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Fox Television Stations, Inc., Licensee of Station KMSP-TV, Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Released: July 8, 2011

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-1170

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Fox Television Stations, Inc.

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File Number: EB-06-IH-3709
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Facility ID Number: 68883
Licensee of Station KMSP-TV,
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NAL/Acct. Number: 201132080023
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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FRN: 0005795067

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: July 7, 2011

Released: July 8, 2011

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Forfeiture Order, we assess a monetary forfeiture in the amount of four thousand
dollars ($4,000) against Fox Television Stations, Inc. (“Fox” or “the Licensee”), licensee of Station
KMSP-TV, Minneapolis, Minnesota (“Station KMSP-TV” or “the Station”). We find that Fox willfully
violated section 317 of the Communications Act, as amended (“the Act”), and the Commission’s
sponsorship identification rule, section 73.1212 of the Commission’s rules.1

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
This case arises from a complaint jointly filed by Free Press and the Center for Media and
Democracy (“CMD”) alleging that Fox’s Station KMSP-TV aired a Video News Release (“VNR”)
produced for General Motors without also airing the required sponsorship identification announcement.2
The Enforcement Bureau (“Bureau”) issued a letter of inquiry to the Licensee concerning the allegations
raised in the Complaint.3 Fox responded to the LOI and stated that Station KMSP-TV had broadcast a
news report that included the General Motors VNR, which it had received from Fox News Edge, a news
service for broadcast stations affiliated with the Fox Network.4 Fox also provided a recording and
transcript of the relevant news report during which the VNR material aired.5 The news report concerned


1 See 47 U.S.C. § 317(a)(1); 47 C.F.R. § 73.1212.
2 See Complaint of Timothy Karr, Campaign Director, Free Press, and Diane Farsetta, Senior Researcher, Center for
Media and Democracy, dated November 14, 2006 (“Complaint”).
3 See Letter from Hillary S. DeNigro, Chief, Investigations & Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, to Fox
Television Stations, Inc., dated April 26, 2007 (“LOI”).
4 See Letter from John C. Quale, Esquire, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, Counsel for Fox Television
Holdings, Inc., and Fox Television Stations, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, dated June 25, 2007 (“LOI Response”), at 3 & n.6. The LOI Response was filed on behalf of both Fox
and Fox Television Holdings, Inc., and stated that Fox Television Holdings, Inc. wholly owns Fox Television
Stations, Inc., the licensee of Station KMSP-TV. See id. at n.1.
5 See id. at 3, 5 & Exh. A.

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the consumer demand for convertible automobiles during the summer. The transcript is reproduced in its
entirety in the Notice of Apparent Liability issued in this case, along with the anchor’s introduction.6 The
recording of the broadcast at issue showed approximately 12 different shots of the three General Motors
convertibles mentioned in the transcript, and no other convertibles or other automobiles were either
shown or mentioned.7
3.
Fox, in its LOI Response, also argued that no sponsorship identification announcement
was required for the inclusion of the General Motors VNR material in Station KMSP’s news report
because neither the Station nor any of its employees received or was promised consideration of any kind
in exchange for broadcasting the VNR. In addition, Fox argued that the Station did not believe that it
received any reports from any third party, including the provider of the VNR, that such party had received
consideration in connection with the preparation of the content.8 Fox further argued that its use of the
General Motors VNR material was “not substantively different from a newspaper’s use of editorial
content gleaned from press releases,” pointing out that the Commission has specifically recognized that a
broadcaster is not required to make a sponsorship identification announcement in cases in which “[n]ews
releases are furnished to a station […], and editorial comment therefrom is used on a program.”9 In
addition, Fox objected to the LOI and its inquiries on First Amendment grounds, arguing that they
represented an impermissible encroachment on the Station’s editorial discretion.10
4.
The NAL set forth the sponsorship identification requirements of section 317(a)(1) of the
Act and section 73.1212(a) of the Commission’s rules, requiring an announcement at the time the matter
is aired whenever that matter is broadcast in exchange for valuable consideration.11 In addition, the NAL
set forth the proviso to section 317(a)(1) of the Act, as implemented in section 73.1212(a) of the
Commission’s rules, which generally provides an exception to the sponsorship identification requirements
for material “furnished without a charge or at a nominal charge for use on, or in connection with, a


