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Detroit Free Press, Inc.

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Released: May 17, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1118

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Detroit Free Press, Inc.
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Facility I.D. No. 65593
Licensee of Station WUSA-DT,
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NAL/Acct. No. 201341420011
Washington, D.C.
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FRN: 0002778991

NOTICE OF APPARENT

LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: May 16, 2013

Released: May 17, 2013

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:

I. INTRODUCTION

1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”)1 we find that Detroit Free Press,
Inc. (the “Licensee”), licensee of television station WUSA-DT (the “Station”), apparently willfully and/or
repeatedly violated Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules, by failing to publicize the existence and
location of the Station’s Children’s Television Programming Reports (Form 398).2 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 Two Thousand Dollars ($2,000).

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.3 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. On May 30, 2012, the Licensee filed its license renewal application (FCC Form 303-S) for
the Station (the “Application”).4 In Exhibit 26 to the Application, the Licensee acknowledged that it
failed to publicize adequately the existence and location of its Children’s Television Programming
Reports on-air from January 2008 through January 2010. The Licensee reported that it has taken steps to
address this deficiency and ensure that the existence and location of the reports will be publicized on-air
in the future.


1 This NAL is 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”). See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80. The Chief, Video
Division, Media Bureau, has delegated authority to issue the NAL under Section 0.283 of the Rules. See 47 C.F.R. §
0.283.
2 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
3 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526.
4 File No. BRCDT-20120530ABN.

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DA 13-1118

III. DISCUSSION

5.
The Licensee’s failure to publicize adequately the Station’s Children’s Television
Programming Reports constitutes an apparent willful and/or repeated violation of Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii). Although the Licensee essentially states that the violations resulted from human
error, the Commission has repeatedly rejected human error and inadvertence as a basis for excusing a
licensee’s rule violation.5
Furthermore, corrective actions may have been taken to prevent subsequent
violations of the children’s television rules and policies, but that too, does not relieve the Licensee of
liability for the violations which have occurred.6
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.7 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.8 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,9 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section
503(b) context.10 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.”11
7.
The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules
establish a base forfeiture amount of $10,000 for public file violations.12 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.”13
8.
In this case, the Licensee failed to publicize the Station’s Children’s Television
Programming Reports for approximately two years. Based on the record before us, we believe that a
forfeiture in the amount of $2,000 for the Station is appropriate for the Licensee’s apparent willful and/or


5 See, e.g., Hayco Broadcasting, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 27 FCC Rcd 15039 (2012); WCVB Hearst Television, Inc. (WCVB(TV)), Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 6128 (2010); WSOC Television, Inc. (WSOC-TV), Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture Letter, 25 FCC Rcd 6124 (2010); Media General Communications Holdings, LLC, Notice of Apparent
Liability for Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 6132 (2010).
6 See, e.g., WSOC Television, 25 FCC Rcd at 6125; WCVB Hearst Television, Inc., 25 FCC Rcd at 6129-30; WFTV,
Inc. (WFTV(TV))
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 25 FCC Rcd 6140 (2010).
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a)(1).
8 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
9 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
10 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991).
11 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
12 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)(4), note to paragraph (b)(4), Section I.
13 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)(4)
and note to paragraph (b)(4), Section II.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1118

repeated violations of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).14

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

9.
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 Detroit Free Press, Inc. is hereby
NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the amount of Two Thousand Dollars
($2,000) for its apparent willful and repeated violations of Section 73.3526 of the Commission’s Rules.
10.
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, Detroit Free Press, Inc. SHALL PAY the full
amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
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. Nos.
and FRN Nos. 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 numbers in
block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters “FORF” in block number 24A (payment type
code). Licensee will also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
Peter.Saharko@fcc.gov.
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: Barbara A. Kreisman, Chief,
Video Division, Media Bureau, and MUST INCLUDE the NAL/Acct. Nos. referenced above.
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. 20554.15


14 See, e.g., Televicentro of Puerto Rico, LLC (WAPA-TV), 20 FCC Rcd 20292 (MB 2005) ($4,000 forfeiture for
failure to publicize the existence and location of the reports for approximately five years); S&E Network, Inc.
(WJWN-TV)
, 20 FCC Rcd 20277 (MB 2005) ($3,000 forfeiture proposed for failure to publicize the existence and
location of the reports for approximately three years).
15 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1118

15.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this NAL shall be sent, by First Class and
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Detroit Free Press, Inc. c/o Gannett Co., Inc., 7950 Jones
Branch Drive, McLean, Virginia, 22107, and its representative, Linda Carducci, Gannett Co., Inc., 7950
Jones Branch Drive, McLean, Virginia, 22107.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau
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