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Renewal Of License, KSRA(AM), Salmon, ID

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Released: October 21, 2011

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-1757

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In re Application of
)
)

Salmon River Communications, Inc.

)
Facility ID No. 71527
)
NAL/Acct. No. MB-201141410019
For Renewal of License for
)
FRN: 0020242244
Station KSRA(AM)
)
File No. BR-20101104AAG
Salmon, Idaho
)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

AND

NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: October 21, 2011

Released: October 21, 2011

By the Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau:

I. INTRODUCTION

1.
The Media Bureau ("Bureau") has before it the captioned application of Salmon River
Communication, Inc. (the "Licensee"), for renewal of its license for Station KSRA(AM), Salmon, Idaho
(the "Station"). In this Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture
("NAL")
issued pursuant to Sections 309(k) and 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended
(the "Act"), and Section 1.80 of the Commission's Rules (the "Rules"),1 by authority delegated to the
Bureau under Section 0.283 of the Rules,2 we find that the Licensee apparently willfully violated Section
73.3539 of the Rules,3 by failing to file a timely license renewal application for the Station, and apparently
willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act,4 by engaging in unauthorized operation of the
Station after its authorization had expired. 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 thirteen
thousand dollars ($13,000), and we grant the Station's license renewal application.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
Section 73.3539(a) of the Rules requires that applications for renewal of license for
broadcast stations must 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."5 An application for renewal of KSRA(AM)'s license
should have been filed by June 1, 2005. No such application was filed, and the Station's license expired
on October 1, 2005. On October 5, 2010, the Licensee filed a request for special temporary authorization
("STA") to continue Station operations pending consideration of an upcoming renewal application,6 and


1 47 U.S.C. 309(k), 503(b); 47 C.F.R. 1.80.
2 See 47 C.F.R. 0.283.
3 See 47 C.F.R. 73.3539.
4 See 47 U.S.C. 301.
5 47 C.F.R. 73.3539(a).
6 See File No. BLSTA-20101006AAN (the "STA Request").

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-1757

shortly thereafter filed the subject renewal application. The staff granted the STA Request on November
22, 2010, and it expired on May 22, 2011.7 In the STA Request, the Licensee indicates that KSRA(AM)
simply inadvertently failed to file a timely license renewal application for the Station, as it was not aware
at the time that a license renewal form needed to be filed.

III.

DISCUSSION

3.
Proposed Forfeiture. In this case, the Licensee has failed to file a timely license renewal
application for Station KSRA(AM), as required by Section 73.3539(a) of the Rules. Moreover, Licensee
violated Section 301 of the Act by continuing to operate the Station for more than five years after the
license had expired on October 1, 2005, before filing the appropriate renewal application and seeking STA
to so operate. It also continued operating the Station after the expiration of the STA on May 22, 2011, an
additional violation of Section 301 of the Act. Licensees are obligated to comply fully with the Rules and
the Act, including filing a timely renewal application and maintaining in effect the station's authorization.8
Here, the Licensee did not do so.
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 failed willfully or repeatedly 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.9 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.10 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,11 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section
503(b) context.12 Section 312(f)(2) of the Act 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."13
5.
The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules
establish a base forfeiture amount of $3,000 for the failure to file a required form.14 The guidelines also
specify a base forfeiture amount of $10,000 for construction and/or operation without an instrument of
authorization for the service.15 In determining the appropriate forfeiture amount, we may adjust the base





7 Letter to Mr. Rick Sessions, Salmon River Communications Inc., Ref. 1800B3 (MB Nov. 22, 2010).
8 See, e.g., Hemmingford Media, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 14 FCC Rcd 2940, 2941-2 (CIB 1999) (responsibility for
complying with terms of station license "rests solely and exclusively with the licensee") (citing Empire Broadcasting
Corp
., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 25 FCC 2d 68 (1970)).
9 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(1)(B). See also 47 C.F.R. 1.80(a)(1).
10 47 U.S.C. 312(f)(1).
11 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
12 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4387, 4387 (1991),
recon. denied, 7 FCC Rcd 3454 (1992) ("Southern California").
13 47 U.S.C. 312(f)(2).
14 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)(4), note to paragraph (b)(4), Section I.
15 A broadcast station requires an authorization from the Commission to operate. See 47 U.S.C. 301.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-1757

