Thursday, December 31, 2009

New AM station on the air

Jackson, Wyoming: 1450KHz:
New station KJCV on the air.
1,000 watts day & night, non-directional

Friday, December 18, 2009

Long-haul TV moves denied, but new channels anyway...

The FCC has denied the applications of two Western TV stations to move to large East Coast cities.

The FCC has denied PMCM's requests to move KVNV-3 Ely, Nevada to Middletown Township, New Jersey and KJWY-2 from Jackson, Wyoming to Wilmington, Delaware. They ruled that the definition of "reallocation" is the move of a channel from one place to another place **when the channel cannot be used in both places simultaneously**. Provisions of the "Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982" **required** the FCC to approve such a reallocation if the station requested and it would place a commercial VHF channel in a state that didn't already have one. (New Jersey and Delaware were the only two such states)

The result of (and the reason for) the 1982 Act was to allow WOR-9 New York City to move to Secaucus, New Jersey and thus escape the revocation of its license due to misdeeds at the station's corporate owner.

Obviously, the use of channel 2 in Jackson, Wyoming does NOT preclude the use of the same channel in Wilmington, Delaware!



The 1982 Act also mandates that "It shall be the policy of the Federal Communications Commission to allocate
channels for very high frequency commercial television broadcasting in a
manner which ensures that not less than one such channel shall be allocated to
each State, if technically feasible."

In 1982, it was *not* "technically feasible" to allocate new VHF channels to New Jersey or Delaware, without moving an existing station.

In 2009, due to the widespread abandonment of low-band VHF with DTV, it *is* technically feasible.

(and yes, New Jersey is again without a commercial VHF station. WOR -- now WWOR -- elected to leave its permanent DTV facility on its interim channel 38. No Philadelphia station ever took advantage of the 1982 Act to move to Delaware, so Delaware has never had a commercial VHF station.)

The FCC feels they're required to allocate at least one VHF commercial station to each state. To that end, they have on their own motion proposed to allot:

Channel 4 to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Channel 5 to Seaford, Delaware.

Note that the PMCM proposals would have the channel 3 transmitter in NYC and the channel 2 transmitter in Philadelphia. (leaving no doubt as to which cities they *really* proposed to serve!) The FCC-proposed communities are far enough from NYC and Philadelphia that the NYC/Philly tower farms could not be used -- a transmitter in NYC could not provide a city-grade to Atlantic City, and a transmitter in Philadelphia could not provide a city-grade to Seaford.

It *might*, however, be possible to site a transmitter *between* Atlantic City and NYC such that a city-grade could be provided over both cities simultaneously. (and likewise with Seaford and Philadelphia) In both cases, rabbit-ears reception would be unlikely in either city, but cable must-carry might be possible...

New AM station (not)

Battle Mountain, Nevada: 1450KHz:
New-station permit canceled.
IHR Educational Broadcasting has requested the cancellation of their permit for a new station here.

More LPFMs

On Wednesday, the Local Community Radio Act was passed by the House of Representatives in a voice vote.

Nearly identical legislation is in the Senate, which is regarded as almost certain to pass it, and probably before Christmas. President Obama has indicated he will sign the Act.


When the LPFM service was first created, FCC engineers proposed to allow LPFM stations at any distance from full-power stations on the 2nd and 3rd adjacent frequencies. (0.4 or 0.6MHz from the full-power station) The Commission itself established distance separation requirements for stations 0.4MHz from full-power operations, but felt requirements for 0.6MHz separation were unnecessary.

Lobbying by the National Association of Broadcasters resulted in the enactment by Congress of a rider on the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2001 which required the FCC to subject LPFM stations to the same 0.6MHz separation requirements as full-power stations. The bill covered a wide variety of topices beyond LPFM. Then-President Clinton opposed the LPFM restrictions, and had said he'd veto a standalone bill enacting them. However, he felt couldn't veto the entire wide-ranging Appropriations Act over the LPFM provisions.

The result was to make licensing of new LPFM stations FAR more difficult in all but the most rural areas. Here in Nashville, several of the most suitable frequencies for LPFM were placed off-limits. 94.9 and 103.9 would probably be the best choices -- but WSM-FM 95.5, WKDF 103.3, and WGFX 104.5 make the use of those frequencies illegal. A resourceful group did manage to win a permit for a LPFM here. But they had to use 98.9, a frequency where they suffer greatly from interference from a full-power station 35 miles east of town, and where they must locate their transmitter well to the west of the city to avoid interfering with the full-power station. 103.9 would have been a much better choice, if only it had been permissible.


Ironically, the Congressional action applies only to LPFM stations. It does not apply to FM translators. These translators may operate on 0.6, and even 0.4MHz separation. And they may use up to 2.5 times the power of LPFMs and even higher antennas.

An example I like to use is that of 90.5MHz at West Memphis, Arkansas. If a West Memphis church wished to build a station to broadcast their services and provide a service to religious youth in the community... they could not use the 90.5 frequency to do so. It's too close to stations across the river on 89.9 and 91.1.

However, if a firm 250 miles up the river in St. Louis wished to use 90.5 to relay programs originating in Missouri, that's perfectly permissible.

Here in Nashville, we have a translator station on 90.7. It's located less than a mile from Nashville Public Radio's transmitter on 90.3. And 100% of its programming arrives via satellite -- from Idaho.


This week's House action will remove the requirement that LPFM stations separated by 0.6MHz be fully protected. (the Appropriations Act never did establish a requirement for the FCC to provide 0.4MHz protection. The Commission had already done so by its own motion; apparently it never dawned on Congress that the FCC might repeal that requirement!)

The move will make 94.9 and 103.9 usable for LPFMs in Nashville. (offhand I can think of four more frequencies that may also become usable) It looks like four new frequencies will become available for LPFM in Milwaukee. Other cities will benefit similarly.

