Thursday, February 25, 2010

AM stations moving in together.....

Sparta, Tennessee: 860KHz:
WTZX requests move to new site,
power from 1,000 watts daytime, 10 watts nighttime,
to 950 watts daytime, 11 watts nighttime.
And move ~3mi. northwest, to 35-57-16N/85-28-37W.

Sparta, Tennessee: 1050KHz:
WSMT requests move to new site,
power from 1,000 watts daytime, 181 watts nighttime,
to 950 watts daytime, 178 watts nighttime.
And move very slightly NE to 35-57-16N/85-28-37W.
(I'll bet that figure is familiar)

These formerly-unrelated stations have become commonly-owned and wish to move in together...

AM station frequency changes requested

Pensacola, Florida: 780KHz:
WPNN requests frequency change from 790.
Power from 1,000 watts daytime, 66 watts night, non-directional
to 3,000 watts daytime only, directional
Site to 30-31-05N/87-04-56W, very roughly 15mi. ENE of old site.

Isleta, New Mexico: 1510KHz:
KABR requests frequency change from 1500 and move from Alamo Community.
Power from 1,000 watts daytime only
to 5,000 watts daytime, 25 watts night, 4,200 watts critical hours*
Site is just south of Albuquerque.

* "Critical Hours" are the two hours right after sunrise, and the two hours right before sunset.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New AM stations granted

Easton, California: 1150KHz:
Permit issued for new station.
260 watts daytime, non-directional, 36-46-10N/119-45-01W
5,000 watts nighttime, directional, 36-51-18N/119-38-00W
(yes, different sites day and night)
Site is on the east side of Fresno.

Billings, Montana: 1600KHz:
Permit issued for new station.
5,000 watts daytime
1,250 watts nighttime
directional at night only.

Captain Cook, Hawaii: 1150KHz:
Application for new station dismissed, then promptly reinstated.
5,000 watts day and night, non-directional
Captain Cook is on the western shore of the Big Island.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

AM technical changes - requested & on the air

Golden, Colorado: 1550KHz:
Modification of application for new station.
Applicant requests to change from 5,000 watts daytime/250 watts night, directional night only, to 1,000 watts daytime/270 watts night, non-directional all hours.

Fairview Heights, Illinois: 1190KHz:
KQQZ requests an increase in night power
from 22 watts to 1,000 watts directional. Daytime power to remain 10,000 watts directional. (different patterns)

Application will also change the city of license from DeSoto, Missouri.

It supercedes an existing permit to change the city to University City, Missouri and increase the night power to 6,500 watts directional.

Waynesburg, Pennsylvania: 1210KHz:
WANB has changed frequency from 1580KHz.
Power increases from 720 watts to 5,000, daytime only, non-directional.
However, WANB is required to reduce power to 710 watts during "critical hours" -- for two hours after signing on the air at sunrise, and for two hours before signing off the air at sunset.

New AM stations - and not

Chanhassen, Minnesota: 1200KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
1,300 watts daytime
1,000 watts nighttime
Directional at night only.
Chanhassen is a suburb southwest of Minneapolis.

Yelm, Washington: 1120KHz:
Permit granted for new station.
10,000 watts daytime
6,000 watts nighttime
Directional day and night with the same pattern.
Yelm is roughly 20 miles south of Tacoma and roughly 20 miles east-southeast of Olympia.

Taylor, Alabama: 1400KHz:
Application dismissed for new station.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FCC closed for severe storm

Because of the huge East Coast snowstorm, the FCC closed early on Friday, February 5th, and remained closed until the next Friday, Feb. 12th. Monday, February 15th was a federal holiday. For some reason, while the Commission was open today, Tuesday, February 16th, there was no Broadcast Applications Public Notice, nor was there a Broadcast Actions.

(I fear we're going to have some MONSTER notices when they finally break the weather jam...)