6 See Fox Television Stations, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 3964 (Enf. Bur. 2011)
(“NAL”).
7 See id. at 3966 ¶ 5. The three General Motors convertibles mentioned in the news report were: the Pontiac
Solstice, the Saturn Sky, and the Pontiac G6. See id.
8 See LOI Response at 6-9.
9 See id. at 7 (citing In re Applicability of Sponsorship Identification Rules, Public Notice, 40 FCC 141 (1963)
(“1963 Public Notice”), as modified, 40 Fed. Reg. 41936 (1975), at Example 11). The 1963 Public Notice was
updated in 1975. See Applicability of Sponsorship Identification Rules, Public Notice, 40 Fed. Reg. 41936 (1975)
(“1975 Public Notice”).
10 See LOI Response at 1.
11 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3966-67 ¶ 7. The NAL explained that VNR material constitutes “valuable consideration”
within the meaning of section 317 that may require a sponsorship announcement under some circumstances. Id. at
3968 ¶ 11.
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broadcast.”12 In accordance with the proviso, a disclosure is required for material furnished without
charge or at nominal charge when the use of the material involves “an identification of any person,
product, service, trademark or brand name beyond an identification reasonably related to the use of such
service or property on the broadcast.”13
5.
In the NAL, we considered whether Station KMSP-TV’s use of VNR material fell outside
the section 317(a)(1) proviso such that Fox was required to provide a sponsorship identification
announcement for that material.14 Our analysis was informed by illustrative examples, provided by
Congress at the time that it adopted the proviso, in order to explain whether particular material would
trigger the obligation to provide sponsorship identification.15 We rejected Fox’s argument relying on
Example 11 from the House Report, which pertains to a “news release” and “editorial comment
therefrom.”16 Instead, we found that the VNR material broadcast on Station KMSP-TV is more closely
analogous to Example 26 from the House Report, describing the use of a promotional film provided by a
bus company, because rather than merely quoting from a press release, the Station broadcast the script
and video footage of three different General Motors convertibles.17 Example 26 provides that no
announcement is required for a promotional film in which a company’s products or services are clearly
identifiable and “shown fleetingly … in a manner reasonably related” to the subject matter of the film, but
that announcement is required if the company’s products or services are clearly identifiable and “shown
to an extent disproportionate to the subject matter of the film.”18 We concluded that the identification of
General Motors products in Station KMSP-TV’s report exceeded an identification that was reasonably
related to the subject matter of the programming at issue, which, as stated above, was the consumer
demand for convertible automobiles during the summer.19 Specifically, the VNR focused exclusively on


