FCC Denies Sales Of Two South Bend AMs
April 3, 2013 at 1:15 PM (PT)
The FCC has denied TIMES COMMUNICATIONS INC.'s applications to sell WHLY-A/SOUTH BEND, IN to ST. THOMAS MORE FOUNDATION, INC. (filed in 2006) and I.B. COMMUNICATIONS, LTD. (filed in 2012) and also denied the sale by ARTISTIC MEDIA PARTNERS of WDND-A/SOUTH BEND to FORT WAYNE CATHOLIC RADIO GROUP, INC. in a case that hinged on the expanded AM band and the rule that the owners, after a five-year transition period, were supposed to surrender one of the two licenses.
In 1999, TIMES filed to sell both WHLY, at 1580 AM, and WDND, at 1620 AM, to ARTISTIC; WDND was the expanded band license created from WHLY. Only the WDLD sale closed, however, with ARTISTIC blaming environmental problems with WHLY's site, and ARTISTIC said it would keep operating WDLD although the five-year transition period from 1580 to 1620 was about to expire.
Subsequently, TIMES filed to sell WHLY, first to ST. THOMAS MORE FOUNDATION in 2006 and then to I.B. in 2012 (the latter followed by a request to dismiss the first of the two sales), and in each case the Commission said that the applications did not note that WHLY was paired with WDLD and that one of the two licenses would have to be surrendered. The Commission concluded that "the only assignment application we will approve for (these stations) is one which will result in (both) being held by a single licensee."
In addition, the Commission denied the Application for Review by MARY V. HARRIS FOUNDATION of the Media Bureau, Audio Division's denial of reconsideration of the grant of HOLY FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS, INC.’s mutually exclusive application to build a new
NCE station at LANCASTER, NY and the dismissal of HARRIS' application for a new FM at WILLIAMSVILLE, NY. HARRIS asserted that it should get a threshold fair
distribution preference for providing a second noncommercial educational service to 9.46% of the population within its proposed service contour, but the Commission stuck to the 10% requirement. The FCC also rejected an argument that an improper transfer of control of HOLY FAMILY had taken place.