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Lazer Licenses, LLC

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Released: February 15, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-211


Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Lazer Licenses, LLC
)
File No.: EB-09-SD-0156
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201132940004
Licensee of Broadcast Station KSSB(FM)
)
FRN: 0015079908
Calipatria, California
)
Facility ID No.: 52469
)

FORFEITURE ORDER

Adopted: February 14. 2013

Released: February 15, 2013

By the Regional Director, Western Region, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Forfeiture Order, we issue a monetary forfeiture in the amount of eight thousand
dollars ($8,000) to Lazer Licenses, LLC (Lazer),1 licensee of Station KSSB(FM), in Calipatria,
California, for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 73.3526 of the Commission's rules (Rules), which
requires broadcast stations to maintain a complete public inspection file.2 The noted violations involve
Lazer’s failure to maintain multiple issues/programs list in the Station KSSB(FM) public inspection file. In
addition, no later than thirty (30) calendar days from the date of this Forfeiture Order, Lazer must submit a
statement signed under penalty of perjury that the Station KSSB(FM) public inspection file is in compliance
with Section 73.3526 of the Rules.

II

.

BACKGROUND

2.
On April 21, 2010, agents from the Enforcement Bureau’s San Diego Office inspected
the main studio of Station KSSB(FM), located in Brawley, California. The agents reviewed the content
of the Station KSSB(FM) public inspection file with the general manager of the station and discovered
that required issues and programs lists were missing for all quarters of 2007, the second, third, and fourth
quarters of 2008, the first quarter of 2009, and the first quarter of 2010. A San Diego agent telephoned
the general manager on April 28, 2010 to confirm the missing issues and programs lists, but the general
manager advised that she was not familiar with the documents and would have her manager contact the
agent later. The San Diego agent did not receive a follow-up call from any representative of Station
KSSB(FM).
3.
On May 25, 2010, San Diego agents returned to Station KSSB(FM) and reexamined the
contents of Station KSSB(FM)’s public inspection file and discovered that, other than the issues/programs
lists for the second and third quarters of 2007, the above lists remained missing. However, during this
inspection, while the agents were examining the file contents, copies of the issues/programs lists for the
first quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010 were electronically sent from Lazer’s corporate offices
and printed out to be placed into the public inspection file.


1 The FRN for Lazer has been updated in the caption from 0015149842 to 0015079908.
2 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-211

4.
On May 18, 2011, the San Diego Office issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for
Forfeiture (NAL) in the amount of $8,000 to Lazer for failing to maintain a complete public inspection
file.3 Lazer responded to the NAL on June 16, 2011.4 In its Response, Lazer argues that the proposed
forfeiture should be cancelled or reduced, based on precedent and “overall compliance by the licensee.”5

III.

DISCUSSION

5.
The proposed forfeiture amount in this case was assessed in accordance with Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act),6 Section 1.80 of the Rules,7 and the
Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement.8 In examining Lazer’s Response, Section 503(b) of the Act
requires that the Commission 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 other such matters as justice may require.9 We consider Lazer’s Response to the NAL in light
of these statutory factors and find that neither cancellation nor reduction of the forfeiture is warranted for
the reasons discussed below.
6.
Section 73.3526(a)(2) of the Rules requires that every licensee of an AM or FM station
shall maintain a public inspection file containing the material relating to that station described in Section
73.3526(e) of the Rules.10 Specifically, Section 73.3526(e)(12) requires licensees to place in their public
inspection file, for each calendar quarter, a list of programs that have provided the station’s most
significant treatment of community issues during the preceding three month period.11 This list is known
as the radio issues/programs list and copies of the lists must be maintained in the file until final action has
been taken on the station’s next renewal application.12 Further, as required by Section 73.3526(b), the
public inspection file shall be maintained at the station’s main studio.13 On April 21, 2010, and again on
May 25, 2010, San Diego agents found that Lazer failed to maintain a complete public inspection file for
Station KSSB(FM), by omitting from the station’s file nine and then seven quarterly issues/programs
lists, for each inspection date respectively, of the 13 quarterly issues/programs lists required for the period
between January 2007 and the inspection in April of 2010.
7.
Lazer does not dispute that quarterly issues/programs lists were missing from the Station
KSSB(FM) public inspection file as described above.14 Rather, Lazer argues that it complied with other
aspects of Section 73.3526 of the Rules, including maintaining the other items as required and making the