12 See id. at 3966-67 ¶¶ 7-8. Specifically, section 73.1212(a) provides:
When a broadcast station transmits any matter for which money, service, or other valuable
consideration is either directly or indirectly paid or promised to, or charged or accepted by such
station, the station, at the time of the broadcast, shall announce:
(1) That such matter is sponsored, paid for, or furnished, either in whole or in part, and
(2) By whom or on whose behalf such consideration was supplied: Provided, however,
That “service or other valuable consideration” shall not include any service or
property furnished either without or at a nominal charge for use on, or in connection
with, a broadcast unless it is so furnished in consideration for an identification of any
person, product, service, trademark, or brand name beyond an identification
reasonably related to the use of such service or property on the broadcast.
13 See 47 U.S.C. § 317(a)(1); 47 C.F.R. § 73.1212(a)(2).
14 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3969 ¶¶ 12-14.
15 See id. at 3967-68 ¶¶ 9-10; H.R. Rep. No. 1800, 86th Cong., 2nd Sess. 1, at 12-17 (1960) (“House Report”). The
Commission included the twenty-seven examples from the House Report and nine additional examples in public
notices released following adoption of revised sponsorship identification rules in 1963 and 1975. See 1975 Public
Notice, supra
note 9; 1963 Public Notice, supra note 9.
16 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3968 ¶ 10. See also 1975 Public Notice, 40 Fed. Reg. at 41938, Example 11; 1963
Public Notice
, 40 FCC at 146, Example 11.
17 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3968 ¶ 10.
18 See 1975 Public Notice, 40 Fed. Reg. at 41939, Example 26; 1963 Public Notice, 40 FCC at 148, Example 26.
19 See id. at 3969 ¶¶ 13-14.
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General Motors products and contained extensive images of the three General Motors convertibles
identified by name in the report.20 In addition, we found that the VNR’s portrayal of General Motors’s
overall prospects for success based on the popularity of its new vehicle models was disproportionate to
the subject matter of the program segment.21 As a result, we found that the VNR material aired on the
Station does not fall within the proviso, which is directed to material that contains only “fleeting or
transient” references to products or brand names.22 We ruled that Fox’s airing of the VNR material on
Station KMSP-TV’s June 19, 2006, news program without the required sponsorship identification
announcement constituted an apparent violation of section 317 of the Act and section 73.1212 of the
Commission’s rules and proposed a forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000).23
6.
In addition, we rejected Fox’s arguments that the proposed enforcement action
impermissibly interferes with its First Amendment rights or violates the anti-censorship provisions of
section 326 of the Act.24 The NAL specifically recognized that Fox is free to exercise its newsgathering
and editorial functions by making independent decisions concerning the selection and presentation of
news.25 The NAL explained that the Commission’s sponsorship identification rules are disclosure
requirements and do not restrict speech.26 Similar disclosure requirements have been upheld against First
Amendment challenges, and the Commission has the obligation to administer statutory provisions
requiring such disclosures.27 For these reasons, we found that Fox failed to demonstrate how the
enforcement action chilled the Station’s speech or otherwise violated the First Amendment or the Act.28
7.
Fox filed its response to the NAL on April 8, 2011, and contends that the Bureau should
cancel the proposed forfeiture.29 Fox argues that the sponsorship identification requirements of section
317(a)(1) and section 73.1212 of the Commission’s rules do not apply to Station KMSP-TV’s airing of
the General Motors VNR because the Station did not receive consideration in exchange for including the
material in its newscast. Fox also, for the first time in this proceeding, claims that Station KMSP-TV paid


20 See id. at 3969 ¶ 13.
21 See id.
22 See id. at 3969 ¶ 14.
23 See id. at 3969 ¶ 14, 3971-72 ¶¶ 18-19.
24 See id. at 3970-71 ¶ 17.
25 See id.
26 See id.
27 See id.
28 See id.
29 See Response and Opposition of Fox Television Stations, Inc. to Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, filed
April 8, 2011 (“NAL Response”). We also received an amicus filing on behalf of the Radio Television Digital News
Association (“RTNDA”) supporting Fox’s NAL Response. See Letter from Kathleen A. Kirby, Esquire, and Ari
Meltzer, Esquire, Wiley Rein LLP, Counsel for the Radio Television Digital News Association, to Marlene H.
Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, dated April 28, 2011. RTNDA supports Fox’s NAL
Response
and urges the Bureau to cancel the NAL and rescind the underlying interpretation of the sponsorship
identification rules. Specifically, RTNDA asserts that the sanctions proposed in the NAL represent a flawed
application of the Commission’s sponsorship identification rules and an unconstitutional form of content regulation
especially because Fox actually paid for the material at issue. We find nothing new in RTNDA’s filing that Fox has
not already raised in this proceeding. Accordingly, we need not address RTNDA’s arguments separately herein.
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for the VNR material through its subscription to and payment for the Fox News Edge service.30 In
addition, Fox argues that the NAL impermissibly encroaches on Station KMSP-TV’s news judgments.
Specifically, Fox asserts that the Bureau erred by failing to find that its use of the General Motors VNR
material was exempt from sponsorship identification announcements under the Example 11 exemption for
news releases and by relying instead on the bus company’s promotional travel film in Example 26.31 Fox
also argues that the 15-day deadline for it to file a response to the NAL was not reasonable.32
8.
After receiving Fox’s NAL Response, the Bureau issued a letter to Fox concerning its
claim that the Station paid for the VNR material.33 Fox responded to the April 21st Letter and provided
additional information concerning Fox News Edge and the intercompany transfers through which it
claimed that Station KMSP-TV paid for the General Motors VNR material.34

