3 Daughters Media Files To Block Sale Of WLNI To Mel Wheeler, Inc.
January 31, 2013 at 4:16 AM (PT)
GARY BURNS' 3 DAUGHTERS MEDIA, which previously challenged the renewal of CLEAR CHANNEL and ALOHA STATION TRUST licenses in the ROANOKE and LYNCHBURG markets over concentration concerns and slowness in spinning off excess stations, is now challenging the deal under which CENTENNIAL LICENSING, LLC is selling Talk WLNI/LYNCHBURG, VA to MEL WHEELER, INC. for $1,025,000.
In its filing, the company alleges that "If this proposed transaction is approved WHEELER will control and operate ten (10) radio stations in the market, comprised of six (6) full-power FM radio stations, two (2) full-power AM radio stations and two (2) translator stations. Allowing the WHEELER-CENTENNIAL transaction to proceed will upset the competitive balance in the market and be detrimental overall to the health of the market and will discourage opportunities for females, minorities and small business to secure financing and to expand in the marketplace, exactly the trends the Commission is trying to reverse."
3 DAUGHTERS asserts that MEL WHEELER INC. owns an extra station in the market, the third signal of its "THE VIBE" trimulcast, WVBB/ELLISTON-LAFAYETTE, VA, and therefore should not be allowed to buy another full-power FM there. Regarding the number of stations in the market, the filing alleges, "The bottom line is at times BIA does get it wrong. Radio stations have a right to rely on the data and unless someone in the market objects, the Commission goes by certifications made by the applicant when giving its consent. Based on the ratings released this month (JANUARY 15th, 2013) WVBB should now be counted in the ROANOKE-LYNCHBURG radio market." 3 DAUGHTERS says that the market has 44 stations, not over 45, and therefore should have lower caps on ownership.