Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Ministerio Radial Cristo Viene Pronto, Inc

Download Options

Released: December 31, 1969
Federal Communications Commission

DA 09-48

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

MINISTERIO RADIAL CRISTO VIENE

)
EB-06-IH-5641

PRONTO, INC.

)
Facility ID No. 42685
)
NAL/Account No. 200932080024
Licensee of Noncommercial Educational Station
)
FRN 0009422858
WCRP(FM), Guayama, Puerto Rico
)

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: January 16, 2009

Released: January 16, 2009

By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find that
Ministerio Radial Cristo Viene Pronto, Inc., ("Ministerio"), licensee of noncommercial
educational Station WCRP(FM), Guayama, Puerto Rico, has apparently violated Section 399B of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"),1 and Section 73.503 of the
Commission's rules,2 by willfully and repeatedly broadcasting prohibited advertisements. Based
upon our review of the facts and circumstances of this case, we conclude that Ministerio is
apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture in the amount of $2,500.

II. BACKGROUND

2.
This case arises from a complaint made to the Commission alleging that
noncommercial educational Station WCRP(FM) broadcast prohibited underwriting
announcements on or about October 25, 2006.3 Thereafter, the Bureau inquired of the licensee
concerning the allegations contained in the complaint.4 Ministerio responded substantively to the
LOI on June 5, 2007.5


1 See 47 U.S.C. 399b.
2 See 47 C.F.R. 73.503 (the "Underwriting Rules").
3 See E-mail from Diane Law Hsu, Regional Counsel, Tampa Field Office, Enforcement Bureau, to
Benigno E. Bartolome, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, dated
November 16, 2006 ("Complaint").
4 See Letter from Benigno E. Bartolome, Deputy Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division, Enforcement
Bureau, to Ministerio, dated April 20, 2007 ("LOI").
5 See Letter from Frank R. Jazzo, Esq., and Anne Goodwin Crump, Esq., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary,
FCC, dated June 5, 2007 ("Response").

Federal Communications Commission DA 09-48_____

III. DISCUSSION

3.
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.6 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.7 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,8 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the
Section 503(b) context.9 The Commission may also assess a forfeiture for violations that are
merely repeated, and not willful.10 "Repeated" means that the act was committed or omitted more
than once, or lasts more than one day.11 In order to impose such a 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.12 The Commission will then issue a forfeiture if it finds, by a preponderance of the
evidence, that the person has willfully or repeatedly violated the Act or a Commission rule.13 As
described in greater detail below, we conclude under this procedure that Ministerio is apparently
liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $2,500 for its apparent willful and repeated violations of
the Commission's Underwriting Rules.

A.

Ministerio Has Willfully and Repeatedly Broadcast Advertisements in
Violation of Section 399B of the Act and Section 73.503 of the Commission's
Rules

4.
Advertisements are defined by the Act as program material broadcast "in exchange
for any remuneration" and intended to "promote any service, facility, or product" of for-profit
entities.14 The pertinent statute specifically provides that noncommercial educational stations may
not broadcast advertisements.15 Although contributors of funds to such stations may receive on-air
acknowledgements, the Commission has held that such acknowledgements may be made for
identification purposes only, and should not promote the contributors' products, services, or
businesses.16 Specifically, such announcements may not contain comparative or qualitative


6 See 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. 1.80(a)(1).
7 47 U.S.C. 312(f)(1).
8 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
9 See, e.g., Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387,
4388 (1991).
10 See, e.g., Callais Cablevision, Inc., Grand Isle, Louisiana, Notice of Apparent Liability for Monetary
Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd 1359, 1362, 10 (2001) ("Callais Cablevision") (issuing a Notice of Apparent
Liability for, inter alia, a cable television operator's repeated signal leakage).
11 Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388, 5; Callais Cablevision, Inc., 16 FCC Rcd at
1362, 9.
12 See 47 U.S.C. 503(b); 47 C.F.R. 1.80(f).
13 See, e.g., SBC Communications, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 17 FCC Rcd 7589, 7591 4 (2002) (forfeiture
paid).
14 See 47 U.S.C. 399b(a).
15 See 47 U.S.C. 399b(b)(2).
16 See Public Notice, In the Matter of the Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of
2

