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Glen Iris Baptist School

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Released: May 23, 2013

Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1177

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
)

Glen Iris Baptist School
)
FRN: 001754217
)
NAL/Acct. Nos. 201241420002 and
Licensee of Stations W15AZ, Alabaster, Alabama )
201241420005
and W49AY, Birmingham, Alabama
)
Facility ID Nos. 17320, 67891
)

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: May 22, 2013

Released: May 23, 2013

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:

I. INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Forfeiture Order, issued pursuant to Sections 0.61(f)(1) and 1.80(a)(1) and (2)
of the Commission’s rules,1 we find that Glen Iris Baptist School, licensee of Stations W15AZ,
Alabaster, Alabama, and W49AY, Birmingham, Alabama, repeatedly violated Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Commission’s Rules by failing to: (i) file with the Commission and (ii)
prepare and place in its public inspection file the Station’s Children’s Television Programming
Reports (FCC Form 398). Based on our review of the facts, we find the Licensee liable for a
forfeiture of Ten Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($10,400) for the violations of Station W15AZ
and Ten Thousand Four Hundred Dollars ($10,400) for the violations of Station W49AY, for a
total forfeiture of Twenty Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($20,800.00).

II. BACKGROUND

2.
The Video Division issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) for Forfeiture on
March 7, 2012.2 The NAL notified the Licensee that the failure to prepare, place in the public file,
and file electronically the reports constituted an apparent willful or repeated violation of Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Commission’s rules.3 The Division concluded that the Licensee was
apparently liable for a forfeiture of $26,000, $13,000 each for the violations at the two stations.
3.
In its April 6, 2012 response, the Licensee admitted that it could not rebut the
violations but nonetheless asserted that the proposed forfeiture should be reduced or rescinded.4

III. DISCUSSION

4.
The Commission is authorized to license radio and television broadcast stations and


1 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.61(f)(1), 1.80(a)(1) & (2).
2 Glen Iris Baptist School, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, DA 12-349 (Mar. 7, 2012).
3 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
4 Licensee Response to Notice of Apparent Liability (“Licensee Response”) (May 26, 2011) at 2.

Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1177

is responsible for enforcing the Commission’s rules and applicable statutory provisions
concerning the operation of those stations. Under section 503(b)(1) of the Act, any person who is
determined by the Commission to have willfully 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.5
In order to impose a forfeiture penalty, the
Commission must issue a notice of apparent liability, the notice must be received, and the person
against whom the notice has been issued must have an opportunity to show, in writing, why no
such penalty should be imposed.6 The Commission will then issue a forfeiture order if it finds by
a preponderance of the evidence that the person has violated the Act or a Commission rule.7 As
we set forth in greater detail below, we conclude that the Licensee is liable for a forfeiture for
repeated violations of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Commission’s rules. We ultimately
conclude, however, that the forfeiture amount should be reduced to $20,800.00.
5.
The Community Broadcasters Protection Act requires that Class A television stations
comply with all rules applicable to full-power television stations except for those rules that could
not apply for technical or other reasons.8 The Commission rules establish that Class A licensees
must (i) offer informational and educational children’s programming; (ii) prepare and place in a
public inspection file quarterly Children’s Television Programming Reports; and (iii) electronically
file those reports with the Commission.9
6.
The Licensee does not dispute that it failed to prepare, place in its public file, and file
electronically with the Commission its Children’s Television Programming Reports for a total of 18
quarters. These deficiencies, regardless of the cause, constitute repeated violations of the relevant
Commission rules.
7.
Commission policy establishes a base forfeiture amount of $3,000 for failure to file a
required form and a base forfeiture amount of $10,000 for public file violations.10 In determining
the appropriate forfeiture amount, the Commission may adjust the base amount upward or
downward by considering the factors in Section 503(b)(2)(E), which include “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.” In the NAL, the Video Division proposed a $26,000 forfeiture amount.


5 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1) (A) & (B); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a)(1) & (2). The Commission may assess a forfeiture
order for violations that are merely repeated, and not willful. See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Grand Isle,
Louisiana
, Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362 (2001) (issuing a
Notice of Apparent Liability for a cable television operator’s repeated violations of the Commission’s signal
leakage rules). “Repeated” means that the act was committed or omitted more than once. Southern
California Broadcasting Co.,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4388 (1991).
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(f).
7 See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7591 (2002).
8 Community Broadcasters Protection Act of 1999, Pub. L. No. 106-113, 113 Stat. Appendix I at pp. 1501A-
594-1501A-598 (1999), codified at 47 U.S.C. § 336(f).
9 Establishment of a Class A Television Service, MM Docket No. 00-10, Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 6355,
6366 (2000); 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526 (a)(2) & (e)(11)(iii).
10 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), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd
303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(4).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1177

