Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Long-haul FM station moves denied

The FCC has denied Educational Media Foundation's request to move two New Mexico FM stations hundreds of miles to the east.

Tucumcari's KVLP proposed to move to Brewster, Ohio, southwest of Massillon in the northeastern part of the state. The move would include a substantial power increase and a move from 91.7 to 90.1.

Roswell's KQAI proposed to move to Rising Sun, Maryland in the extreme northeastern corner of the state, about 25 miles west of Wilmington, Delaware. This move would have included a significant power decrease and a frequency change from 89.1 to 88.3.

In both cases, the FCC quoted document DA-08-1537 as the reason for denying the requests. This document addresses the ability of various pending FM applications to lead towards a "fair distribution" of non-commercial FM radio service. In both cases, other applications had been filed for completely new stations, and a competing applicant showed their station would do a better job of creating a fair distribution of service.

In KVLP's case, the station didn't claim it would provide a first or second non-commercial service to at least 10% of the people in their proposed service area. (or that that 10% would amount to fewer than 2,000 people) The competing applicant did claim to provide first or second service, and thus won the preference.

In KQAI's case, three applicants including KQAI claimed to provide a first service to at least 10% of their potential audience. However, competing applicant Four Rivers Community Broadcasting proposed to reach 33,000 people with a 1st or 2nd service; KQAI claimed only 26,000.

Educational Media Foundation operates the "K-Love" and "Air1" religious popular music networks.