3 Lazer Licenses, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 6850 (Enf. Bur. 2011) (NAL).
4 See Response of Lazer Licenses, LLC (filed June 16, 2011, in EB-09-SD-0156) (Response).
5 Id. at 1.
6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b).
7 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
8 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), recons. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999)
(Forfeiture Policy Statement).
9 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(E).
10 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(a)(2).
11 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(12).
12 Id.
13 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(b).
14 Lazer states that five lists were missing. Response at 1. However, the record shows that nine were missing during
the April 21, 2010, inspection and that seven were missing during the May 25, 2010, inspection until Lazer’s corporate
offices emailed two of the missing lists to the KSSB(FM) main studio after the San Diego agent began the inspection.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-211

public file accessible, and that the NAL should be cancelled, because station KSSB(FM) is an “active
member of its community and serves the broad market of listeners in and around its licensed
community.”15 We find no merit to Lazer’s argument. The Commission has consistently held that
“licensees are expected to comply with the Commission’s Rules as well as to make continued efforts to
serve the community to which they are licensed and will not be relived of liability for violations of the
Rules by the fact they have fulfilled their responsibility to serve their communities.”16
8.
We also disagree with Lazer’s argument that the amount of the forfeiture should be
reduced “in light of overall compliance with the rule” and consistent with precedent.17 We first note that
Lazer has no history of compliance with Section 73.3526 of the Rules. To the contrary, the Commission
recently affirmed a forfeiture assessed against Lazer, and three other Lazer stations in California, for
similar violations of Section 73.3526 of the Rules, specifically for missing quarterly issues/programs
lists.18 Also, while Lazer cites to a 2006 Notice of Apparent Liability against another licensee for a
similar violation in which a $4,000 forfeiture was proposed,19 we note that other more recent precedent
proposed even larger forfeitures for similar numbers of missing issues/programs lists.20 As each case
presents a unique set of considerations and facts, we must review this case consistent with the statutory
factors listed above.21 We also note that the San Diego Office already reduced the proposed base
forfeiture amount from $10,000 to $8,000.22 Given the facts of this case, that Lazer failed to maintain a
complete public inspection file, beginning in 2007, and that the Station KSSB(FM) public inspection file
continued to be incomplete over three years later, along with Lazer’s history of violations of Section
73.3526 of the Rules, we see no reason to reduce the forfeiture amount any further.
9.
We have examined Lazer’s Response to the NAL pursuant to the statutory factors above,
and in conjunction with the Forfeiture Policy Statement. As a result of our review, we conclude that
Lazer willfully and repeatedly violated Section 73.3526 of the Rules. Considering the entire record and
the factors listed above, we find that a forfeiture in the amount of $8,000 is warranted. We also note that
Lazer did not indicate in its Response whether the public inspection file for Station KSSB(FM) has come
into compliance with the requirements of Section 73.3526 of the Rules. We therefore order Lazer to


15 Response at 2.
16 Radio Beaumont, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 50 FCC 2d 904 (1975) (a licensee’s public service to its
community will not justify a reduction in the amount of a forfeiture for a licensee); see Esther Blodgett, Memorandum
Opinion and Order, 18 FCC 2d 6 (1969) (a licensee is not relieved of responsibility for complying with applicable
statutes and rules by the fact that it has performed an outstanding public service to the community); Discussion Radio
Incorporated
, Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 19 FCC Rcd 7433
(2004) (a Commission licensee is charged with knowledge of the full range of its obligations pursuant to the Act, the
Rules and its authorization).
17 Response at 3.
18 See Lazer Licenses, LLC, Order on Review, 27 FCC Rcd 626 (2012) (forfeiture paid) (upholding an Enforcement
Bureau forfeiture against three Lazer stations that were each missing multiple quarterly issues/programs lists in their
public inspection files).
19 Response at 4, citing to Cortaro Broadcasting Corporation, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, NAL/Acct.
No. 200632940003 (Enf. Bur., Western Region, San Diego Office, released Mar.14, 2006) (forfeiture paid).
20 Crocodile Broadcasting Corp., Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 1173 (Enf.
Bur. 2011) (proposing a $10,000 forfeiture for missing eight issues/programs list from a public inspection file);
Entertainment Media Trust, Dennis J. Watkins, Trustee, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 26 FCC Rcd 6877
(Enf. Bur. 2011) (proposing a $12,000 forfeiture for eight issues/programs lists missing from a public inspection file).
21 See, e.g., Twenty-One Sound Communications, Inc., Order on Review, 23 FCC Rcd 2436, 2439 (2008) (affirming an
Enforcement Bureau decision that an incomplete public inspection file, missing only three items, could subject a
licensee to monetary forfeitures regardless of why or for how long the items were missing).
22 NAL, 26 FCC Rcd at 6852.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-211