Third-adjacent protection does not disappear completely. Provisions will require:

- Third-adjacent protection is not relaxed if the full-power station is a non-commercial operation carrying a radio-reading service for the visually-impaired on an analog subcarrier. (many NPR affiliates do this)

- The FCC must address 3rd-adjacent interference to the stations being relayed by FM translators. (in practice it is hard for me to imagine this will be a significant problem)

- Third-adjacent LPFMs must announce the possibility of interference and tell affected listeners to report interference to the station. (which then must address it and notify the FCC)

A provision will also require the FCC to ensure licenses are available for both LPFMs and FM translators, "based on community needs". A story on a website for radio businesspeople colors that provision "The FCC is also instructed to make sure that LPFMs are not granted to the exclusion of FM translators and boosters."

I would tend to read that the other way around: that when deciding whether an available frequency goes to a LPFM or a translator, the FCC must consider whether the proposed facility will address the needs of the local community. Translators carrying signals from 250 miles away are unlikely to trump LPFMs under this test.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Another interesting way to lose your license...

Offered without comment, from FCC DA 09-2436:

Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554

November 18, 2009

DA 09-2436
In Reply Refer to 1800B3-TSN
Released: November 18, 2009

Ms. Sandra Soho
P.O. Box 111
Klamath Falls, OR 97601

Ms. Sandra Soho
1604 Kimberly Drive
Klamath Falls, OR 97601

Ms. Sandra Soho
P.O. Box 235
Klamath Falls, OR 97601

In re: KRAT(FM), Altamont, Oregon
Application for Renewal of License
File No. BRH-20060130AJR
Facility ID No. 71963
Notification of License Expiration / Deletion of Call Sign / Notice to Cease Broadcast Operations

Dear Ms. Soho:

On July 30, 1999, the Commission issued a license for station KRAT(FM), Altamont, Oregon, to
George J. Wade (“Wade”), with a listed address of P.O. Box 235, Klamath Falls, OR 97601.1 On
January 30, 2006, Wade purportedly filed an application for renewal of the KRAT(FM) license (the
“Renewal Application”).2 The Renewal Application was dismissed on April 20, 2007, under the
Commission’s “red light” rules, which prohibit the staff from granting an application when an applicant is delinquent on debts owed to the Commission.3 No petition for reconsideration or other challenge to the dismissal of the Renewal Application was filed.

We find, therefore, that KRAT(FM) has no current authority to operate, as it has no pending
renewal application. As discussed above, the Renewal Application that KRAT(FM) filed was dismissed on April 20, 2007, for failure to pay regulatory fees. Given that the fees have not been paid and that the Renewal Application has not been re-filed in over two years, we find that KRAT(FM)’s license expired on February 1, 2006.

Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the call sign of station KRAT(FM), Altamont, Oregon, IS DELETED, and that station KRAT(FM) MUST CEASE BROADCAST OPERATIONS IMMEDIATELY. We caution you that it is imperative to the safety of air navigation that any prescribed painting and illumination of the station’s tower be maintained until the tower is dismantled. Accordingly,
the owner of the tower where KRAT(FM)’s transmitting antenna is located is required, pursuant to
Section 303(q) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,4 to maintain the tower in the manner prescribed by our rules and the terms of the expired KRAT(FM) license.5

Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
Media Bureau
cc: Binh Nguyen, FCC Resident Agent, Portland, Oregon

1 File No. BLH-19990428KD.

2 File No. BRH-20060130AJR. We use the term “purportedly” in recognition of the fact that, in the case of State of Oregon v. Sandra Soho, George J. Wade testified under oath that he was not the licensee of KRAT(FM), and that he was unaware that a license for KRAT(FM) had been issued in his name until so notified by Internal Revenue Service investigators. Other evidence adduced at trial established that Soho was at all times the owner and operator of KRAT(FM), and used Wade’s name fraudulently as the purported owner of KRAT(FM), as well as for the purpose of concealing income and assets from the State of Oregon while fraudulently obtaining public assistance and food stamps. Sandra Soho was subsequently convicted of eight felony counts of unlawfully obtaining public assistance, five felony counts of first-degree theft, four felony counts of unlawfully obtaining a food stamp benefit, and one misdemeanor count of second-degree theft, all counts on which she was charged. On February 12, 2009, Soho was sentenced to 38 months in prison and 30 days in county jail, fined in the amount of $499,308, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $8,746.79. State of Oregon v. Sandra Soho, Judgment, Case No. 0602044CR (Circuit
Court, Klamath County, Feb. 12, 2009) (“Soho Judgment”). We hereby take official notice of the Soho Judgment and of Wade’s testimony and, in so doing, recognize Soho to be the de facto licensee of KRAT(FM). State of Oregon v. Sandra Soho, CourtSmart Transcription CD No. 2 of 8, at 7:12:35; 47 U.S.C. § 309(d)(1).

3 George J. Wade, Letter (MB Apr. 20, 2007). See Amendment of Parts 0 and 1 of the Commission’s Rules – Implementation of the Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 and Adoption of Rules Governing Applications or Requests for Benefits by Delinquent Debtors, Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 6540 (2004). See also 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.283, 1.1910(b)(3).

4 47 U.S.C. § 303(q).

5 See 47 C.F.R. §§ 17.1, et seq., and 73.1213. See also Report and Order in MM Docket 95-5, 11 FCC Rcd 4272 (1996).

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

New AM station applications amended

Easton, California: 1150KHz:
Application amended
from 10,000w day/700w night, directional, different patterns day & night, 36-51-53/119-34-04
to 5,000w day/260w night, directional only at night.
Two sites: 36-51-18/119-38-00 day; 36-46-10/119-45-01 night.

Mesquite, Nevada: 1250KHz:
Application amended
from 2,500w day/750w night, directional only at night, 36-46-17/114-06-26
to 5,000w day/480w night, directional day & night with different patterns, 36-48-26/114-02-19.