AM transmitters for sale

Yes, on eBay.
This one too.
(identical models, different cabinet styles)
I believe the first one was the last transmitter at WMAQ-670. (now WSCR)

Minimum bid, $9,000. Get out your checkbook...

Thursday, February 04, 2010

FCC announces July broadcast auction

FCC to hold broadcast auction

The FCC today announced an auction will be held in July to award 13 FM
permits, two FM translators, and three AM stations.

The FM permits:

Location:FrequencyApplicantsMinimum opening bid
Greenwood, Ark.101.5AGeorge S. Flinn, Jr.; Ramsey Leasing, Inc.; Jem Broadcasting Co., Inc.$60,000
Durango, Colo.105.3AEB Needles LLC; Four Corners Broadcasting LLC; Arkansas Valley Broadcasting LLC; KRJ Co.; Steven Dinetz; Rocky Mountain Radio Co. LLC; Lancer Media; Robert Durango LLC$20,000
Steamboat Springs, Colo.98.9AYampa Valley Broadcasting Inc.; George S. Flinn Jr.; EB Needles LLC; Harry Media; Colo. Alpine Broadcasting Co.; Boat of Steam Broadcasting; Rocky Mountain Radio Co. LLC; Ramsey Leasing Inc.$7,500
Bloomfield, Ind.101.1ARobert M. McDaniel; Sarkes Tarzian Inc.; Mid-America Radio Group Inc.; Music Ministries Inc.; Willtronics Broadcasting Co.; William S. Poorman$20,000
Traverse City, Mich.104.5ACentral Michigan University; Good News Media Inc.; Salija Bokram/Michael J. St. Cyr; The MacDonald Broadcasting Co.; WTCM Radio Inc.$45,000
Oxford, Miss.105.1ADarby Radio Enterprises; Southern Cultural Foundation; Oxford Radio Inc.; George S. Flinn Jr.$20,000
Rosendale, N.Y.102.5ARosen Broadcasting Inc.; Sacred Heart University, Inc.; Marist College; Eric P. Straus; Radio Rosendale; David Fleisher & Melissa Krantz; Hawkeye Communications Inc.; Aritaur Communications, Inc.$100,000
North Madison, Ohio93.7AMusic Express Broadcasting Inc.; South Shore Broadcasting Inc.$75,000
Santa Isabel, P.R.98.1AS.I. Broadcasting; La Capra Corp.; Peace Broadcasting Network; Amor Radio Group Corp.$100,000
Idalou, Tex.107.7AAlbert Benavides; George S. Flinn, Jr.; MTD, Inc.; Directel Inc.; Ramar Communications Inc.; Big Sky Company; Metro Broadcasters-Texas Inc.; Ramsey Leasing Inc.$75,000
Shawsville, Va.102.5APositive Alternative Radio, Inc.; George S. Flinn, Jr.; Poor Mountain Broadcasting; Grace Communications L.C.$75,000
New Holstein, Wis.92.9AEvandel Ministries Inc.; Michael R. Walton Jr.; KM Communications Inc. ; Metro North Communications Inc.$25,000
Two Rivers, Wis.98.9ATri-County Radio, Incorporated; Michael R Walton Jr.; Evangel Ministries, Incorporated; BBK Broadcasting$35,000

The FM translator permits:

Location:FrequencyApplicantsMinimum opening bid
Coyote, Calif.104.1Educational Media Foundation; Coyote Communications Inc.$15,000
Manahawkin/Warren Grove, N.J.102.5CTS Communications Development Corp.; Penn-Jersey Educational Radio Corp.$500

The AM permits:

Location:FrequencyApplicantsMinimum opening bid
Terre Haute/ West Terre Haute/ Shelburn, Ind.640Contemporary Media Inc.; Fort Bend Broadcasting Company Inc.; Powell Meredith Communications Company; KM Communications, Inc.; Bott Broadcasting Company; Word Power, Inc.; Birach Broadcasting Corporation$50,000
Terre Haute/ West Terre Haute/ Shelburn, Ind.1230Fort Bend Broadcasting Company Inc.; Contemporary Media Inc.; Powell Meredith Communications Company; KM Communications, Inc.; Bott Broadcasting Company; Word Power, Inc.$50,000
Lansing/South Hill, N.Y.750Romar Communications Inc.; KM Communications Inc.$75,000

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

South Carolina station being patriotic!