Federal Communications Commission DA 09-48_____

descriptions, price information, calls to action, or inducements to buy, sell, rent or lease.17 At the
same time, however, the Commission has acknowledged that it is at times difficult to distinguish
between language that promotes versus that which merely identifies the underwriter. Consequently,
it expects that licensees exercise reasonable, "good faith" judgment in this area, and affords some
latitude to the judgments of licensees who do so.18
5.
At issue here are two underwriting announcements made by Ministerio on behalf
of William's Furniture and Rainbow that Ministerio admits were broadcast by its station during
the period October 1, 2006, until December 2, 2006.19 Ministerio acknowledges that it received
monetary consideration in exchange for airing these announcements.20 Ministerio also represents
that the underwriters are both for-profit entities, and that the messages were repeated a total of 12
times during the stated period.21

6.
After careful review of the record in this case, we find that the announcements in
question apparently exceed the bounds of what is permissible under Section 399B of the Act, and
the Commission's pertinent rules and policies, notwithstanding the "good faith" discretion
afforded licensees under Xavier. In this regard, an announcement made on behalf of William's
Furniture, which describes it as offering "quality craftsmanship," seeks impermissibly to
distinguish that underwriter's business favorably from that of its competitors.22 The Commission
has broadly held that, in underwriting announcements, the station's use of comparative and
qualitative language to describe the underwriter or its products or services is generally
forbidden.23 In addition, in this case, the underwriter improperly attempts to induce patronage
through its offer of "free estimates," "10% discounts," and by urging listeners to "call now."24
Similarly, an announcement made on behalf of Rainbow improperly promotes the underwriter by
claiming that its cleaning product offers "the best cleaning system," and presents a "unique
environment."25 Further, Rainbow improperly seeks to induce patronage in offering that "for a
limited time only, [listeners may] obtain a special gift with a free in-home presentation and
another when [they] purchase"; by offering financing "without interest"; and by imploring
listeners to "call right now." 26 The underwriter makes further prohibited references to price in
implying that its services are low cost, by stating "because you deserve to be healthy and your





Educational Broadcasting Stations (1986), republished, 7 FCC Rcd 827 (1992) ("Public Notice").
17 See id.
18 See Xavier University, Letter of Admonition, issued November 14, 1989 (Mass Med. Bur.), recons.
granted
, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 5 FCC Rcd 4920 (1990) ("Xavier").
19 See Response at 1.
20 See id. at 2.
21 See id. at 1-2.
22 See id. at Exhibit 1; see also Public Notice, supra note 16.
23 See Public Notice, supra note 16; Minority Television Project, Inc. (KMTP-TV), Forfeiture Order, 18
FCC Rcd 26611 (Enf. Bur. 2003), aff'd, Order on Review, 19 FCC Rcd 25116 (2004), recons. den., 20
FCC Rcd 16923 (2005) (forfeiture paid).
24 See Response at Exhibit 1; see also Public Notice, supra note 16.
25 See Response at Exhibit 1.
26 See id.
3

Federal Communications Commission DA 09-48_____

pocket deserves also." 27 Thus, the instant announcements appear to contain numerous prohibited
promotional references.
7.
Ministerio claims that it closely monitors its underwriting content, and that "any
violation found to have been contained in the [foregoing] announcements . . . was inadvertent and
represents an aberration from [its] general practices", and that these occurrences were only
"isolated instances."28 We do not agree that Ministerio's multiple repetitions of such
announcements during a two-month period can be characterized as truly isolated. Nor do we find
convincing Ministerio's assertion of care in reviewing the content of its underwriting messages,
given the plainly promotional nature of the material at issue here. In short, none of Ministerio's
assertions provide a basis for mitigation.

B.