New AM stations granted

Holt, Alabama: 1340KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts day and night, non-directional.
Anderson Communications.

Conway, New Hampshire: 1340KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
620 watts day and night, non-directional.
Mt. Washington Radio & Gramophone.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Major AM change granted

Montreal, Quebec: 1410KHz:
CJWI granted frequency change from 1610KHz.
Power to increase to 10,000 watts day and night;
transmitter to relocate to 45-22-01N/73-37-23W.

Probably to be directional with different patterns day & night, though it doesn't say so in the decision. The 1410 frequency was previously used by ethnic station CFMB, which moved to 1280 years ago.

New AM station

Fayette, Alabama: 1490KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts day and night, non-directional.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New AM stations

Redding, California: 600KHz:
Permit granted for new station. (Ether Mining Corp.)
620 watts daytime
1,000 watts nighttime
Directional day & night, different patterns.

This frequency was formerly used by now-defunct KSXO.

Mulberry, Florida: 780KHz:
Permit granted for new station. (Radio 780)
250 watts day and night
Directional day & night, different patterns.

Mulberry is in Polk County west of Orlando.

Winchester, Nevada: 1500KHz:
Permit granted for new station. (Andrew Johnson) (no, not the president...)
1,200 watts daytime
1,500 watts nighttime
Directional at night only.

Winchester lies on the Las Vegas Strip.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

AM call changes

Mobile, Alabama 1410 WNGL from WLVV
Sumiton, Alabama 1540 WKDG from WRSM
Oildale, California 660 KWVE from KGDP
Quincy, California 1370 KRAC from KPCO
Johnstown, Colorado 1250 KDCO for new station
Pueblo, Colorado 690 KWRP from KSIP
Dover, Delaware 1600 WAMS from WDPZ
Leesburg, Florida 1410 WRHB from WQBQ
Atlanta, Georgia 1340 WIFN from WALR
Hazard, Kentucky 1390 WZQQ from WKIC
Orange-Athol, Mass. 700 WTUB from WVBB
St. Joseph, Missouri 1550 KESJ from KSFT
Charlotte, N. Carolina 1660 WBCN from WBMX
Woodruff, S. Carolina 1510 WQUL from WDRF
Salt Lake C., Utah 570 KACP from KNRS
Midlothian, Virginia 1410 WOOK for new station
Jackson, Wyoming 1450 KJCV for new station

Friday, October 02, 2009

New AM station (not)

Reno, Nevada: 1180KHz:
Eastern Sierra Broadcasting's application for a new station dismissed.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

More military AM tests

The FCC today released a list of grants of experimental licenses.

A license has been issued to Hatfield & Dawson Consulting Engineers to operate an experimental station on 530, 890, and 1680KHz under a contract to the U.S. military " modernize and transform psychological operation equipment." (i.e., temporary portable radio stations)

When BAF Systems has received similar contracts, I'm afraid all they've aired is tone -- but that tone has been heard across a wide swath of the country!

WD2XUM are the calls.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

New AM station

Helendale, California: 1450KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
250 watts day & night, non-directional.

Helendale is due north of Victorville and southwest of Barstow in southern California.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Legal TV station operated pirate radio station?

A number of sources (more) (and more) including the station's own website report WRGB in Schenectady, New York was operating the audio portion of their old analog TV transmitter without FCC authorization.

WRGB operated its analog signal on channel 6. This channel is right below the bottom of the FM radio band. Most FM receivers could get WRGB's audio on 87.75MHz on the FM dial. Indeed, all channel 6 analog TV stations could be received at 87.75 on FM radios.

When WRGB (and the other analog TV stations) switched to digital in June, the FM audio was supposed to go away. Much to the surprise of many observers, in the Albany/Schenectady area, it didn't! WRGB continued to operate their analog audio transmitter, on the same channel 6 as their digital transmitter. The station even petitioned for waiver of the normal power limit for channel 6 digital stations in New York State, complaining of poor digital reception.

The FCC has been bending over backward to accommodate the DTV conversion. I think most of us assumed WRGB had Special Temporary Authority from the FCC to leave the audio transmitter on the air, as some kind of experiment to see if interference would result.

Apparently we were wrong; the analog audio transmitter was not authorized. It's hard to imagine an admission more to-the-point than:

"We do not have FCC authorization to transmit an analog signal. We only have authorization for a digital signal at this time."

(VP and GM Robert Furlong, on the WRGB website)

It should be noted two LPTV stations have done the same thing - WNYZ in New York City, and WLFM Chicago. Many full-power rules, however, don't apply to LPTVs; these two operations may be perfectly legal.

Major AM changes requested

Deerfield, Illinois: 1430KHz:
Application to move WEEF from Highland Park.
Power to 1,600 watts daytime; 750 watts night.
Directional fulltime, different patterns day & night.
Modified from 1,000/230 watts (but without a change in site) and to change proposed new city from Wheeling.

All three cities are Chicago suburbs.

Kearns, Utah: 630KHz:
Application to move KTKK from Sandy.
Power to 935 watts daytime; 484 watts night.
Directional fulltime, different patterns day & night.

Kearns and Sandy are both Salt Lake City suburbs.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New AM stations

Wasilla, Alaska: 880KHz:
Application filed for new station.
210 watts fulltime, non-directional.
Amended from 250 watts at VERY slightly different site.
Applicant is a "Steve King". This *could* be the famous novelist; he *does* own at least one station in Maine.

Vernal, Utah: 1400KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts fulltime, non-directional.

Disappearing posts

You may have noticed a handful of posts just disappeared.

I made them disappear.

You won't miss them, they were all spam.