III.

DISCUSSION

A.

Fox’s Argument that the Sponsorship Identification Rules Do Not Apply Because it
Paid Fox News Edge for the VNR Material Lacks Merit

9.
Fox reiterates its argument that Station KMSP-TV did not receive any valuable
consideration in exchange for broadcasting the General Motors VNR material.35 Fox further asserts that
the sponsorship identification rules are not applicable to the General Motors VNR material because it paid
Fox News Edge for that material. We conclude that Fox’s assertions lack merit. With respect to Fox’s
first argument, we note that it cites no authority, only generally referencing its LOI Response, and wholly
fails to address or dispute our conclusion in the NAL that Commission precedent makes clear that VNR
material may constitute valuable consideration that may require a sponsorship identification
announcement under certain circumstances.36 Consequently, its argument on this point does not persuade
us to disrupt the NAL’s conclusion.
10.
With respect to its further assertion, we note that the Commission has recognized that
when program materials are sold in a commercial setting to a broadcaster for use on the air, the provision
of the programming may be wholly unrelated to any desire to promote a particular product or message,
and “it can be assumed that the broadcaster has significant independent motivation to air the material,” so
that the factors underlying the sponsorship identification regulations’ application to free, or nearly free,
programming do not apply.37 Based on Fox’s response to the April 21st Letter, we cannot conclude that
such circumstances are present here. Fox News Edge is owned and operated by Fox News Network,


30 See NAL Response at 1-2.
31 See id. at 3-4.
32 See id. at n.1.
33 See Letter from Theresa Z. Cavanaugh, Acting Chief, Investigations & Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau,
Federal Communications Commission, to Fox Television Stations, Inc., dated April 21, 2011 (“April 21st Letter”).
34 See Letter from Joseph M. Di Scipio, Vice President, Legal and FCC Compliance, Fox Television Stations, Inc.,
to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, dated May 23, 2011 at 1, 5 (“Supplemental
Response
”).
35 See NAL Response at 2.
36 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3968 ¶ 11.
37 See Complaint of National Ass’n for Better B’casting against KCOP(TV), Memorandum Opinion and Order, 4
FCC Rcd 4988, 4990 ¶ 18 (1989).
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LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox Television Stations, Inc., which is the licensee of Station KMSP-
TV.38 Fox News Edge received the General Motors VNR unsolicited and did not pay any form of
consideration for the VNR material.39 In addition, Fox’s response indicates that Station KMSP-TV’s
alleged payments for the VNR material were not arms’ length transactions. Station KMSP-TV accessed
the VNR material through Fox News Edge, but does not have a written subscription agreement with Fox
News Edge, nor does it make any form of cash payment to Fox News Edge.40 The Station, like other Fox
owned and operated stations, makes monthly intercompany accounting transfers to the Fox Television
Stations, Inc. general ledger account through an expense account specifically provided for the Fox News
Edge service.41 Station KMSP-TV debits its expense account for Fox News Edge, a credit is made to the
Fox Television Stations, Inc. “Home Office Account,” and there are subsequent transactions in which the
Fox Television Stations, Inc. account is debited and Fox News Edge ultimately is credited for its
service.42 Fox’s response does not demonstrate that the transactions are arms’ length; instead, they
represent little more than intercompany accounting ledger entries of Fox and its wholly owned
subsidiaries. Based on the foregoing, we find that Fox failed to demonstrate that section 317(a)(1) of the
Act and section 73.1212(a) of the Commission’s rules do not apply to its use of the General Motors VNR
material.

