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Griffin OKC Licensing, L.L.C

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Released: February 17, 2010

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-258

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Griffin OKC Licensing, L.L.C.1
)
Facility ID No. 25382
Licensee of Station KWTV(TV)
)
NAL/Acct. No. 0841420024
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
)
FRN: 0002147155

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: February 16, 2010

Released: February 17, 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 Griffin OKC Licensing, L.L.C. (“Licensee”), licensee of Station
KWTV(TV), Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (“Station”), for its apparent willful and repeated violation of
Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Commission’s Rules (“Rules”) by failing to publicize the existence and
location of its Children’s Television Programming Reports.2

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
On January 24, 2008, the Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(“NAL”) in the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) to Licensee for violation of Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules.3 Licensee filed a Response to Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
(“Response”) on February 21, 2008.
3.
On January 30, 2006, Licensee filed an application to renew the license of the Station
(“Application”) (File No. BRCT-20060130AMU). Section IV, Item 10 of the license renewal application
form, FCC Form 303-S, requests that the licensee certify that it has published the existence and location
of the station’s Children’s Television Programming Reports, FCC Form 398, as required by Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules. Licensee indicated “No” to that certification and stated in Exhibit 1 and
in a June 15, 2006 amendment to its Application that since January 6, 2006, the Station has publicized the
existence and location of its Children's Television Programming Reports over the air. Licensee also
stated that prior to January 6, 2006, its Children's Television Programming Reports were available
throughout the license term on the Station's website, and any persons who called the Station regarding the
Children's Television Programming Reports were informed as to the existence and location of the reports.
On January 24, 2008, the staff advised Licensee of its apparent liability for a forfeiture of $10,000 for


1 Subsequent to the filing of the KWTV(TV) license renewal application, the Commission granted the pro forma
application (File No. BALCT-20061020ABE) assigning the KWTV(TV) license from Griffin Entities, L.L.C. to
Griffin OKC Licensing, L.L.C.
2 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
3 Griffin Entities, L.L.C., 23 FCC Rcd 790 (MB 2008).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-258

willfully and repeatedly violating Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules throughout the license term, as
the Licensee did not begin to publicize the existence and location of its Children’s Television
Programming Reports until January 2006. Subsequently, Licensee filed the subject Response seeking
cancellation or a reduction of the proposed $10,000 forfeiture.
4.
In support of its Response, Licensee submits that the $10,000 forfeiture should be
cancelled as Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules requires that a licensee publicize the existence and
location of its Children’s Television Programming Reports in an appropriate manner, leaving discretion
to Licensee to choose Licensee’s website as its means of compliance. Licensee claims that the
Commission has suggested examples of compliance with this requirement, but has not specified any
particular appropriate manner.4 Furthermore, Licensee argues that “the Commission has never
specifically held that the use of a station’s website to publicize the existence and location of a station’s
Form 398 is inappropriate,”5 and that the Commission “places a high value on placing information on
station websites,” as the Commission “recently determined that it is in the public interest for all television
stations to have a website to place the contents of their public inspection files online.”6
5.
Next, Licensee states that should Commission deem a forfeiture is necessary, the
Commission should “take into consideration the station’s unblemished history of overall compliance with
the Commission’s [R]ules, and the station’s good faith efforts to comply with the [R]ules” and that “In
the past, the Commission has deemed it appropriate to reduce significantly a proposed forfeiture when
such factors are present.”7 As such, Licensee claims, “The Commission is directed to accord the same
treatment to similarly situated parties.”8 Finally, Licensee states that “in prior instances where the Media
Bureau has determined that a licensee failed to publicize the existence and location of its Form 398
Reports, the Media Bureau has proposed substantially smaller forfeiture amounts.”9

III.