I hope Susana and her fellow spammers find a nice hot home in that place way down there with the guy with the red suit, pitchfork, and pointy ears.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

New AM station

Vidalia, Louisiana: 1340KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts daytime
810 watts nighttime
non-directional all hours

Friday, July 31, 2009

AM major change requested

Northbrook, Illinois: 1550KHz:
WZRK requests move from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.
1,300 watts daytime-only, 42-10-17N/87-48-59W.
Station is currently silent.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New AM station on the air

Agana, Guam
New station KVOGon the air.

250 watts fulltime, non-directional.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

AM call changes

The following stations have changed calls recently:

Cortaro, Arizona 1030 KVOI from KCEE
Tucson, Arizona 690 KCEE from KVOI
Garden City, Kansas 1340 KGGS for new station
Florence, Kentucky 1160 WQRT from WDJO
Silver Spring, Maryland 1050 WZQQ from WTOP
Florence, Oregon 1250 KCFM from KCST
Charleston, S. Carolina 1390 WSPO from WXTC
Gaffney, S. Carolina 1500 WZZQ from WEAC
Quanah, Texas 1150 KOLJ from KREL

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yukon AM station maybe *not* dead?

A few weeks ago, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced the CBC's CFWH-570 Whitehorse had applied to move to FM. The Yukon government did not plan to renew the CBC's lease on the land housing the CFWH transmitter.

The CBC said moving the AM transmitter to a new site would cost $700,000 -- it would be far less expensive to put a new FM transmitter at the existing site on Grey Mountain. (a FM transmitter for CBC Radio Two already exists at this site, as do English- and French-language CBC TV transmitters)

However, listeners in outlying areas objected, fearing loss of CBC Radio service due to the potential reduced coverage of the FM transmitter.

Now, in a last-minute deal, the Yukon government has agreed to extend the CBC's lease for three years. MLA Brad Cathers told Whitehorse Mayor Bev Buckway the transmitter would not interfere with planned development in the area.

All that said, the CBC isn't so sure they want to take the government up on their offer. Regional Director John Agnew wants to know what happens in three years -- will they have to go through the whole procedure again? There is still a fair chance the CBC will go ahead with the FM move here.

Two articles on the on-again, (maybe) off-again move of CFWH-570 to FM.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

New AM station

Agana, Guam: 1350KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
250 watts fulltime, non-directional.

Monday, June 29, 2009

FCC to accept new LPTV applciations

The FCC has announced a filing window for new digital LPTV stations and major changes to existing LPTV stations. (including changes to analog LPTVs)

On August 25, a window will open for rural LPTVs. "Rural" is defined as places 121km or more from the central cities in the 100 largest Nielsen television markets. The smallest city on the list is Charleston, South Carolina.

On January 25, 2010, another window will open without geographic restriction.

Applications for new analog LPTV stations will not be accepted in either window. However, existing analog LPTVs may apply for major changes.

The Public Notice doesn't say how long the windows will be open.

FCC "regularizes" rules for FM translators of AM stations

The FCC has released regular rules for the use of FM translators by AM stations.

Existing FM translators -- those either on the air or holding construction permits as of May 1st -- will be allowed to relay AM stations. Applicants for new translators must specify which station they plan to relay, and applications that specify AM stations will be dismissed. Existing translators must notify the FCC when they change which station they relay; if a translator authorized after May 1st notifies the FCC of intent to relay an AM station, they will be denied permission. The FCC indicates they may relax this policy after the next LPFM filing window is complete.

The 60dBu service area of such translators must be contained entirely within 25 miles of the AM towers or the 2mV/m daytime service area of the AM station, whichever is smaller. The 60dBu service area of a typical 50-watt translator (assuming an antenna 30m high) is a bit less than 5km, about 3 miles.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New AM station granted

Steamboat Spring, Colorado: 1340KHz:
Application reinstated and granted for new station.
1,000 watts day & night, non-directional.

Spelling is as in the FCC Public Notice. It really should be "Steamboat Springs".

More AM call changes

The following AM stations have recently changed callsigns:

Eagle River, Alaska 1020 KOAN from KABA
Florence, Kentucky 1160 WQRT from WDJO
Newport, Maine 1230 WGUY for new station
Silver Spring, Maryland 1050 WZAA from WTOP
Cincinnati, Ohio 1480 WDJO from WCIN
Charleston, S. Carolina 1390 WSPO from WXTC
Quanah, Texas 1150 KOLJ from KREL

Monday, June 22, 2009

AM major change granted

Goodlettsville, Tennessee: 830KHz:
WQZQ-1550 granted move from Clarksville.
Power to be 2,000 watts daytime only.
Will use one of WPLN-1430's towers at 36-16-22N/86-42-57W.
Goodlettsville is a Nashville suburb.

New AM station (not)

Toronto, Ontario: 1480KHz:
Application for new station withdrawn.
Would have been 1,000 watts daytime, 500 watts night, religious.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

AM call changes

Dover, Delaware 1600 WDPZ from WXXY
Clayton, Georgia 1400 WGHC from WNGA
Swainsboro, Georgia 1590 WXRS from WRJS
Waycross, Georgia 1230 WAYX from WWGA
Hilo, Hawaii 1060 KIPA from KHBC
South Bend, Indiana 1490 WPNT from WDND
South Bend, Indiana 1620 WDND from WPNT
Brunswick, Maine 900 WCME from WWBK
Richmond, Maine 1120 WZME for new station
Whitehall, Michigan 1490 WKLQ from WODJ
Sparks, Nevada 1060 KFOY for new station
Asbury Park, New Jersey 1310 WADB from WBUD
Albuquerque, New Mex. 1550 KIVA from KQNM
Milan, New Mexico 1100 KQNM from KIVA
Mount Holly, N.C. 870 WTCG from WGHC
Lima, Ohio 940 WCIT from WZOQ
Salem, Ore. 1390 KWOD from KVXX
Tunkhannock, Penna. 1460 WGMF from WEMR
Memphis, Tennessee 680 WMFS from WSMB
Kilgore, Texas 1240 KDOK from KBGE

Friday, June 12, 2009

New AM station and not

Star, Idaho: 1590KHz:
Application dismissed for new station.
Mutually exclusive with Nevada application below.