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."16
6.
In this case, the Licensee failed to file a timely renewal application for the Station, and
continued operating the Station for more than five years after its license had expired on October 1, 2005,
before filing the appropriate renewal application STA request. It also has continued to operate the Station
after its STA expired on May 22, 2011. Moreover, although the licensee claims that the failure to file a
timely renewal application for the Station was unintentional, the Commission has held that violations
resulting from inadvertent error or failure to become familiar with the FCC's requirements are willful
violations.17 Taking into consideration these facts and all of the factors required by Section 503(b)(2)(D)
of the Act and the Forfeiture Policy Statement, we propose a forfeiture for the full $3,000 amount for the
failure to file a timely renewal application, and for the full $10,000 amount for the Licensee's extended
periods of unauthorized operation of the Station. Thus, we propose forfeiture in the total amount of
$13,000.18
7.
License Renewal Application. In evaluating an application for license renewal, the
Commission's decision is governed by Section 309(k) of the Act.19 That section provides that if, upon
consideration of the application and pleadings, we find that (1) the station has served the public interest,
convenience, and necessity; (2) there have been no serious violations of the Act or the Rules; and (3) there
have been no other violations which, taken together, constitute a pattern of abuse, we are to grant the
renewal application.20 If, however, the licensee fails to meet that standard, the Commission may deny the
application after notice and opportunity for a hearing under Section 309(e) of the Act or grant the
application "on terms and conditions that are appropriate, including a renewal for a term less than the
maximum otherwise permitted."21
8.
We find that the Licensee's violation of Section 73.3539 of the Rules and Section 301 of
the Act do not constitute "serious violations" warranting designation for evidentiary hearing. Moreover,
we find no evidence of violations that, when considered together, constitute a pattern of abuse.22 Further,





16 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(2)(D); see also Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100; 47 C.F.R. 1.80(b)(4).
17 See Southern California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4387 (1991) (stating 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, 358 (1986) (stating that "employee acts or omissions, such as
clerical errors in failing to file required forms, do not excuse violations").
18 See Crawford County Community Radio, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order and Notice of Apparent Liability,
25 FCC Rcd 16329 (MB 2010) ) (proposing a $13,000 forfeiture for untimely filing of renewal application and
extended periods of unauthorized operation); Application of James Rouse, Memorandum Opinion and Order and
Notice of Apparent Liability, 23 FCC Rcd 5602 (MB 2008) (same).
19 47 U.S.C. 309(k).
20 47 U.S.C. 309(k)(1). The renewal standard was amended to read as described by Section 204(a) of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996). See Implementation of Sections 204(a)
and 204(c) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Broadcast License Renewal Procedures)
, Order, 11 FCC Rcd
6363 (1996).
21 47 U.S.C. 309(k)(2), 309(k)(3).
22 For example, we do not find here that the Licensee's Station operation "was conducted in an exceedingly careless,
inept and negligent manner and that the licensee is either incapable of correcting or unwilling to correct the operating
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-1757

we find that Station KSRA(AM) served the public interest, convenience, and necessity during the subject
license term, and we will grant the captioned license renewal application.

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

9.
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 Salmon River Communications,
Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the amount of thirteen
thousand dollars ($13,000) for its apparent willful violation of Section 73.3539 of the Commission's Rules
and its apparent willful and repeated violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act.
10.
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, Salmon River Communications, Inc. SHALL PAY
the full amount of the proposed forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.
11.
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).
12.
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: Peter H. Doyle, Chief, Audio
Division, Media Bureau, and MUST INCLUDE the NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.
13.
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.
14.
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. 20554.23
15.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Section 309(k) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, that the license renewal application of Salmon River Communications, Inc. for Station
KSRA(AM), Salmon, Idaho (BRH-20101104AAG) IS GRANTED.





deficiencies." See Heart of the Black Hills Stations, Decision, 32 FCC 2d 196, 198 (1971). Nor do we find on the
record here that "the number, nature and extent" of the violations indicate that "the licensee cannot be relied upon to
operate [the station] in the future in accordance with the requirements of its licenses and the Commission's Rules."
Id., 32 FCC 2d at 200. See also Center for Study and Application of Black Economic Development, Hearing
Designation Order, 6 FCC Rcd 4622 (1991), Calvary Educational Broadcasting Network, Inc., Hearing Designation
Order, 7 FCC Rcd 4037 (1992).
23 See 47 C.F.R. 1.1914.
4

Federal Communications Commission

DA 11-1757

16.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this NAL shall be sent, by First Class and
Certified Mail-Return Receipt Requested, to Mr. Rick Sessions, Salmon River Communications, Inc., 315
Riverfront Drive, Salmon ID 83467.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
Media Bureau
5

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