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Waters & Brock Communications, Inc.

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Released: July 11, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1547

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Waters & Brock Communications, Inc.
)
Facility I.D. No. 71089
Licensee of Station WARZ-LD
)
NAL/Acct. No.: 201341420029
Smithfield-Selma, North Carolina
)
FRN: 0003762069

NOTICE OF APPARENT

LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: July 10, 2013

Released: July 11, 2013

By the Deputy 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 we find that Waters & Brock Communications, Inc. (the "Licensee"),
licensee of Station WARZ-LD (the "Station"), apparently willfully and/or repeatedly violated (i) Section
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) of the Rules by failing to prepare, place in the public inspection file, and file timely
with the Commission the Station's Children's Television Programming Reports2 and (ii) Section
73.3514(a) of the Rules by failing to report the violations in its renewal application.3 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 sixteen thousand dollars ($16,000).

II.

BACKGROUND:

2.
Section 73.3526 of the Rules requires each commercial broadcast licensee to maintain a
public inspection file containing specific types of information related to station operations.4 As set forth
in subsection 73.3526(e)(11)(iii), each commercial television licensee is required to prepare and place in
its public inspection file a Children's Television Programming Report (FCC Form 398) for each calendar
quarter reflecting, inter alia, the efforts that it made during that quarter to serve the educational and
informational needs of children. That subsection also requires licensees to file the reports with the
Commission and to publicize the existence and location of the reports.
3.
Section 73.3514(a) of the Rules provides that "[e]ach application shall include all
information called for by the particular form on which the application is required to be filed. . . ." Section
II, Question 4 of the Form 303-S license renewal application requires licensees to report any "violations
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, or the rules or regulations of the Commission during
the preceding license term" and to "submit an explanatory exhibit providing complete descriptions of all
violations."


1 47 U.S.C. 503(b); 47 C.F.R. 1.80.
2 See 47 C.F.R. 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
3 47 C.F.R. 73.3514(a).
4 47 C.F.R. 73.3526.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1547

4.
On April 11, 2012, the Deputy Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau, issued a letter to
the Licensee ("Letter"), stating that Commission records indicated that the Licensee failed to make the
required Form 398 electronic filings for WARZ-LD for all quarters from 2005 through 2011. The Letter
required the Licensee to provide information identifying the quarters for which a Children's Television
Programming Report was prepared and placed in the Stations' public inspection files, and the location of
the files.
5.
On May 10, 2012, the Licensee responded to the letter and admitted that it failed to
prepare, place in the public inspection file, and file the forms electronically with the Commission in a
timely manner.
6.
On July 23, 2012, the Licensee filed its license renewal application (FCC Form 303-S)
for Station WARZ-LD (the "Application").5 The Licensee did not report its admitted violations of
Section 73.3526 in its application.6

III.

DISCUSSION

7. The Licensee's failure to prepare, place in the public file, and file with the Commission in a
timely manner its Children's Television Programming Reports constitute an apparent willful and/or
repeated violations of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii). Moreover, the Licensee's failure to report these
violations in its renewal application constitutes an apparent violation of Section 73.3514 of the
Commission's Rules.7
8. 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 and/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.8 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.9 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,10 and the Commission has so interpreted the term in the Section
503(b) context.11 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."12
9. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules establish
a base forfeiture amount of $10,000 for a public file violation and $3,000 for failure to file a required
form or information.13 In determining the appropriate forfeiture amount, we may adjust the base amount


5 File No. BRDTA-20120717ABN.
6 In total, the Licensee filed its Children's Television Programming Reports late for 29 quarters during the license
period.
7 47 C.F.R. 73.3514.
8 47 U.S.C. 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. 1.80(a)(1).
9 47 U.S.C. 312(f)(1).
10 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
11 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.
12 47 U.S.C. 312(f)(2).
13 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.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1547

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."14 In this case, the Licensee repeatedly failed to prepare and place the reports in the public file in
a timely manner during the quarters identified in the Commission inquiry and we therefore conclude that
the Licensee is apparently liable for a $10,000 forfeiture for these apparent violations. In addition, the
Licensee failed to file the reports with the Commission in a timely manner during the quarters identified
and we therefore conclude that the Station is apparently liable for a $3,000 forfeiture for these apparent
violations. We further find that the Licensee omitted information regarding violations from its renewal
application and is therefore liable for an additional $3,000 forfeiture. We thus conclude that the Licensee
is liable for a total forfeiture of $16,000 for these apparent violations.

IV.

ORDERING CLAUSES

10.
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 Waters & Brock
Communications, Inc. is hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the
amount of sixteen thousand dollars ($16,000) for its apparent willful and repeated violations of Sections
73.3526(e)(11)(iii) and 73.3514 of the Commission's Rules.
11.
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, that Waters & Brock 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.
12.
In the event that the Licensee wishes to revert WARZ-LD to low power television status,
the Licensee need only notify us of this election and request a change in status for the station.15 Should
the Licensee elect to revert to low power status, the Licensee would no longer be apparently liable for the
forfeiture amount described herein.
13.
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).
14.
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: Barbara A. Kreisman, Chief, Video
Division, Media Bureau, and MUST INCLUDE the NAL/Acct. No. referenced above.
15.
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 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)(4)
and note to paragraph (b)(4), Section II.
15 See 47 C.F.R. 73.6001(d).
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1547

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.
16.
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. 20554.16
17.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this NAL shall be sent, by First Class and
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Waters & Brock Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 1826,
Smithfield, North Carolina, 27577, and to its counsel, Michelle A. McClure, Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth,
PLC, 1300 N. 17th Street, 11th Floor, Arlington, Virginia, 22209.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Hossein Hashemzadeh
Deputy Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau


16 See 47 C.F.R. 1.1914.
4

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