Paradise, Nevada: 1590KHz
Permit granted for new station.
6,500 watts daytime
1,000 watts nighttime
Directional at night only

Paradise is a Las Vegas suburb.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

AM station gone

Umatilla, Oregon: 1090KHz:
KLWJ license canceled and call letters deleted.

AM power increase proposed

Toronto, Ontario: 1690KHz:
CHTO requests daytime power increase
from 1,000 watts to 3,000. Nighttime power to remain 1,000 watts.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Someone not really familiar with the idea...

Here's an interesting application filed with the FCC the other day...

Here's another one.

The same woman in Michigan seems to have filed to move one expired license from La Grange, Indiana to Detroit and run 300 kilowatts horizontal, 3000 kilowatts vertical (but 100/10000 kilowatts maximum?) to an antenna of unspecified height at an unspecified location.

Another expired license, she proposed to convert to an auxiliary backup transmitter for a non-existent station in Belleville, Mich. This one would run 2000kw horizontal, 10000kw vertical.

It probably won't surprise you to learn both applications have been dismissed.

Monday, June 01, 2009

New AM stations: one granted, one on the air

Middleton, Tennessee: 1580KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
300 watts daytime
250 watts nighttime
directional at night only.
on the Tennessee-Mississippi line, roughly 60 miles east of Memphis.

Spanish Valley, Utah: 1490KHz:
New station on the air.
KCPX runs 1000 watts day & night, non-directional.
Spanish Valley is a few miles south of Moab in southeastern Utah.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

FCC seeks comment on IBOC-FM power increase

(This proposal is for FM ONLY, there is no proposal to increase the power of IBOC AM stations!)

Last year, the FCC solicited comments on a proposal to increase the maximum allowed digital power of an IBOC station from 1% of analog power to 10%. NPR has returned with some concerns and a promise to present a study this September which will show how much IBOC power can be used without causing undue interference.

In connection with this proceeding, the FCC is asking four questions:

1. Whether the Bureau should defer consideration of the Joint Parties’ requested power increase until the completion of and comment on the further NPR studies?

2. Whether the record in this proceeding, the real-world experience gained from over 1,400 FM stations operating for several years in the hybrid mode and the record of experimental authorizations at higher digital power levels warrant an increase in maximum digital operating power as proposed by the Joint Parties or support a provisional power increase of some lesser extent than that requested by the Joint Parties?

3. If the Commission does adopt a power increase, whether it should also establish standards to ensure the lack of interference to the analog signals of stations operating on first adjacent channels? Should such standards apply to, i.e., require the protection of, LPFM stations operating on first adjacent channels?

4. Finally, if the Commission does adopt a power increase, whether it should also establish more explicit procedures to resolve digital-into-analog interference complaints?

See this Public Notice. Comments are due within 21 days of publication in the Federal Register, which probably means about 50 days from yesterday.

New AM station (not)

Pleasant Hill, Iowa: 1390KHz:
Application for new station dismissed

1390 was previously used in nearby Des Moines.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Frequency change requested

Montréal, Quebec: 1410KHz:
CJWI requests move from 1610KHz.
Power would increase to 10kw day & night, presumably using the old CFMB-1410 facilities.
Station cites interference from CHHA Toronto on the same frequency.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Friday, April 24, 2009

New AM stations (and not) in Canada

Calgary, Alberta: 700KHz:
Application granted for new station.
50,000 watts daytime
20,000 watts nighttime
Directional, different patterns day & night.
Touch Canada Broadcasting, to be religious music.
Channel formerly used by CKRD Red Deer, but this will be a different facility.
See the daytime and nighttime antenna patterns on Deane McIntyre's website.

Merritt, British Columbia: 1230KHz:
Application granted for new station.
1,000 watts day & night, non-directional.
This is the existing CJNL-1230 transmitter. It will be converted to a relay station of CHNL-610 Kamloops. CJNL is moving to 101.1 FM.

Merritt, British Columbia: 1230KHz:
CJNL moving to FM.
Granted move to 101.1 FM, 200 watts/601m.
AM transmitter will remain in operation as relay of CHNL-610 Kamloops, see above.

Amherst, Nova Scotia: 900KHz:
CKDH moving to FM.
Granted move to 107.1 FM, 40,000 watts/32m.

Markham, Ontario: 960KHz:
Application denied for new station.
Scarborough, Ontario: 1350KHz:
Application denied for new station.

Both stations would have been ethnic with 1,000 watts daytime and 175/100 watts night respectively. The CRTC felt neither station would be economically viable in the current economy.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

AM call changes

ALAB Hanceville 1170 WQHC CC from WLYG
ALAB Selma 1340 WJAM CC from WMRK
ALAB Tuscaloosa 1420 WACT CC from WENN
ALAS Chugiak 1160 KHFT CC for NS
CALI Lompoc 1410 KSMA CC from KUHL
FLOR Dunedin 1470 WMGG CC from WWBA
FLOR Dunedin 1470 WWBA CC from WHBO
FLOR Orlando 740 WYGM CC from WQTM
GEOR Brooklet 1450 WQQT CC for NS
GEOR Dry Branch 1670 WFSM CC from WVVM
GEOR Royston 810 WXFO CC from WBIC
GEOR Waycross 1230 WAYX CC from WWGA
IDAH Boise 1430 KCMW CC for NS
ILLI Evanston 1590 WCGO CC from WONX
KENT Fort Campbell 1370 WEGI CC from WJQI
KENT Neon 1480 WGCK CC from WVSG
MAIN Bangor 910 WAEI CC from WABI
MASS Fitchburg 1280 WPKZ CC from WEIM
MASS Springfield 1450 WHLL CC from WMAS
MICH Jenison 1020 WONX CC from WCGO
MONT Columbia Falls 1400 KQDE CC for NS
NEVA North Las Vegas 1140 KYDZ CC from KSFN
NEWM Milan 1100 KIVA CC from KKJY
OREG Central Point 1400 KFJL CC for NS
OREG Portland 1150 KLPM CC from KXMG
PENN Martinsburg 1110 WWBJ CC from WJSM
UTAH Cedar City 940 KOBY CC from KNNZ
UTAH Tooele 1010 KPCW CC from KCPW
VIRG Winchester 610 WLVE CC from WTFX

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

AM station gone

Chicago Heights, Illinois: 1600KHz:
WCGO deleted permanently.