DISCUSSION

6.
The forfeiture amount proposed in this case was assessed in accordance with Section
503(b) of the Act,10 Section 1.80 of the Rules,11 and the Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement.12 In
assessing forfeitures, Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act requires that we take into account the nature,


4 Response at 2 (citing Policies and Rules Concerning Children’s Television Programming Revision of
Programming Policies for Television Broadcast Stations
, Report and Order, 11 FCC Rcd 10660, ¶¶ 66-67 (1996)
(“Children’s Television Programming Order”)).
5 Response at 2.
6 Id. at 2 -3 (citing Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirements for Television Broadcast Licensee Public
Interest Obligations
, Report and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 1274, ¶10 (2008)).
7 Response at 3 -4 (citing Three Angels Broadcasting Network, Inc., 22 FCC Rcd 16764 (EB 2007); Palouse
Country, Inc.
, 17 FCC Rcd 183 (EB 2007)).
8 Response at 4 (citing Melody Music v. FCC, 345 F.2d 730 (D.C. Cir. 1965)).
9 Response at 10 (citing Ramar Communications II, Ltd., 22 FCC Rcd 2676 (MB 2007); Nextar Broadcasting, Inc.,
22 FCC Rcd 8508 (MB 2007); WNJX-TV, Inc., 21 FCC Rcd 12389 (MB 2006); Libco, Inc., 20 FCC Rcd 16553 (MB
2005)).
10 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
11 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
12 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”).
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-258

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
7.
Licensee disputes that the Station failed to publicize the existence and location of its
Children’s Television Programming Reports as the Station’s Form 398 Reports were available throughout
the license term on the Station's website. Since January 2006, however, Licensee has altered its practice
and has publicized its website and the inclusion thereon of the Children’s Television Programming
Reports, through on-air broadcasts. We find that Licensee’s current publicizing practice qualifies as an
appropriate manner pursuant to Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules. In contrast, Licensee’s prior
practice of posting the From 398 Reports on its website without periodically apprising the public of the
existence and location of its Children’s Television Programming Reports did not satisfy the publicizing
requirement.
8.
Regarding Licensee’s claim that “in prior instances where the Media Bureau has
determined that a licensee failed to publicize the existence and location of its Form 398 Reports, the
Media Bureau has proposed substantially smaller forfeiture amounts.” The cases cited by Licensee are
not analogous to the case at hand. In each of the cases cited by Licensee, the licensees failed to publicize
the existence and location of their Children’s Television Programming reports for only a portion of the
licensing term. Here, Licensee failed to publicize the existence and location of its Children’s Television
Programming Reports for the entire licensing term. Accordingly, we reject Licensee’s argument that the
Media Bureau proposed smaller forfeiture amounts in prior instances of the same violation.
9.
Licensee states in its Response that the Station, since January 2006, has publicized the
existence and location of its children’s programming reports both by periodic over the air broadcasts and
on the Station’s website. While we recognize Licensee’s efforts, corrective action taken to come into
compliance with the Rules is expected and does not nullify or mitigate any prior forfeitures or
violations.14
10.
We have considered Licensee’s response to the NAL in light of the above statutory
factors, our Rules, and the Forfeiture Policy Statement. We conclude that Licensee willfully15 and
repeatedly16 violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules. However, given Licensee’s history of compliance
with the Rules, we reduce the forfeiture amount to $8,000.17

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

11.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act


13 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
14 Pittman Broadcasting Services, L.L.C., Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 2742, 2744 (EB 2008).
15 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. 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1). The legislative history of Section 312(f)(1)
of the Act clarifies that this definition of willful applies to Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act, H.R. REP. No. 97-
765, 51 (Conf. Rep.), and the Commission has so interpreted the terms in the Section 503(b) context. See Southern
California Broadcasting Co.
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd at 4387-88 (1991), recon. denied, 7
FCC RCD 3453 (1992) (“Southern California”).
16 Section 312(f)(1) of the Act defines “repeated” as “the commission or omission of [any] act more than once or, if
such commission or omission is continuous, for more than one day.” 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1). See also Southern
California
, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388 (applying this definition of repeated to Sections 312 and 503(b) of the Act).
17 See, e.g., Claro Communications, Ltd., Forfeiture Order, 23 FCC Rcd 359, 362 (EB 2008) (reducing forfeiture
amount based on licensee’s history of compliance); Traffic Control Products of Florida Inc., 23 FCC Rcd 5452,
5454 (EB 2008) (same). See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80, Note to Paragraph (b)(4), Downward Adjustment Criteria.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 10-258

of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.283 and 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules,18 that Griffin OKC
Licensing, L.L.C., 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.
12.
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 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
13.
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 David F. Griffin, Griffin OKC
Licensing, L.L.C., 7401 North Kelley Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73111-8420, and to its
counsel, to David A. O’Conner, Esquire, Holland & Knight LLP, 2099 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite
100, Washington, DC 20006-6801.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau


18 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.283, 1.80.
19 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
20 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
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