MMTC Files Support At FCC For Longer-DistanceFM Translator Move
February 13, 2013 at 4:55 AM (PT)
The MINORITY MEDIA TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL has sent a letter to the FCC supporting the application of HANCOCK COMMUNICATIONS (THE CROMWELL GROUP) and WAY MEDIA, INC. for a one-step approval to move FM translator W218CR/CENTRAL CITY, KY to a commercial channel at a new location to allow CENTRAL CITY's Oldies WTCJ-A/TELL CITY, IN to be rebroadcast on the translator. WAY MEDIA is selling the translator to HANCOCK for $10,000 and the move requires a waiver because the translator will be relocated beyond the distance normally allowed by the FCC's rules.
"Over the years," wrote the MMTC's DAVID HONIG, "WTCJ, and many other AM stations, have fallen victim to the Commission’s Section 74.1233(a)(1) regulation that restricts FM translator moves based on a minimal miles radius calculation. This has resulted in it being almost impossible for many stations, including WTCJ, to find an FM translator available for acquisition. As a result, WTCJ is petitioning the Commission to waive this regulatory barrier, thereby opening up the opportunity for FM translator service to bolster its stymied AM station. To that end, MMTC supports WTCJ’s petition and respectfully requests that the Commission grant the waiver ... By making it easier for AM stations to move to existing FM translators farther away, more stations would be able to re-broadcast their AM signals and thus increase accessibility for AM listeners in their respective areas while furthering the Commission’s goals."
HONIG noted that "around two-thirds of minority-owned radio stations are AM stations," making the present restrictions "even more detrimental to minority broadcasters, who typically own stations with inferior technical parameters and have a difficult time reaching their intended audience because the stations are located far from the centers of the urban markets they generally serve."