Actually, the station had a permit to move to 1020KHz at Jemison, Michigan near Grand Rapids. It also swapped callsigns with co-owned WONX-1590 Evanston, Illinois just before going silent. So if you want to look it up in FCC records, you'll have to be looking for "DWCGO" on 1020 in Michigan...

The station was deleted to allow the 1590 station in Evanston to increase daytime power to 7,000 watts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Localism: a more concise post

This is a hopefully more concise version of the previous post.

The FCC proposes to:
- Consider any application that would cover a metropolitan area to be licensed to the metropolitan area when deciding whether to give it a "first service to the community" preference.
- Provide a preference in licensing to Native American tribes, if the proposed station would be located on tribal lands and at least half its coverage would be over tribal territory.
- To require AM applicants to build facilties that would cover as many people as they promised when they won the permit -- to prohibit downgrades.
- To prohibit filing of "speculative" and incomplete AM applications, and to limit one applicant to five applications in any given filing window.
- To allow partial settlements among mutually-exclusive applicants, as long as such settlements make at least one application grantable.
- To prohibit newly-licensed FM translators from moving between the commercial and non-commercial bands until they've been on the air at least two years.

Among other, more obscure proposals.

Monday, April 20, 2009

FCC makes localism proposals

The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 09-30) on Policies to Promote Rural Radio Service and to Streamline Allotment and Assignment Procedures.

There are thirteen specific points in this NPRM:

1. Modify the 3rd and 4th priorities used when considering proposals to assign new FM channels.
Since 1982, there have been four priorities considered when deciding which of several competing proposals will be accepted:

1. First fulltime aural service to an area.
2. Second fulltime aural service to an area.
3. First station assigned to a community.
4. Other public interest matters.

The latter has generally resulted in assigning the channel to the community with the largest population. It's also the only point that ends up being considered in many cases. There are few places left that aren't reached by at least two radio stations. And in most cases, petitioners looking to have a new channel allotted are able to find at least one community within the desired service area that doesn't already have a station licensed there.

So the channel goes to the town with the largest population. Which is often a suburb of a large city. The applicant who proposes to allot the channel to provide the first local service to a rural town is likely to lose out to the applicant who is theoretically providing a first service to a larger town -- but in practice is providing the 37th service to a large city.

The situation is worse on AM. On FM, once a channel is allotted to a community, an auction is held to determine who gets to use that channel. On AM, an auction is only held if no one applicant proposes a facility that serves a significantly greater population than any other. This doesn't happen very often. Usually, the applicant who proposes to serve the most people wins.

The proposals:
To consider any station that would be located in an Urbanized Area, or that provides a "city-grade" signal across a majority of such an Area, or that could legally make technical changes that would provide such a signal, to be licensed to that Urbanized Area. A proposal to allot a new Class C3 channel to Millersville, Tennessee would not count as "first service", even though Millersville doesn't already have any stations, because such a station would provide city-grade service to most of Nashville. (which already has plenty of stations!)

To not consider a larger community as automatically deserving of AM service if 75% or more of the population within the city-grade service area already receives five or more radio stations. (AM or FM)

To, when considering which proposal would serve more people, to pro-rate populations against the number of stations received, using a "service value index".

2. To limit the ability of stations to move from smaller communities into larger ones.

The proposal:
To, when deciding which of a number of competing applications/allotments to grant, consider a move to a community within an Urbanized Area as a move to that Urbanized Area. See above.

3. To provide a priority for Native American groups wishing to serve tribal lands.

The proposal:
To provide a preference to Native American tribes, if at least 50% of the city-grade coverage of the proposed allotment, AM station, or non-commercial FM station would be on tribal lands; the station would be the first licensed to the requested community; and that community would itself be on tribal lands.

Any permit won through such a preference would have to be held by eligible tribes for at least four years.

4. To prohibit downgrading an AM facility after using the greater facilities to win the permit.

An AM applicant who proposes to serve more people is more likely to win the permit. Today, that applicant can then downgrade their parameters and still keep the permit.

The proposal:
To require those who win such preferences to build facilities that serve as many people as their original proposal, for at least four years.

5. To require an AM application to be technically acceptable at the time of filing.
In a recent AM auction, of 1,311 applications filed, 69 didn't even have enough technical information to determine whether they were mutually-exclusive with other applications. 188 were ineligible to be processed.

The proposals:
To require that AM applications must, when filed, protect existing stations and previously-filed applications from interference, and must provide "city-grade" coverage to the proposed city of license, day and night.

To require that such applications be complete.

6. To allow "non-universal" settlement proposals and engineering solutions.
Often, two or more mutually-exclusive applications are filed. Sometimes, the exclusivity is eliminated by applicants convincing other parties to withdraw their applications, or by amending their applications to remove the mutually-exclusive condition. However, such proposals will not be accepted by the FCC unless they completely eliminate the mutually-exclusive condition. If four applications are mutually-exclusive, and three of them reach agreement to clear that condition, the applications still go to auction as the fourth is not part of the agreement.

The proposal:
To accept such "non-universal" settlements provided they're adequate to make at least one of the applications grantable.