submit a written statement pursuant to Section 1.16 of the Rules23 signed under penalty of perjury by an
officer or director of Lazer within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this Forfeiture Order that
Station KSSB(FM) is now in compliance with Section 73.3526 of the Rules.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

10.

ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED

that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, and 1.80(f)(4) of the
Commission’s Rules, Lazer Licenses, LLC,

IS LIABLE FOR A MONETARY FORFEITURE

in the
amount of eight thousand dollars ($8,000) for willfully and repeatedly violating Section 73.3526 of the
Commission's Rules.24
11.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that Lazer Licenses, LLC,

SHALL SUBMIT

a written
statement, as described in paragraph 9, within thirty (30) calendar days of the release date of this
Forfeiture Order. The statement must be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement
Bureau, Western Region, San Diego Office, 4542 Ruffner Street - Suite 370, San Diego, CA 92111.
Lazer Licenses, LLC, shall also e-mail the written statement to WR-Response@fcc.gov.
12.
Payment of the forfeiture shall be made in the manner provided for in Section 1.80 of the
Rules within thirty (30) calendar days after the release date of this Forfeiture Order.25 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 Act.26 Lazer Licenses, LLC, shall send
electronic notification of payment to WR-Response@fcc.gov on the date said payment is made.
13.
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.27 When completing the
FCC Form 159, enter the Account Number in block number 23A (call sign/other ID) and enter the letters
“FORF” in block number 24A (payment type code). Below are additional instructions you should follow
based on the form of payment you select:
Ÿ
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.
Ÿ
Payment by wire transfer must be made to ABA Number 021030004, receiving bank
TREAS/NYC, and Account Number 27000001. To complete the wire transfer and ensure
appropriate crediting of the wired funds, a completed Form 159 must be faxed to U.S. Bank
at (314) 418-4232 on the same business day the wire transfer is initiated.
Ÿ
Payment by credit card must be made by providing the required credit card information on
FCC Form 159 and signing and dating the Form 159 to authorize the credit card payment.
The completed Form 159 must then be mailed to Federal Communications Commission, P.O.
Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000, or sent via overnight mail to U.S. Bank –


23 47 C.F.R. § 1.16.
24 47 U.S.C. § 503(b), 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.111, 0.204, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80(f)(4), 73.3526.
25 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
26 47 U.S.C. § 504(a).
27 An FCC Form 159 and detailed instructions for completing the form may be obtained at
http://www.fcc.gov/Forms/Form159/159.pdf.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-211

Government Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
63101.
14.
Any request for full payment under an installment plan should be sent to: Chief Financial
Officer—Financial Operations, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-
A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.28 If you have questions regarding payment procedures, please contact
the Financial Operations Group Help Desk by phone, 1-877-480-3201, or by e-mail,
ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov.
15.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Forfeiture Order shall be sent by both
First Class Mail and Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested to Lazer Licenses, LLC, 200 South A
Street, Suite 400, Oxnard, CA, 93030, and to Harry C. Martin, its counsel of record, at Fletcher, Heald &
Hildreth, P.L.C., 11th Floor, 1300 North 17th St., Arlington, VA 22209.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Rebecca L. Dorch
Regional Director, Western Region
Enforcement Bureau


28 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
5

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