In this week’s issue… FCC picks noncommercial FM window winners – Audacy shifts NYC talent – ATSC 3 launches in Boston – Corus finishes Toronto morning shuffle – New FM in Quebec?
By SCOTT FYBUSH
*If it’s not exactly lightning speed, the FCC is at least moving at a very steady clip as it tries to resolve all the loose ends from last fall’s filing window for new noncommercial FM signals.
After issuing dozens of construction permits for uncontested “singleton” applications last fall, the Commission has now sorted out 34 groups of conflicting (“mutually exclusive” or “MX”) applications, including several in NERW-land.
In southern RHODE ISLAND, Radio Sharon Foundation and Horizon Christian Fellowship both applied for 91.5, which sent them to an analysis under the FCC’s points system. Horizon won two points for diversity of ownership and one for a superior technical proposal, but Radio Sharon won a total of five points, two for diversity and three for local ownership.
There’s a hitch, though: while the FCC designated Radio Sharon as its tentative selectee for 91.5, Horizon immediately responded with a report from a private investigator in which it showed that the family members identified as Radio Sharon’s “local” board members didn’t actually live at the addresses listed on its application. Will the FCC reverse its decision – and take a closer look at other applications from Radio Sharon and related entities? We’ll be watching.
On the NEW JERSEY shore, a four-way battle for 88.7 included Radio Vision Cristiana in Brick, Rejuvenation Outreach Center and Community Public Radio in Lakewood and Cantico Nuevo Ministry in Leisure Village. The FCC’s point system analysis in this group came down to a question of which applicant had the fewest existing authorizations (station licenses plus applications), which gave the nod to Rejuvenation Outreach Center.
Inland, five applicants were seeking 88.9 – Casa de Destino and Calvary Chapel Morris Hills in Bernardsville, Redeemer Broadcasting in Mendham, Transmission Communications Network in Millington and Cantico Nuevo in Watchung. Local ownership gave Calvary Chapel Morris Hills the nod in this group, though it will have to divest its existing low-power FM, WCFT-LP (107.9 Dover), before it can put its new 88.9 signal on the air.
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