7. Limit how many AM applications may be filed in a window.
AM applications are filed in "filing windows". In the window for Auction #84, 460 applicants filed 1,311 applications. The Commission feels many of these applications were filed speculatively -- applicants hoping at least some of their proposals wouldn't have to go to auction. Some of the applicants who received some permits without auction decided not to file the paperwork to go ahead with other applications. Ten applicants filed more than 20 applications; one couple, filing under their individual names and the name of a corporation in which they were the only stockholders, filed 85 applications.

The proposal:
To limit applicants to five applications in an AM auction window.

8. Provide flexibility in the deadline for filing post-auction paperwork.
Clerical proposal to ensure auctions held in November don't require major paperwork be filed during Christmas week.....

The proposal:
To allow Commission staff to set deadlines more than 30 days after the close of bidding.

9. Prohibit FM translator "band-hopping".
FM translator filing windows are held separately in the commercial (92-108) and non-commercial (88-92) bands.

A "minor change" in frequency for a FM translator is a move of 600KHz or less, or a move to a frequency removed by 10.6 or 10.8MHz from the existing frequency. (the "intermediate frequency" of most FM receivers) "Minor change" applications may be filed at any time -- "major changes" may only be filed during an appropriate filing window.

A number of applicants in the 2003 window for FM Auction #83 filed for, and received, permits to operate in 92.1-92.5 or 98.7-102.7MHz. They then promptly filed to move to new frequencies in the 88-92 band. Translators operating below 92MHz may receive their primary signal via satellite - that's not permitted for translators in the commercial band.

The FCC feels this is unfair to applicants who were waiting for a valid non-commercial translator filing window.

The proposal:
To prohibit a FM translator from changing frequency from below 92MHz to above 92MHz (or vice-versa) unless it's been on the air for at least two years.

10. Define which AM applications filed during a window are mutually exclusive.
The FCC staff considers applications filed during a window to be mutually exclusive if they are mutually exclusive with existing stations or any other applications filed during the same window. Some applicants felt an application should only be considered mutually-exclusive with other applications that were filed first.

The proposal:
To codify current staff practice.

11. Clarify the New Entrant Bidding Credit.
Small businesses and minority- and female-owned applicants are eligible for a bidding credit in broadcast auctions, if they don't have an interest in any other station serving the same area.

Potentially, an applicant could "game the system" by either filing an application for reduced power (that wouldn't have an overlap in coverage with an existing co-owned station) and then increasing power after winning the auction; or by winning the auction and promptly transferring the station to another party that isn't eligible for the credit.

The proposals:
To consider an application to overlap with a co-owned station if a station of maximum power for the class, located at the reference coordinates of the allotment would overlap. Even if the applicant actually proposes a different site and/or lower power.

To require that the credit, plus interest, be refunded to the government if the station is sold and the buyer is not eligible for the credit. The proposal doesn't set an expiration date for this requirement.

12. Clarify the New Entrant Bidding Credit.
(yeah, same heading as #11)

Apparently some applicants have made changes in ownership between the date they filed their applications and the date of any associated auction -- changes that leave the applicant no longer eligible for the credit. Applicants have argued their eligibility is "frozen" on the filing deadline.

The proposal:
To require the applicant remain eligible for the bidding credit through the final grant of a construction permit, or the applicant would be required to reimburse the government for the credit.

13. Formalize the conditions under which "alternate methods" may be used to show a proposed station would provide a "city-grade signal" or wouldn't interfere with other stations.

Normally, the coverage of an FM station -- both for purposes of proving it provides adequate coverage to the principal community, and for showing it won't interfere with other stations -- involves looking up the power and antenna height above average terrain (HAAT) on a chart. In cases where terrain "departs widely" from the standard assumption, stations may use other methods to show coverage or lack of interference.

The proposals:
To consider terrain to "depart widely" if the HAAT along a given radial varies by more than 30% from what the HAAT would be on the same radial if it were calculated only for distances between 3km from the tower and the outer boundary of the community.

To consider terrain to "depart widely" if the "terrain roughness factor", measured between distances of 10 and 50km from the antenna on the radial passing through the center of the community, is 20m or less or 100m or more. (the standard "roughness factor" is 50m)

Phew. That was a lot of typing. See the next post for something more concise.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Permit issued for major changes to AM station

Brantley, Alabama: 920KHz:
WEZZ granted permission to move from 930KHz in Monroeville.
Power to be reduced from 5,000 watts day/48 night to 450 daytime only.
Tower to move to 31-42-26N/86-13-12W.
(a move of 110km/69mi. mostly west and a tad south)

The move will allow WAOQ-FM to move from Brantley to Goshen, Alabama. The FCC does not allow the removal of a community's only existing station.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

New AM station on the air

Lithia Springs, Georgia: 890KHz:
New station WJTP on the air.
5,000 watts daytime only.

Lithia Springs is a suburb just west of Atlanta.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New AM station requested

Gatineau, Quebec: 1350KHz:
Application filed for new station.
1,000 watts daytime; 180 watts night.
Not specified whether directional. (probably not)

To relay CIRA-FM, Montreal, a Catholic religious station.

Gatineau is directly across the Ottawa river from the Canadian capitol. (and this station will also serve Ottawa and Hull)

Major AM change denied

Oak Park, Michigan: 1600KHz:
WAAM's proposed move from Ann Arbor has been dismissed.

The move would have increased WAAM's power to 15,000 watts day and night, directional all hours with two different patterns.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Recent AM call changes

ALAB Birmingham 1320 WENN CC from WPSB
CALI Desert Hot Springs 1220 KJML CC for NS

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Monday, March 09, 2009

New AM stations granted

Desert Hot Springs, California: 1220KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
Two-site operation:
1,400 watts, 33-55-51N/116-36-12W

1,200 watts, 33-59-28N/116-29-28W

Directional all hours, with different patterns day & night.