B.

Fox Has Not Demonstrated that the Bureau Erred by Finding that Station KMSP-
TV was Required to Air a Sponsorship Identification Announcement for the VNR
Material Aired on Station KMSP-TV

11.
Fox also argues in the alternative that the sponsorship identification rules do not apply to
the General Motors VNR material because it was a news release that is exempted from the rules’
disclosure requirements.43 Specifically, Fox argues that the Bureau “erred by ignoring the exception
Congress created (and the Commission adopted) for ‘news releases’ (Example 11) and by relying instead
on their approach toward a promotional ‘travel film’ (Example 26).”44 Fox further contends that the news
release exception represents Congress’s appropriate sensitivity to government intrusion into the news
judgment of broadcasters arising from the First Amendment.45 Fox argues that the Bureau’s analysis of
the General Motors VNR material under Example 26 impermissibly intrudes into and second-guesses its


38 See Supplemental Response at 2.
39 See id. at 3-4.
40 See id. By contrast, other non-owned Fox affiliate stations enter into individually negotiated news service
subscription agreements with Fox News Network, LLC and apparently agree to monthly cash payments for access to
Fox News Network’s news service content. See id. at 2 n.5 & Exh. B.
41 See id.
42 See id.
43 See NAL Response at 3-4.
44 See id. at 4.
45 See id. In addition, Fox reiterates and incorporates into its NAL Response First Amendment and other arguments
raised in its LOI Response. See id. These arguments were fully addressed in the NAL, and Fox has not
demonstrated error or any other basis for disturbing our conclusions in the NAL that our enforcement of the
disclosure requirements of section 317 and the sponsorship identification rules does not impermissibly chill or
restrict the Station’s speech and that the Station’s airing of the General Motors VNR material without the required
sponsorship identification announcement violated section 317 and section 73.1212 of the Commission’s rules.
Accordingly, we need not address these arguments again in this Order.
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news judgment in order to determine whether the identification of General Motors products exceeded an
identification that was reasonably related to the subject matter of the news segment.46
12.
We find Fox’s argument unpersuasive, for the reasons set forth in the NAL. Fox does not
dispute our conclusion that the subject of Station KMSP-TV’s report was consumer demand for
convertible automobiles or that the VNR focused exclusively on General Motors and its products.
Instead, Fox argues that because the VNR material was used in a news report, it should be exempted from
sponsorship identification disclosures under Example 11. We disagree, and find no reason to disturb our
conclusion in the NAL that the VNR material aired on Station KMSP-TV is more closely analogous to
Example 26, which concerns the use of a promotional film showing a product.47 Example 11 does not
exempt news programming. It simply states that no announcement is required when a station uses
editorial comment from a news release on a program.48 In contrast, Example 26 concerns a station’s use
of a promotional film furnished by a company, in which case the announcement requirement hinges on
the identification of the company’s products or services within the film.49 This case, which involves
Station KMSP-TV’s airing of program material showing GM products, clearly falls under Example 26
rather than Example 11.50 Fox’s argument effectively would abrogate Example 26 for anything that may
be labeled a “news release,” regardless of the circumstances of its use by a station. We find no support
for such an approach in the Act itself or the legislative history.
13.
In addition, Fox’s argument that the sponsorship identification rules are inapplicable to
the General Motors VNR material because it did not receive any valuable consideration also ignores the
applicability of the section 317(a)(1) proviso, which, as set forth above, requires a disclosure for material
furnished without charge or at nominal charge when the use of material involves an identification of
products or services beyond what is reasonably related to the use of the product or service in the
broadcast. In the NAL, we found that like the bus company in Example 26(c), General Motors products
were shown to an extent disproportionate to the subject matter of the news report, such that the VNR
material does not fall within the scope of the proviso, which is directed to material that contains only
“transient or fleeting” references to products or brand names.51 Aside from arguing that Example 11
concerning news releases exempts its use of the General Motors VNR material, and that our analysis of
the VNR material under Example 26 constitutes an impermissible intrusion into its news judgment, which
we address below, Fox does not dispute our conclusion that the VNR focused exclusively on General
Motors products in its visual depictions or verbal identifications such that Station KMSP-TV “impliedly
agreed to broadcast an identification beyond that reasonably related to the subject matter of the film.”52
14.
Contrary to Fox’s argument, the Bureau did not impermissibly scrutinize the content of
Station KMSP-TV’s news broadcast or dictate what that news programming must include, as explained in
detail in the NAL.53 The NAL applies the disclosure requirements of section 317 and the Commission’s


