Friday, July 30, 2010

Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook comes to an end...

The Broadcasting and Cable Yearbook (formerly simply the Broadcasting Yearbook) has published its last edition.

Radio Business Report reports this long-running broadcasting reference will no longer be published.

One might guess the plethora of free websites full of broadcasting information (often more accurate than that in the Yearbook!) makes it impossible for a $395 printed reference to compete...

Canadian station gone -- for good

St. Catharines, Ontario: 1220KHz:
CHSC licence to expire in 31 days.

In Broadcasting Decision CRTC 2010-533, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission decided not to renew the licence of CHSC-1220 St. Catharines.

In the Commission's conclusion, they wrote:

Pellpropco has shown a history of repeated non-compliance and disregard for its regulatory obligations since acquiring CHSC in 2002. The Commission considers that, under the same circumstances of being denied a licence amendment due to non-compliance and of being called to a mandatory hearing mid-licence, a responsible licensee would have understood the seriousness of its situation and the Commission’s warnings at that time, seized the opportunity to rectify the situation and taken all necessary steps to do so as quickly as possible. However, Pellpropco has taken the opposite course of action, committing repeated and further acts of non-compliance and taking steps to bring itself into compliance only after intervention by Commission staff and at the outset of the public hearing itself. In fact, the licensee’s explanations for non-compliance, steps toward compliance and proposed remedies seem to have been made in haste, leaving the Commission unconvinced as to the seriousness with which the licensee takes its regulatory obligations, as well as its ability and willingness to bring the station into compliance.

Some of the violations cited include:

  • Inadequate news coverage, at least in English. (see below)

  • Failure to file required paperwork.

  • Failure to assist in development of Canadian content, as required by regulations.

  • No operational studio in St. Catharines.

  • Too much concentration on Italian-language programming to a Toronto audience, instead of programming to St. Catharines as required.

  • The CHSC licence expires at the end of August. Presumably the station will go away on that date. In the States I would expect this to be appealed to the bitter end, but from what I'm hearing, in Canada this may be final.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Broadcast auction winners announced

    Back in February, the FCC announced an auction of broadcast permits. Thirteen FM permits, two FM translator permits, and three AM permits were to be on the block.

    One AM winner, one FM translator winner, and eleven FM winners have been announced:

    AM 640 Terre Haute, Indiana: Birach Broadcasting Corp. $ 53,000
    FM 101.5 Greenwood, Arkansas: JEM Broadcasting Co. $165,750
    FM 105.3 Durango, Colorado: KRJ Co. $ 15,000
    FM 98.9 Steamboat Springs, Colorado: Ramsey Leasing $ 55,000
    FM 101.1 Bloomfield, Indiana: Mid-America Radio Group $ 22,000
    FM 104.5 Traverse City, Michigan: The MacDonald Bcstg. Co. $224,000
    FM 98.9 Rosendale, New York: Hawkeye Communications $324,350
    FM 93.7 North Madison, Ohio: South Shore Broadcasting $276,250
    FM 98.1 Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico: Amor Radio Group Corp. $ 16,250
    FM 107.7 Idalou, Texas: Ramar Communications $ 75,000
    FM 102.5 Shawsville, Virginia: George S. Flinn Jr.* $153,000
    FM 98.9 Two Rivers, Wisconsin: Tri-County Radio $ 31,850

    (FM translator:)
    FM 104.1 Coyote, California: Educational Media Fdn. $ 31,000

    * Mr. Flinn is a Republican candidate for the U.S. House from West Tennessee. One of his primary opponents has used the format of one of his existing stations as a campaign issue.

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010

    Broadcast station totals

    The FCC has released broadcast station totals for the end of March and the end of June. Just for grins, I've also tossed in the figures for January, 1970...

    1/70 12/09 3/10 6/10
    AM 4269 4790 4790 4786
    FM commercial 2083 6479 6483 6494
    FM educational 399 3151 3180 3223
    Total full-power radio 6751 14420 14453 14503

    FM translators & boosters n/g 6155 6169 6168
    LPFM n/a 864 865 864
    Total low-power radio n/g 7019 7034 7032

    Commercial TV 691 1391 1393 1393
    Educational TV 184 390 390 391
    Total full-power TV 875 1782 1783 1784

    TV translators n/g 4359 4451 4562
    LPTV n/a 2386 2411 2451
    Class A TV n/a 537 534 523

    Total low-power TV n/g 7282 7396 7536

    Total broadcast stations 7626 30503 30666 30855

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    AM station technical changes denied & license cancelled

    Kaufman, Texas: 950KHz:
    KTON application to move from 940 dismissed & station deleted.
    Station wished to reduce daytime power from 1,000 watts to 600;
    increase nighttime power from 5 watts to 100;
    change frequency from 940 to 950;
    change city from Belton to Kaufman;
    move transmitter site from 31-32-07N/97-24-46W to 32-52-35N/96-18-37W.