8.
The Licensee argues that the forfeiture amount should be reduced because its
failure to prepare and file the required reports was based on a “reasonable interpretation of the
Commission’s rules.”11 The Commission has long held that inadvertence or human error is not a
mitigating circumstance that would make the Licensee less culpable and therefore subject to a
lesser forfeiture amount.12 We further reject the Licensee’s argument that its violations were
based on a reasonable interpretation of the Commission’s rules. The requirement that Class A
stations prepare and file Children’s Television Programming Reports is clear, and the Licensee
had no reasonable basis to interpret the rule differently.
9.
The Licensee also argues that it is unfair to assess forfeitures to both stations.13
The fact that the same entity controls both licensees is irrelevant to the determination. The
Commission can assess independent forfeitures against the same licensee for violations at
multiple stations.14
10.
The Licensee further argues that it lacks the revenue necessary to pay the
forfeiture.15 The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in response to
inability to pay unless the licensee 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
licensee’s current financial status. Typically, the Commission uses gross revenue as the primary
measuring stick by which it evaluates a licensee’s ability to pay.16
11.
The Licensee has provided financial reports for its broadcast operations, but this
information alone is not a sufficient basis on which to assess Licensee's inability to pay.17
Licensee has provided no information regarding the Licensee’s overall finances. Accordingly, in
the absence of sufficient information to support a decision to the contrary, we decline to cancel or
reduce the proposed forfeiture on the basis of inability to pay.


11 Licensee Response at 4.
12 See Sage Broadcasting Corp., Letter Decision, 25 FCC Rcd 4556, 4558 (Vid. Div. MB 2010); Standard
Communications Corp.
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 1 FCC Rcd 358 (1986) (stating that “employee
acts or omissions, such as clerical errors in failing to file required forms, do not excuse violations”); Five
Star Parking d/b/a Five Star Taxi Dispatch
, Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 2649 (EB 2008) (declining to
reduce or cancel forfeiture for late-filed renewal based on licensee’s administrative error).
13 Licensee Response at 5.
14 See Opus Broadcasting Tallahassee, LLC, Forfeiture Order, 27 FCC Rcd 11154, 11155 (Aud. Div. MB
2012) (assessing forfeitures against each of a licensee’s four stations).
15 Licensee Response at 2.
16 San Jose State University, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 5908 (2011).
17 See Metropolitan School District of Washington Township, Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 9995, 9997
(Aud. Div. MB 2008) (provision of financial information about the radio program but not the Licensee
itself insufficient to demonstrate an inability to pay); A-O Broadcasting Corp., Memorandum Opinion and
Order, 20 FCC Rcd 756, 759 (2005) (finding that licensee failed to provide sufficient information needed to
evaluate an inability to pay claim); Frank Neely, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22 FCC Rcd 1434,
1434 (2007) (same); Pang Cheng, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 20 FCC Rcd 2351, 2353 (2005)
(same).
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Federal Communications Commission DA 13-1177

12.
Finally, the Licensee argues that its history of compliance militates in favor of a
reduction.18 Given that history of compliance and consistent with precedent, we reduce the
forfeiture amount to $20,800.19

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

13.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.61(f)(1) and 1.80(a)(1) & (2) of the
Commission’s rules,20 Glen Iris Baptist School SHALL FORFEIT to the United States the sum of
Twenty Thousand Eight Hundred Dollars ($20,800) for repeatedly violating Section 47 U.S.C. §
336(f)(2)(A)(ii) and 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
14.
Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in Section
1.80(h) of the Commission’s rules within fifteen (15) calendar days after the release date of this
Forfeiture Order. M If the forfeiture is not paid within the period specified, the case may be
referred to the U.S. Department of Justice for enforcement of the forfeiture pursuant to Section
504(a) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The Licensee shall send electronic
notification of the payment to Peter Saharko at peter.saharko@fcc.gov on the date payment is
made.
15.
The payment must be made by check or similar instrument, wire transfer, or credit
card, and must include the NAL/Account number and FRN referenced above. Regardless of the
form of payment, a completed FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted. When
completing FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID)
and enter the “FORF” in block number 24A (payment type code). Payment by check or money
order must be made payable to the order of the Federal
Communications Commission. Such payments (along with the completed Form 159) must be
mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000,
or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank – Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005
Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO 63101.
16.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT a copy of this FORFEITURE ORDER shall
be sent by Certified Mail Return Receipt Requested to Glen Iris Baptist School, 1137 Tenth Place
South, Birmingham, Alabama, 35205, and to its counsel, Harry C. Martin and Anne Goodwin
Crump, Esquire, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, 1300 North 17th Street, 11th Floor, Arlington,
Virginia 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau


18 Licensee Response at 6.
19 See Woods Comm. Corp., Forfeiture Order, 25 FCC Rcd 5215, 5217 (MB 2010) (reducing forfeiture from
$14,000 to $11,200 based on history of compliance).
20 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.61(f)(1) & 1.80(a)(1) & (2).
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