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Delmarva Broadcast Service General Partnership

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Released: February 2, 2010

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-201

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Facility ID No. 16455

Delmarva Broadcast Service General

)
NAL/Acct. No. 0641420033

Partnership

)
FRN: 0001-8066-29
)
File No. BRCT-20040528AJA
)
Licensee of Station WMDT(TV)
Salisbury, Maryland

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: February 1, 2010

Released: February 2, 2010

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Forfeiture Order (“Order”), we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount of eight
thousand dollars ($8,000), to Delmarva Broadcast Service General Partnership (“Delmarva”), licensee of
Station WMDT(TV), Salisbury, Maryland (“Station”), for its willful and repeated violation of Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Commission’s Rules (“Rules”)1 by failing to publicize for the public the
existence and location of the Station’s Children’s Television Programming Reports.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
On May 28, 2004, Delmarva filed the above-referenced application to renew the license
of the Station (the “Application”). In response to Section IV, Question 10 of the Application, Delmarva
certified that station WMDT(TV) failed to publicize the existence and location of the Station’s Children’s
Television Programming Reports, as required by Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules. In Exhibit 24
to the Application, Delmarva indicated that this violation was due to a misunderstanding of the
Commission’s Rules. Delmarva also described corrective measures taken in May 2004 and additional
procedures scheduled to begin in June 2004.
3.
On February 17, 2006, the Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(“NAL”) in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to Delmarva for its violations.2 On March 20,
2006, in response to the NAL, Delmarva filed a Petition for Reconsideration or Cancellation of Forfeiture
(“Petition”), and a Supplement on March 7, 2008. In support of its Petition, Delmarva argued that: (1) the
forfeiture amount is different from, and greater than, the forfeiture amounts imposed on other licensees
for similar violations; (2) the rule imposing the requirements to publicize is vague and provides no
guidance on what is required for compliance; and (3) that it has a record of compliance with the
Commission’s Rules.


1 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
2 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct. No. 0641420033, DA 06-370 (MB, rel. Feb. 17, 2006).
(“NAL”).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-201

III.

DISCUSSION

4.
The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was assessed in accordance with Section
503(b) of the Act,3 Section 1.80 of the Rules,4 and the Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement.5 In
assessing forfeitures, Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires that we 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 such other matters as justice may require.6
5.
Delmarva does not dispute that it failed to publicize for the public the existence and
location of the Station’s Children’s Television Programming Reports, but argues that its forfeiture should
be cancelled. Delmarva argues that the imposition of forfeiture in this case is inconsistent with
Commission precedent. Delmarva cites to Teleciventro of Puerto Rico, LLC/WIRS,7 S&E Network,
Inc./WJPX(TV)
,8 S&E Network, Inc./WKPV(TV),9 Bell Broadcasting, LLC,10 Ketchikan TV,
LLC/KDMD(TV)
,11 and Ketchikan TV, LLC/KUBD(TV)12 as cases where the Commission found that
violations of the same Rule did not justify imposition of a forfeiture. We find these cases to be inapposite.
As Delmarva acknowledges, these cases involve violations occurring over shorter periods of time. In this
case, Delmarva failed to publicize the existence and location of the Station’s Children’s Television
Programming Reports for almost its entire license term. Delmarva only complied with the requirements
of the Rule for the last few months of the Station’s license term, and only after having discovered the
violation. The Commission has stressed the importance of broadcasters publicizing in an appropriate
manner the existence and location of their Children's Television Programming Reports as a means to
“further the goal to minimize the Commission's involvement in enforcing the [Children’s Television Act
of 1990] by facilitating public monitoring of broadcasters' educational programming.”13 In this case,
Delmarva failed to publicize its Reports for almost its entire license term. Moreover, although Delmarva
may have belatedly implemented policies and procedures to prevent subsequent violations, that does not
relieve it of liability for the violation which has occurred.14
6.
Delmarva also argues that the Rule in question is vague and provides no guidance. We
disagree. The Commission has suggested that stations may comply with the requirement to publicize by
announcing the existence and location of its Children’s Television Programming Reports “periodically”
over the air.15 In its 2001 Report examining station compliance with this and other Children’s


3 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
4 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
5 The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the
Forfeiture Guidelines
, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999).
(“Forfeiture Policy Statement”).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
7 20 FCC Rcd 20110 (MB 2005).
8 20 FCC Rcd 20282 (MB 2005).
9 20 FCC Rcd 20287 (MB 2005).
10 21 FCC Rcd 1452 (MB 2006).
11 22 FCC Rcd 14038 (MB 2007).
12 22 FCC Rcd 9950 (MB 2007).
13 See Policies and Rules Concerning Children's Television Programming, Report and Order, 11 FCC Rcd 10660,
¶67 (1996)(Children’s Television Report and Order).
14 See International Broadcasting Corp., 19 FCC 2d 793 (1969).
15 See Children’s Television Report and Order, supra, at ¶67.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-201

Programming rules, the Commission found that “virtually all of the stations in the sample complied with
the requirement to publicize the existence and location of the stations' Children's Television Programming
Reports.”16 Moreover, Delmarva was not faulted for the adequacy of its efforts to publicize, but rather its
complete failure to do so.
7.
We have considered Delmarva’s Petition in light of the above statutory factors, our
Rules, and the Forfeiture Policy Statement. We conclude that Delmarva willfully and repeatedly violated
Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules. However, given Delmarva’s otherwise history of compliance
with the Rules, we reduce the forfeiture amount to $8,000.17

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.283 and 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules,18 that Delmarva Broadcast
Service General Partnership, SHALL FORFEIT to the United States the sum of $8,000 for willfully and
repeatedly violating Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Commission’s Rules.
9.
Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in Section 1.80 of the
Commission's Rules within 30 days of the release of this Forfeiture Order. If the forfeiture is not paid
within the period specified, the case may be referred to the Department of Justice for collection pursuant
to Section 504(a) of the Act.19 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).20


16 See “Three Year Review of the Implementation of the Children’s Television Rules and Guidelines 1997-1999,”
Commission Report, January 2001 at ¶46.
17 See, e.g. Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 9995 (MB 2008)
(reducing forfeiture amount based on licensee’s history of compliance); Claro Communications, Ltd., Forfeiture
Order, 23 FCC Rcd 359, 362 (EB 2008) (same); Traffic Control Products of Florida, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC
Rcd 5452, 5454 (EB 2008) (same). See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80, Note to Paragraph (b)(4), Downward Adjustment
Criteria.
18 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.283, 1.80.
19 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
20 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-201

10.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that a copies of this Forfeiture Order shall be sent by
Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested and by First Class Mail, to Delmarva Broadcast Service General
Partnership, WMDT(TV), P.O. Box 4009, Salisbury, MD 21803, and to its counsel, Joseph M. DiScipio,
Esq., Fletcher, Heald and Hildreth, P.L.C., 1300 N. 17th Street, Eleventh Floor, Arlington, Virginia 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau
4

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