46 See id.
47 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3968 ¶ 10.
48 See 1975 Public Notice, 40 Fed. Reg. at 41938.
49 See id. at 41939.
50 We reject Fox’s suggestion that Example 26 is inapplicable here because it involves a “travel film,” as opposed to
any other promotional film.
51 See NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 3969 ¶ 14.
52 Id. at 3969 ¶ 13.
53 See id. at 3969-70 ¶¶ 15-17.
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sponsorship identification rules in order to determine whether a sponsorship identification announcement
was required based on Fox’s decision to use VNR material in which General Motors products were
shown. Fox does not challenge the Bureau’s authority to administer statutes in its jurisdiction, including
section 317 and the precedent cited in the NAL upholding disclosure requirements similar to the
Commission’s sponsorship identification rules.54 Moreover, the Commission’s investigation and
enforcement action do not prohibit Fox from using the VNR material or require Fox to do anything more
than make the required sponsorship identification announcement for the use of VNR material in this case.
15.
For these reasons, we find that Fox has failed to demonstrate error in the NAL’s
conclusion that the sponsorship identification rules obligated Station KMSP-TV to provide a sponsorship
identification announcement for the VNR material in question to alert viewers that General Motors was
the source of the VNR material seeking to persuade them.55 We find by a preponderance of the evidence
that Fox’s airing of VNR material on Station KMSP-TV’s June 19, 2006 news program without providing
a sponsorship identification announcement violated section 317 of the Act and section 73.1212 of the
Commission’s rules.

C.

The Fifteen Day Period for Fox’s NAL

Response was Reasonable under Section 1.80
of the Commission’s Rules

16.
Section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules provides that when the Bureau issues a Notice of
Apparent Liability, the “[r]espondent will be afforded a reasonable period of time (usually 30 days from
the date of the notice) to show, in writing, why a forfeiture penalty should not be imposed or should be
reduced, or to pay the forfeiture.”56 The Commission’s rules do not mandate a 30-day response period,
and the Bureau has the discretion to set a response period that is less than 30 days, as long as the
shortened period is reasonable.57 The Commission has previously held that providing a response period
of less than 30 days is reasonable where, as in this case, there are potential statute of limitations
concerns.58
17.
Fox claims that the fifteen day response period was not reasonable based on the length of
time that had elapsed between the filing of its LOI Response in this case and the release of the NAL.59
Fox, however, did not submit any evidence of actual harm occasioned by the 15-day response period and,
in fact, substantively responded to the NAL within the 15-day period afforded for such response.
Moreover, the April 21st Letter provided Fox an additional 30-day period to submit information in support
of its NAL Response. Accordingly, we conclude that the time provided for its response was reasonable.60


