aiken, 1282 North Main Street, Marion, Ohio, 43302.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau
4

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