Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Liberty Communications, Inc.

Download Options

Released: February 10, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-169

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Liberty Communications, Inc.
)
Facility I.D. No. 37238
Licensee of Station W50CH
)
NAL/Acct. 201441420006
Alton, Illinois
)
FRN: 0021232889

NOTICE OF APPARENT

LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

Adopted: February 10, 2014

Released: February 10, 2014

By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:

I. INTRODUCTION

1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (“NAL”)1, we find that Liberty
Communications, Inc. (the “Licensee”), licensee of Class A television station W50CH, Alton, Illinois (the
“Station”), apparently willfully and/or repeatedly violated the Commission’s Rules by: (1) failing to file
the Station’s quarterly TV issues/programs lists, in violation of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(i)2 and (2) failing
to file timely with the Commission the Station’s Children’s Television Programming Reports, in violation
of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).3 Based upon our review of the facts and circumstances before us, we
conclude that the Licensee is apparently liable for a monetary forfeiture of Thirteen Thousand Dollars
($13,000).

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)(i), each commercial television licensee must prepare and place in its public
inspection file a TV issues/programs list which details programs that have provided the station’s most
significant treatment of community issues during the preceding three month period. 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.
On August 1, 2013, the Licensee filed its license renewal application (FCC Form 303-S)
for Station W50CH (the “Application”).5 In the application, the Licensee admitted certain deficiencies in


1 This NAL is 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”). See 47 U.S.C. § 503(b); 47 C.F.R. § 1.80. The Chief, Video
Division, Media Bureau, has delegated authority to issue the NAL under Section 0.283 of the Rules. See 47 C.F.R. §
0.283.
2 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(i).
3 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
4 47 C.F.R. § 73.3526.
5 File No. BRTTA-20130801AUZ.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-169

its public file.6 A review of Commission records reveals that the Licensee did not file issues/programs
lists for the Station for 26 quarters throughout the license period and that the Licensee failed to file
Children’s Television Programming Reports for the Station in a timely manner for 17 quarters.

III. DISCUSSION

4.
The Licensee’s failure to place in its public inspection file the Station’s quarterly TV
issues/programs lists for 26 quarters constitutes an apparent willful and/or repeated violation of Section
73.3526(e)(11)(i). The Licensee’s failure to file with the Commission in a timely manner its Children’s
Television Programming Reports for 17 quarters constitutes an apparent willful and/or repeated violation
of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(iii).
5.
This NAL is issued pursuant to Section 503(b)(1)(B) of the Act. Under that provision, any
person 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.7 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.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 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
6.
The Commission’s Forfeiture Policy Statement and Section 1.80(b)(4) of the Rules
establish a base forfeiture amount of $3,000 for failure to file a required form or information and a base
forfeiture amount of $10,000 for public file violations.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
7.
In this case, the Licensee has not filed the quarterly issues/programs lists for the Station
for numerous quarters, and we conclude the Licensee is liable for a $10,000 forfeiture for its apparent
willful and/or repeated violations of Section 73.3526(e)(11)(i). The Licensee further failed to file its
Children’s Television Programming Reports in a timely manner for multiple quarters, and we conclude
that the Licensee is apparently liable for a $3,000 forfeiture for its apparent willful and/or repeated
violations of Sections 73.3526(e)(11)(iii). We thus conclude a total forfeiture of $13,000 for the
Licensee’s apparent willful and/or repeated violations of Sections 73.3526(e)(11)(i)&(iii) is appropriate.


6 Id., Exhibit 6.
7 47 U.S.C. § 503(b)(1)(B); see also 47 C.F.R. § 1.80(a)(1).
8 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(1).
9 See H.R. Rep. No. 97-765, 97th Cong. 2d Sess. 51 (1982).
10 See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.
11 47 U.S.C. § 312(f)(2).
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)(4), note to paragraph (b)(4), 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)(4)
and note to paragraph (b)(4), Section II.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-169

IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

8.
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 Liberty Communications, Inc. is
hereby NOTIFIED of its APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE in the amount of Thirteen
Thousand Dollars ($13,000) for its apparent willful and/or repeated violations of Section 73.3526 of the
Commission’s Rules.
9.
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, Liberty 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.
10.
In the event that the Licensee wishes to revert W50CH to low power television status, the
Licensee need only notify us of this election and request a change in status for the station.14 Should the
Licensee elect to revert W50CH to low power status, the Licensee would no longer be apparently liable
for the forfeiture amount described herein.
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. Nos.
and FRN Nos. 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 numbers in
block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters “FORF” in block number 24A (payment type
code). Licensee will also send electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
Peter.Saharko@fcc.gov.
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 Saharko, Attorney Advisor,
Video Division, Media Bureau, and MUST INCLUDE the NAL/Acct. Nos. 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. 20554.15


14 See 47 C.F.R. § 73.6001(d).
15 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.1914.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 14-169

15.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this NAL shall be sent, by First Class and
Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, to Liberty Communications, Inc., P.O. Box 1044, Alton,
Illinois, 62002, and to its counsel, Michael Couzens, P.O. Box 3642, Oakland, California 94609.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Division
Media Bureau
4

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.