Ether Mining Corp.

Columbia Falls, Montana: 1400KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts daytime
670 watts nighttime
Non-directional all hours.
Advance Acuqisition

Valencia, New Mexico: 1220KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
400 watts daytime
250 watts nighttime
Directional at night only.
Better Life Ministries

Friday, February 27, 2009

Michigan station gone

You may remember the tale of WOLY-1500, Battle Creek, Michigan?

This station's license expired in October 2004. They never filed for renewal.

After a tip, FCC agents from Detroit visited Battle Creek in July 2006 - and found WOLY still operating. They spoke with the station's owner in August and informed him his station was operating without a valid license. He told the agents the station wasn't able to file its renewal application electronically. (most broadcast-related forms are required to be filed via a secure area of the FCC website)

Agents checked again in March and August 2007 and found WOLY still operating, despite being without license for nearly three years. In August, the Enforcement Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for $10,000.

In response, the station stated they couldn't file their renewal electronically as they had no access to a computer. They said they'd requested Special Temporary Authority to operate until a renewal could be filed, and assumed it would be granted. (in fact, no action was ever taken. The FCC releases don't say whether the Commission received the STA request.)

The Commission didn't buy the argument, but they did accept that the financial record showed the station couldn't afford the $10,000 fine. It was reduced to $5,000.

Finally, in January of this year, the station filed for renewal. They also filed for Special Temporary Authority to continue operation until their renewal was acted on.

Yet again, the FCC didn't buy it. A February 23rd release says the station's request that the Commission reconsider their notice of license expiration is untimely. Such requests must be filed within 30 days -- in this case it was years before any response was received. They also indicated there was no basis for Temporary Authority to continue the license of a station whose license has been expired for years.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New AM stations

Dalton Gardens, Idaho: 1490KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
810 watts day & night, non-directional

Dalton Gardens is just across I-90 from Coeur d'Alene in northern Idaho, near Spokane, Washington.

Central Point, Oregon: 1400KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts day & night, non-directional

Central Point is near Medford in southern Oregon.

Friday, February 13, 2009

AM call changes

The following AM stations have changed calls recently:

ALAB Priceville 1310 WKZD CC from WQAH
CALI Bakersfield 1410 KERI CC from KERN
CALI Lompoc 1410 KSMA CC from KUHL
CALI San Diego 1240 KNSN CC from KSON
CALI San Francisco 1550 KFRC CC from KYCY
CALI Santa Maria 1440 KUHL CC from KINF
CALI Wasco-Greenacres 1180 KERN CC from KERI
COLO Keystone 1320 KWLW CC for NS
COLO Silt 1490 KNAM CC for NS
FLOR Dunedin 820 WWBA CC from WHBO
FLOR Pinellas Park 1040 WHBO CC from WWBA
KENT Cannonsburg 1080 WYHY CC from WOKT
MICH Greenville 1380 WGLM CC from WSCG
MICH South Haven 940 WCSY CC from WHIT
NEBR Bellevue 1180 KOIL CC from KYDZ
NEBR Plattsmouth 1020 KMMQ CC from KOIL
NEWH Exeter 1540 WXEX CC from WGIP
NEWY Middletown 1400 WYNY CC from WMJQ
NEWY Ontario 1330 WMJQ CC from WYNY
NORTHC Fair Bluff 1480 WWKO CC from WSRC
NORTHC Jacksonville 910 WAVQ CC from WSTK
OREG Salem 1390 KVXX CC from KKSN
WEST Hurricane 1110 WIHY CC from WOKU
WISC Madison 1550 WHIT CC from WTUX

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Congress delays DTV transition

Congress has passed legislation which will delay the forced shutdown of analog TV until June 12th. It has not yet been signed by President Obama but the President has called for the legislation so I think you can assume he'll sign it.

The legislation permits stations to leave their analog transmitters on past February 17th. It does not require them to do so. Nearly 700 stations have already filed notice of intent to shut off their analog transmitters on February 17th regardless of this legislation.

Friday, January 30, 2009

New AM station requested

Toronto, Ontario: 1480KHz:
Application filed for new station.
1,000 watts daytime
500 watts nighttime
Not known if directional, but almost certainly at least at night.
Frequency formerly used by CKDX Newmarket, since moved to 88.5 FM.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New AM station

Chugiak, Alaska: 1160KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
9,800 watts daytime
410 watts nighttime
Non-directional all hours

This application was dismissed, then reconsidered & granted.

I'm having trouble finding Chugiak on a map but it's not too far from Anchorage.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Major AM change granted

Daphne, Alabama: 540KHz:
WASG granted move from 550KHz in Atmore.
2,500 watts daytime
19 watts nighttime
non-directional at all times

Moves from a site very close to Pensacola to one within the city limits of Mobile.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New AM station granted

Stanfield, Arizona: 1460KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
2,000 watts day & night.
Directional day & night, two different patterns.
Stanfield is just north of Casa Grande in central Arizona.

AM station changes: major & minor

Goodlettsville, Tennessee: 830KHz:
WQZQ requests move from 1550KHz in Clarksville, Tennessee.
2,000 watts daytime only, non-directional.

Goodlettsville is a Nashville suburb.

This station ran a ground conductivity test on this frequency last summer, reportedly using one of the towers of WPLN-1430. The coordinates for 830 are very similar to, but not quite identical to, those of WPLN. I suspect WQZQ plans to use one of WPLNs towers.

Humble-South Houston, Texas: 1180KHz:
KGOL granted permission to increase night power to 5,000 watts.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New AM station (not)

Juneau, Alaska: 1190KHz:
Application for new station dismissed.
(White Oak Broadcasting)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

New AM station

Brooklet, Georgia: 1450KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,000 watts day & night, non-directional

Brooklet is 7 miles southeast of Statesboro in eastern Georgia.