AM DXers are reporting WBSC-1550 (Bennettsville, South Carolina) is continuously looping the Star-Spangled Banner, interspersed with occasional station identification announcements.

FCC establishes licensing preference for Native Americans (and other changes)

From FCC-10-24A1:

The FCC today adopted a number of changes in their treatment of applications for new radio stations. The most dramatic changes involve an attempt to promote the construction of tribally-owned stations in Native American areas. However, some other changes were also made. A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was also issued, calling for further inquiry into two questions.


A. Establish a preference for Native American groups for stations serving tribal lands.

A Tribal Priority will be issued if:
- The applicant is a federally-recognized Tribe; a consortium of several Tribes; or an organization 51% or more controlled by one or more Tribes, [0] and:
- At least 50% of the city-grade coverage area of the station (daytime only, for AM stations) would cover tribal lands, and:
- The station would provide first or second radio service to a non-negligible population, or would be the first station licensed to a community on tribal lands.

(“Tribal lands” are defined as “Indian Reservations” and areas adjacent to reservations which have been designated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as appropriate for the extension of Native American social services.)

For AM applications:
An application with Tribal Priority will have precedence over non-tribal applicants unless a non-tribal applicant proposes to cover an area that would not be served by the tribal applicant and is not served by any other station. (the FCC will not allow Tribal Priority to deny an area any radio service)

Once a license is awarded through Tribal Priority, the station must operate[1] for at least four years with an ownership that is at least 70% tribally-controlled. For this period, the community of license may not be changed, and no technical changes could be made which would cause more than half of the principal-community (“city-grade”) coverage area to fall off tribal lands.

For commercial FM applications:
A proposal to allot a channel to a community on tribal lands would take priority over a proposal to allot a channel on non-tribal lands. For example, if the Menomonee Tribe proposed to allot 92.3A to Keshena, Wisconsin on their reservation, while Cumulus proposed to allot the same channel to off-reservation Shawano, seven miles away, the channel would go to Keshena.

Any applicant, whether qualified for a Tribal Priority or not, could file for a permit to use the channel. (while the Menomonee Tribe may succeed in getting the channel allotted to Keshena, Cumulus could well end up receiving the permit to use the channel.) Any station thus awarded would be prohibited from changing its city-of-license for four years,[1] and would be prohibited from making technical changes that would cause more than half of the principal-community coverage to fall off tribal lands.

For non-commercial FM applications:
Tribal Priority would trump all other applications except those which propose to provide the first radio service to a population that would not be served by the tribal station.

The holding requirements would be the same as for AM – the station must operate[1] for at least four years under at least 70% tribal control; the community of license must not be changed for that period; and no technical changes that would cause more than 50% of the city-grade coverage to fall outside tribal lands would be permitted.

B. Limit downgrades to AM permits after receiving a fair-distribution preference.

When awarding an AM permit, applicants who propose to serve a significantly greater number of people receive preference. The Commission fears applicants may propose a certain level of service in order to “trump” other applicants and win the permit – and then amend the permit to specify a lower level of service.

The Commission has decided that applicants who win a permit this way must serve[1] at least 80% of the originally-proposed population for at least four years. Further, such licensees may not change their city of license for four years.

C. Require applications for new AM stations (or major changes) be “Technically Eligible for Auction Processing at Time of Filing”.

In recant AM Auction #84, the FCC found 14% of the applications filed were defective. In the 321 cases where preliminary applications were not mutually-exclusive with other applications, 91 applicants never filed the complete technical data necessary to finish processing – and of the 230 applicants who did file, nearly 30% filed technically-deficient applications.

