In this week’s issue… – NCE window apps filed – WFAN announces new lineup – WPVI’s Gardner, WCSH’s Williams set retirement dates – GBH names multiple morning hosts – Remembering Chris Lash – New apps in Canada, too
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*If you know a consulting engineer who does FCC applications, don’t be surprised if they look a little dazed this week. There aren’t many of them out there these days, and most of them had lots of work over the last few months getting applications ready for the first window the FCC opened for new noncommercial FM applications in eight years. (Yes, that includes us here at Fybush Media, and by way of disclaimer, we’ve carefully noted below which applications were done with our assistance.)
That window closed last Tuesday night after more than 1100 applications were filed – and now applicants and consultants have to wait for a little while. Unlike in previous windows, the FCC moved with lightning speed to make these applications public. Within two hours of the window closing, applications were already appearing in the public LMS database, and so (as you’ll read later in the column) we have the complete list of NERW-land applications for you already.
We can identify a few trends this time: some of the “application mills” that generated lots of applications in previous windows were absent this time. There were very few applications for new Catholic stations, for instance, and some of the filers from down South who had flooded previous windows with questionable applications were also missing from this round.
Much of the spectrum is, of course, simply full. There was no room this time for anything at all near most large or even medium cities, leaving much smaller holes to fill in more rural areas, some of them more attractive than others. (New Hampshire, in particular, drew almost no applicants, while most of the New Jersey applications went after just two small holes in north Jersey and on the shore.)
And there was no shortage of flawed applications. It’s a complex process and it’s easy to overlook all the details, which might explain why one group filed a bunch of applications that ignored third-adjacent channel spacing and will likely get dismissed as a result.
What happens next? On Nov. 29, the FCC will release its official list of which applicants get the coveted “singleton” status (grantable applications that didn’t conflict with any others and can thus proceed to construction permits) and which ones fall into “MX” (mutually exclusive) groups. Some applicants will be able to make technical amendments that can remove them from those MX groups, while the rest will then be sorted according to the FCC’s complex points system to come up with “tentative selectees.” We’ll be there to let you know how it all shakes out.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, HAPPY NEW CALENDAR!
Still don’t have a new calendar on your wall for 2023? We can fix that – and fast!
The Tower Site Calendar for 2023 is brighter and better than ever: more historic dates, more great photos of broadcast sites near and far (everywhere from Navajo Nation on the cover to Boston to Toronto to Texas, and beyond), plus a lovely “centerfold” you can keep on your wall for 2024.
It’s still shipping daily, and you can have yours in just a couple of days!
Order your copy and you’ll see what we mean.
If you have already ordered your calendar, make sure you check out the other items in the store, too!