Proposed Action

8.
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.29 The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement sets a base forfeiture amount
of $2,000 for violation of the enhanced underwriting rules.30 The Forfeiture Policy Statement
also provides that the Commission shall adjust a forfeiture based upon consideration of the factors
enumerated in Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, such as "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."31
9.
In this case, it appears that, during a two-month period from October 1, 2006,
until December 2, 2006, Ministerio willfully and repeatedly broadcast two separate
advertisements on a total of twelve occasions in violation of Section 399B of the Act and Section
73.503 (d) of the Commission's rules. Based on all the circumstances, the relatively limited
period of time over which the prohibited announcements were aired, the small number of
announcements and repetitions at issue, and after examining forfeiture actions in other recent
underwriting cases, we believe that a forfeiture of $2,500 is appropriate.32 Accordingly, applying
the Forfeiture Policy Statement and the statutory factors to this case, we conclude that Ministerio
is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of $2,500 for willfully and repeatedly violating
the Commission's Underwriting Rules.


27 See id.
28 See Response at 3.
29 See 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. 1.80(a)(1).
30 The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80 of the Rules to
Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines
, Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd 17087, 17113 (1997), recons. denied
15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"); 47 C.F.R. 1.80(b).
31 Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-01, 27.
32 Cf. Family Life Educational Foundation (KOUZ(FM)), Notice of Apparent Liability, 17 FCC Rcd 16317
(Enf. Bur. 2002) (forfeiture paid) ($2,000 forfeiture imposed for repeat violation involving 120 repetitions
of single message over a three-month period).
4

Federal Communications Commission DA 09-48_____

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

10.

ACCORDINGLY

, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311 and 1.80 of the Commission's rules, Ministerio
Radial Cristo Viene Pronto, Inc., licensee of noncommercial educational Station WCRP(FM),
Guayama, Puerto Rico, is

HEREBY NOTIFIED OF ITS APPARENT LIABILITY FOR A
FORFEITURE

in the amount of $2,500 for willfully and repeatedly broadcasting advertisements
in violation of Section 399B of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 399b, and Section 73.503 of the
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 73.503, from October 1, 2006 until December 2, 2006.
11.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission's
rules, that within 30 days of the release of this Notice, Ministerio

SHALL PAY

the full amount
of the proposed forfeiture or

SHALL FILE

a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation
of the proposed forfeiture.
12.
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[s] 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. Ministerio
will also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
Hilary.DeNigro@fcc.gov, Kenneth.Scheibel@fcc.gov, and Anita.Patankar-Stoll@fcc.gov.
13.
The response, if any, shall be mailed to Hillary S. DeNigro, Chief, Investigations
and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th
Street, S.W, Room 4-C330, Washington D.C. 20554 and

SHALL INCLUDE

the NAL/Acct. No.
referenced above. To the extent practicable, the response, if any, shall also be sent via e-mail to
Hillary.DeNigro@fcc.gov, Kenneth.Scheibel@fcc.gov, and Anita.Patankar-Stoll@fcc.gov.
14.
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.
5

Federal Communications Commission DA 09-48_____

15.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that a copy of this Notice shall be sent, by
Certified Mail/Return Receipt Requested, to Ministerio Radial Cristo Viene Pronto, Inc., P.O.
Box 344, Guayama, Puerto Rico, 00785-0344, and to its counsel, Frank R. Jazzo, Esq., and Anne
Goodwin Crump, Esq., Fletcher Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C., 11th Floor, 1300 North 17th Street,
Arlington, Virginia 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
6

Federal Communications Commission DA 09-48_____

ATTACHMENT

The following text was transcribed from underwriting announcements broadcast over
noncommercial educational Station WCRP(FM), Guayama, Puerto Rico.
William's Furniture
We do all types of wood work (carpentry) with teak, white oak, red oak. We work with European
styles, natural and Italian. We do work for offices, bathrooms, and kitchens. Bring us your idea
and we will make it happen. Free estimates upon completing your order for immediate service.
Quality craftsmanship. If you mention you heard this on Revelacion Radio 88.1, you'll receive a
10% discount. Call now at 939-630-3552. Willam's Furniture.
Rainbow
Because you deserve to be healthy and your pocket deserves to be also, the new Rainbow has
arrived. The best cleaning system, it has 42 functions. Enjoy the unique environment that
Rainbow offers. Now you can finance it for 12, 14 or up to 18 months without interest. What,
you can't believe it? Call right now. You can obtain one easier than ever at (787) 914-0335 or at
(787) 586-6220. For a limited time only obtain a special gift with a free in-home presentation and
another when you purchase.
7

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.