FCC Gives WPRM 30 Days To Make Long-Delayed Frequency Change
October 22, 2012 at 4:28 PM (PT)
The FCC has ruled in a complicated case in PUERTO RICO that ARSO RADIO CORPORATION must finally change the frequency of its Tropical WPRM (98.5 SALSOUL)/SAN JUAN from 98.5 FM to 99.1 FM and that all special operating conditions on other stations awaiting the move so they can move their own facilities to new frequencies will be lifted after 30 days.
ARSO has been given Special Temporary Authority to make the move but the short-term expiration will allow the late JOSE J. ARZUAGA's AC WIDI (MAGIC 97.3)/QUEBRADILLAS (on 98.3 FM, moving to 99.5 FM) and RADIO SOL 92, WZOL, INC,'s Spanish Religion WZOL (RADIO SOL 92)/VIEQUES, PR (on 98.9 FM, moving to 98.3 FM at LAS PIEDRAS) to make their moves and be fully licensed at their new facilities.
The case involved ARZUAGA's opposition to WPRM and WIII/WSUR LICENSE PARTNERSHIP, G.P. Spanish Top 40 WUKQ-F (KQ105)/MAYAGUEZ's license renewals, ARSO's opposition to WZOL's renewal, all of the above frequency changes, and new permits for stations in CHARLOTTE AMALIE, VI and SANTA ISABEL, PR. WPRM's permit required it to wait until WUKQ and WZOL made their moves, and the WZOL, WUKQ, and CHARLOTTE AMALIE permits required waiting until WPRM began broadcasting with its permit. ARZUAGA complained that ARSO and WLII/WSUR had "done nothing to effectuate the changes ordered by the Commission in 1995," thus preventing his station from making its move although it built its new facilities in 2009.
WLII/WSUR said it will complete construction of WUKQ’s new facilities as soon as the condition that WPRM begin using its new facilities is satisfied or waived. ARSO, for its part, says it needs a new antenna, something it claims was delayed because the other parties have not paid it their share of the expenses, and adds that it has been unable to fully reconstruct WPRM’s tower after it was destroyed by Hurricanes Hanna and Ike in 2008 until it receives about 75 feet of steel for the top of the tower.
The Commission concluded that due to the long length of time that has passed, the conditions on the permits should be deleted and ARSO given a short time to make its move, and noted that since ARSO's continued operation of WPRM on its "old" frequency is under an "implied STA," it is not entitled to the interference protection it would have as a fully licensed permanent facility.