54 See id. at 3970-71 ¶ 10.
55 See 47 U.S.C. § 317; 47 C.F.R. § 73.1212(a)(2).
56 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(f)(3) (emphasis added).
57 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.80. See also Complaints Against Various Television Licensees Concerning Their February 25,
2003 Broadcast of the Program “NYPD Blue,
” Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 3147, 3159-60 ¶ 28 (2008), vacated
on other grounds sub nom. ABC, Inc. v. Fed. Communications Comm’n
, Nos. 08-0841-ag, 08-1424-ag, 08-1781-ag,
08-1966-ag (2d Cir. Jan. 4, 2011) (“NYPD Blue Forfeiture Order”).
58 See NYPD Blue Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 3158 ¶ 25 n.84. (finding a 17-day response period reasonable in
light of potential statute of limitations concerns under 28 U.S.C. § 2462 relating to the Department of Justice’s
enforcement of forfeiture penalties).
59 See NAL Response at n.1.
60 See NYPD Blue Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd at 3159-60 ¶ 28.
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D.

Fox’s Violation of Section 317 of the Act and the Commission’s Sponsorship
Identification Rules Warrant the Imposition of a Forfeiture

18.
The proposed forfeiture in this case was assessed in accordance with section 503(b)(1) of
the Act, section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules, and the Commission’s forfeiture guidelines set forth in
its Forfeiture Policy Statement.61 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
violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay and such other matters as
justice may require.”62 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.63 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,64 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the section 503(b) context.65
19.
We have examined Fox’s responses to the NAL and the April 21st Letter pursuant to the
aforementioned statutory factors, our rules and the Forfeiture Policy Statement, and find by a
preponderance of the evidence that Fox willfully violated section 317 of the Act and section 73.1212 of
the Commission’s rules by failing to provide the required sponsorship identification announcement for the
VNR material used in the Station’s June 19, 2006, broadcast. We conclude that Fox is liable for a
forfeiture in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000).

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

20.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED,

pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended,66 and sections 0.111, 0.311, 0.314 and 1.80 of the
Commission’s rules,67 that Fox Television Stations, Inc.

IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY
FORFEITURE

in the amount of four thousand dollars ($4,000) for its willful violation of section 317 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 73.1212 of the Commission’s rules.68
21.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

, that payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the
manner provided for in section 1.80 of the Commission’s rules by close of business on July 18, 2011. If
the forfeiture is not paid within the period specified, the case may be referred to the Department of Justice


61 See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80; 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),
recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) (“Forfeiture Policy Statement).
62 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
63 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
64 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982) (“This provision [inserted in section 312] defines the
terms ‘willful’ and ‘repeated’ for purposes of section 312 and for any other relevant section of the act (e.g., section
503) . . . . As defined[,] . . . ‘willful” means that the licensee knew that he was doing the act in question, regardless
of whether there was an intent to violate the law. . . . . The definitions are intended primarily to clarify the language
in section 312 and 503, and are consistent with the Commission’s application of those terms . . . .”).
65 See, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388
(1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992).
66 See 47 U.S.C. §§ 317, 503(b).
67 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80.
68 See 47 U.S.C. § 317(a)(1); 47 C.F.R. § 73.1212.
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for enforcement pursuant to section 504(a) of the Act.69 Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check
or similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission. The payment
must include the NAL/Account Number and FRN Number referenced above. Payment by check or
money order may be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, 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, and account number 27000001. For payment
by credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted. When 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). Requests for full payment under an installment plan
should be sent to: Chief Financial Officer -- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625,
Washington, D.C. 20554. Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help Desk at 1-877-480-3201
or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any questions regarding payment procedures. Fox Television
Stations, Inc. must also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
Terry.Cavanaugh@fcc.gov, Melanie.Godschall@fcc.gov, Anjali.Singh@fcc.gov and
Kenneth.Scheibel@fcc.gov.
22.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

, that a copy of this NAL shall be sent, by Certified
Mail/Return Receipt Requested, to Joseph M. Di Scipio, Vice President, Legal and FCC Compliance, Fox
Television Stations, Inc., 444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 740, Washington, D.C. 20001.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
P. Michele Ellison
Chief
Enforcement Bureau


69 See 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
10

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