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Pollack/Belz Communication Company, Inc.

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Released: February 5, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-127

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Pollack/Belz Communication Company, Inc.
)
Facility I.D. No. 52907
Licensee of Station KLAX-TV
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 20134140061
Alexandria, Louisiana
)
FRN: 0006096200

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: February 5, 2014

Released: February 5, 2014

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION:

1.
In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”) issued pursuant to Section
503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), and Section 1.80 of the
Commission’s Rules (the “Rules”),1 the Commission finds that Pollack/Belz Communication Company,
Inc. (the “Licensee”), licensee of Station KLAX-TV, Alexandria, Louisiana (“KLAX”), willfully and
repeatedly violated Section 73.3539(a) of the Rules by failing to timely file with the Commission its
Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License (Form 303-S). Based upon our review of the facts
and circumstances before us, we conclude that the Licensee is apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture
in the amount of two thousand, four hundred dollars ($2,400).

II.

BACKGROUND:

2.
Section 73.3539(a) of the Rules requires a broadcast television license renewal
application to be filed “not later than the first day of the fourth full calendar month prior to the expiration
date of the license sought to be renewed….”2 The Licensee’s last license renewal for KLAX-TV was
granted on August 7, 1997 and expired on June 1, 2005. On February 1, 2005, the Licensee filed a timely
license renewal application.3 This application remains pending. On March 12, 2012, the Commission
issued a Public Notice stating that “a station must file [a new license renewal application (Form 303-S)]
even if its last renewal application remains pending.”4 In accordance with the Public Notice the license
term for KLAX-TV would have expired on June 1, 2013 and pursuant to the Public Notice was therefore
required to file its license renewal application by February 1, 2013. Licensee did not file its Form 303-S
until June 3, 2013.5


1 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80.
2 47 C.F.R. § 73.3539(a).
3 See Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License, FCC File No. BRCT-20050201BHM.
4 Media Bureau Announces Revisions to License Renewal Procedures and Form 303-S License Renewal
Application; Television License Renewal Filings Accepted Beginning May 1, 2012
, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd
2460, 2461 (MB 2012).
5 See Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License, FCC File No. BRCDT-20130603BFV.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-127

III.

DISCUSSION

3.
The Licensee failed to file a timely application for renewal of its broadcast license for
KLAX. A Form 303-S for KLAX was not filed with the Commission until June 3, 2013—four months
and two days after the filing deadline and two days after the date the license would have expired. This
late filing constitutes an apparent willful and repeated violation of Section 73.3539(a) of the Rules.
4.
This NAL is issued pursuant to Section 503(b)(1)(B) of the Act. Under that provision,
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
Furthermore, the Commission has held that an inadvertent error, oversight or failure to become familiar
with Commission requirements are willful violations.8 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,9 and the
Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section 503(b) context.10 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act also
provides that “[t]he term ‘repeated,’ when used with reference to the commission or omission of any act,
means the commission or omission of such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is
continuous, for more than one day.”11
5.
The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b) of the Rules establish
a base forfeiture amount of $3,000 for failure to file a required form.12 In determining the appropriate
forfeiture amount, we may adjust the base amount upward or downward by considering the factors
enumerated in Section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, including “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.”13


6 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a)(1).
7 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1); See Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd
4387, 4388 (1991), recons. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992) (“Southern California”) (stating that “Commission
interpretations of “willful” do not require licensee intent to engage in a violation”).
8 See PJB Communications of Virginia, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order 7 FCC Rcd 2088 (1992) (asserting
that "[t]he fact that a licensee's violation occurred through inadvertence does not prevent it from being willful. It is
not necessary that the violation be intentional”); see also Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4387 (finding that
“inadvertence ... is at best, ignorance of the law, which the Commission does not consider a mitigating
circumstance”); 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”).
9 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
10 See Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.
11 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2); see also Callais Cablevision, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 16 FCC Rcd
1359, 1362 (2001).
12 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) (“Forfeiture Policy Statement”), recon. denied,
15 FCC Rcd. 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b), Section I.
13 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(2)(D); see also Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-01; 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b)(5);
47 C.F.R. § 1.80(b), Section II.
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-127

6.
Although in some instances the Video Division has decided to issue admonishments
instead of forfeitures due to a late filed license renewal application,14 in this case we believe forfeiture is
appropriate due to the lengthy delay in filing the application.15 Because the filing was over four months
late, there was significant delay in consideration of the licensee’s renewal application by both the public
and the Commission. We conclude based on these facts that a forfeiture is appropriate. In light of the
Licensee’s overall history of compliance with the Rules, we find that a downward adjustment of the base
forfeiture is warranted. Accordingly, we propose a forfeiture in the amount of $2,400 for the Licensee’s
apparent willful and repeated violation of Section 73.3539(a) of the Rules.16

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

7.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended, and Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules, that Pollack/Belz Communication
Company, Inc., is hereby

NOTIFIED

of its

APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

in the
amount of two thousand, four hundred dollars ($2,400) for its apparent willful and repeated violation of
Section 73.3539(a) of the Commission’s Rules.
8.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules, that
within thirty (30) days of the release date of this NAL, Pollack/Belz Communication Company, Inc.
SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or

SHALL FILE

a written statement seeking
reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
9.
Payment of the proposed 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).
10.
The response, if any, must be mailed to Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20554, ATTN: Evan S. Morris, Staff-Attorney,
Video Division, Media Bureau, and

MUST INCLUDE

the NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.
11.
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


14 See, e.g., PTP Holdings, Inc., Admonishment Letter, 28 FCC Rcd 13845 (MB 2013) (issued an admonishment
letter for filing its license renewal application 9 days after the filing deadline).
15 See WDKA Acquisition Corp., Forfeiture Order, DA 13-2316, ¶ 7 (Dec. 4, 2013) (finding that the licensee’s late
filing of one month and three days warranted a forfeiture and not an admonishment due to the extended nature of the
late filing).
16 See, e.g., Woods Comm. Corp., Forfeiture Order, 25 FCC Rcd 5215, 5217 (MB 2010) (reducing forfeiture by 20%
percent based on history of compliance).
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Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-127

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.17
12.
Requests for full payment of the forfeiture proposed in this NAL under the installment
plan should be sent to: Associate Managing Director- Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room
1-A625, Washington, D.C. 20554.18
13.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that copies of this NAL shall be sent, by First Class and
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Pollack/Belz Communication Company, Inc., 5500 Poplar
Avenue, Suite 1, Memphis, TN, 38119, and to its counsel, Barry D. Wood, Wood, Martin & Hardy, P.C.,
3300 Fairfax Drive, Suite 202, Arlington, VA 22201-4400.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau


17 See San Jose State Univ., 26 F.C.C. Rcd. 5908 (2011) (noting that “[t]ypically, the Commission uses gross
revenue as the primary measuring stick by which it evaluates a licensee's ability to pay. Other financial indicators
may be considered….”).
18 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
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