The Commission has ruled that in future AM auctions, for applications to be accepted they must show:
- The principal community (city of license) will receive the required signal level day and night.[2]
- Existing stations, existing permits for new stations, and previously-filed applications for new stations or changes to existing stations will be protected from interference day and night.[3]

Applications that do not meet one or more of these criteria will be placed on Public Notice as “Technically Ineligible for Filing”. Applicants will be given a single chance to amend the power, antenna parameters, or tower site in order to come into compliance. Amendments to frequency or city-of-license will not be accepted. The Public Notice will set a deadline for such amendments – today's action suggests this deadline is likely to be on the order of 30 days.

D. “Permanentize” the acceptability of technical modifications and settlements that don't clear all mutual exclusivities.

Usually, when broadcast applications are accepted, two or more mutually-exclusive applications will be filed. It may be possible to resolve the mutual exclusivity if two or more applicants agree to make technical changes, or to have one or more applicants withdraw their application(s). The rules had only required the Commission to accept these settlements if they resolve all the mutual exclusivities.

It had, however, been Commission practice in recent auctions to accept such settlements if any of the mutual exclusivities is cleared – if at least one application becomes immediately grantable as a result. The FCC has decided to codify that practice in their regulations.

E. Establish authority to limit the number of AM applications that may be filed in a window.

In AM Auction 32, 171 applicants filed 258 proposals; in Auction 84, 460 applicants filed 1,311 proposals. The Commission fears many of these applications may have been speculative – the applicant filed a large number of proposals in the hopes that one or more would be granted, but without intention of building all of them.

The Commission has decided to allow the Media Bureau staff to decide whether to set a limit on the number of applications any party may file in any given AM auction, and to establish what that limit should be.

F. Provide flexibility in the deadline for filing long-form applications after an auction.

Applicants file a “short-form” application before going to a broadcast auction. Those which win the auction then have 30 days to file a complete “long-form” application. Some FM auctions have closed just before Thanksgiving – requiring winning bidders to complete their long-form paperwork during the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season.

One commenter made the obvious suggestion: that the Commission should avoid scheduling auctions to close just before a holiday! What they actually did do... was to delegate authority to the Media Bureau to extend the filing deadline.

G. Clarify the New Entrant Bidding Credit Unjust Enrichment Rule.
H. Clarify the Maximum New Entrant Bidding Credit Eligibility.

These still need clarification – I don't know what they're talking about even after they clarify things! This has to do with a credit provided to auction participants who don't already own broadcasting stations.


A. Implement a Tribal Bidding Credit.

While the proposals to promote broadcast ownership among Native American Tribes are pretty generous for non-commercial operations, they are not nearly so generous for commercial stations. Tribes may receive a preference for the allotment of channels on their lands, but non-tribal entities will compete, at auction, with the tribes for the right to use those channels.

The New Entrant Bidding Credits discussed above would likely benefit most tribes. Still, they'll find it difficult to compete with well-heeled large broadcast groups. Two entities suggested the FCC provide a further bidding credit to qualified Tribes. The Commission asks whether such a credit should be provided, and if so, whether it should be in addition to, or replacing, the New Entrant credit.

B. Extend the Tribal Priority to tribes with no reservations.

While there are 563 Native American Tribes in the U.S., there are only 312 reservations. (and some Tribes have more than one) This means there are more than 250 Tribes which do not control any “tribal lands” on which Tribal Priority would apply.

The Commission asks whether they should make provisions for Tribal Priority for Tribes which do not have tribal lands. Should a minimum population density of members establish “tribal lands”?


[0] Any such Tribes must have a portion of their tribal lands within the proposed station's city-grade coverage area. Other Tribes may be part owners, but their participation is on the same basis as non-Native people.

[1] Four years' service means the station must be on the air for at least four years while meeting the requirements. The duration of an unbuilt construction permit doesn't count.

[2] Principal community coverage is not required at night for class D stations. However, no new Class D licenses are being granted.

[3] Class D stations need not be protected at night.