    Belton, the old site, is roughly midway between Waco and Austin in Central Texas.

    Kaufman, the proposed new site, is roughly 25 miles east-southeast of Dallas.

    Not only has the proposed move been dismissed, but the KTON license has been canceled. I think the station remained off the air for over a year.

    Thursday, July 22, 2010

    AM station power reduction requested

    St. John's, Newfoundland & Labrador: 930KHz:
    CJYQ requests technical changes.
    Due to weather damage at the existing site, CJYQ proposes to move to a new site and switch to non-directional operation at night with 3.5kw.
    Daytime operation will remain non-directional with 25kw.

    Major AM station change dismissed

    Arden-Arcade, California: 1210KHz:
    KEBR changes dismissed.
    Station proposed to:
    - Change the city-of-license from Rocklin.
    - Eliminate the separate nighttime transmitter site.
    - Operate from the existing daytime site at night as well, 38-27-46N/121-07-49W.
    - Switch from non-directional to directional operation at night.
    - Increase nighttime power to 1.5kw.

    Wednesday, July 07, 2010

    AM station frequency change (re-)requested

    Cornwall, New York: 1150KHz:
    WWLE-1170 requests move to this frequency.

    WWLE operates on 1170 with 800 watts daytime-only, directional.

    They've requested to move to 1150 with 2,500 watts daytime, 500 watts night, directional with two different patterns. The 1150 operation will be at their existing site.

    The same move was requested (and granted) in 2004 but the permit was recently canceled.

    Application for new AM stations dismissed

    Merlin, Oregon: 1320 & 1520KHz:
    Applications for new stations dismissed.

    1320: 1,000 watts day & night, directional, different patterns day & night.
    1520: 5,000 watts daytime; 4,000 watts night; directional at night only.

    Both frequencies were to operate from 42-28-08N/123-19-43W.

    Merlin is in western Oregon, between Eugene and Roseburg.

    AM call changes

    The following AM stations have changed callsigns recently:

    Tuscaloosa, Alabama 1280 WMXB from WWPG
    Atlantic Beach, Florida 1600 WZNZ from WQOP
    Jacksonville, Florida 1460 WQOP from WZNZ
    Riviera Beach, Florida 1600 WHTY from WMNE
    Columbus, Georgia 1580 WIOL from WEAM
    Wichita, Kansas 1070 KLIO from KFTI
    Iron River, Michigan 1230 WFER from WIKB
    Bay St. Louis, Miss. 1190 WMEJ from WJZD
    Raleigh, N. Carolina 570 WQDR from WDOX
    Burns, Oregon 1230 KBNH from KZZR
    Portland, Oregon 970 KXFD from KCMD
    Tillamook, Oregon 1590 KTIL from KMBD
    Sioux Falls, S. Dakota 1520 KZOY from KSQB
    Vancouver, Washington 910 KKSN from KTRO
    Park Falls, Wisconsin 980 WPFP from WNBI

    Rare AM public station to go away...

    The FCC Daily Digest today reported Ohio State University has purchased commercial station WWCD-101.1 in Columbus.

    OSU (uh, THE OSU) already owns two public radio stations in Columbus, WOSU-820 and WOSU-FM 89.7. Radio World magazine reports the AM station's NPR news/talk format will move to 89.7; 89.7's classical music programming will move to the new 101.1 frequency; and the AM 820 frequency will be sold.

    Unlike most public stations, WOSU AM 820 is on "non-reserved" spectrum. The existing license only allows non-commercial operation, but it can be modified to allow commercial broadcasting. The 87.9-91.9 FM spectrum is "reserved" for non-commercial use. For example, WOSU-FM 89.7 could be sold, but the new users could not convert to commercial operation.

    WOSU AM is one of a vanishing breed of AM stations launched by the nation's major universities in the early days of broadcasting. The station got its start as WEAO, on 360 meters. (830KHz) It shared time on 570 with commercial station WKBN in Youngstown for awhile, before landing on 820 at the beginning of World War II.

    In 1925, 44 major state universities controlled AM stations. (so did dozens of smaller schools, private and religious institutions, city school systems, municipalities, and even the state governments of Wisconsin and Missouri.) Today, only nine - soon to be eight - remain.

    For the record, the nine:

    - Washington State (KWSU-1250)
    - Purdue (WBAA-920)
    - Ohio State (WOSU-820)
    - Wisconsin (WHA-970)
    - Michigan State (WKAR-870)
    - Minnesota (KUOM-770)
    - Iowa State (WOI-640)
    - Illinois (WILL-580)
    - Iowa (WSUI-910)

    Yes, there are other NPR stations on AM. The vast majority are relatively recent converts.