FCC Enters Consent Decree With FM Auction Applicant
February 28, 2014 at 9:43 AM (PT)
The FCC has entered into a Consent Decree with CHEROKEE BROADCASTING COMPANY over violation of rules "relating to prohibited contacts and communications in Commission auctions." The violation involved Auction 91 and an allocation in CALHOUN, GA and an anonymous email CHEROKEE said that suggested that a competing applicant, REBECCA SOVINE, was applying on behalf of her husband, JAMES (SCOTT) SMITH, the manager of COX RADIO's ATHENS, GA cluster.
Rather than forwarding the e-mail to the FCC, CHEROKEE sent a report detailing the significance of the allegations to the Commission and the other applicants, then a second version just to the Commission; the initial report being sent to all parties violated the prohibition of contacts between the parties. CHEROKEE will make a "voluntary contribution" of $15,000 to the U.S. Treasury to settle the matter.
In another Commission matter, GREAT SCOTT BROADCASTING's petition for reconsideration of the denial its application for waiver of Section 73.215 of the Commission’s rules and modification of Active Rock WZBH (93.5 THE BEACH)/GEORGETOWN, DE from Class B1 to Class B at the same site but with a directional antenna and increased height was rejected due to prohibited overlap with DELMARVA Hot AC WSTW/WILMINGTON. GREAT SCOTT contended that in the direction of WSTW, the actual contours would remain the same and that the Commission should waive measuring the overlap under Class B (54 dBu) standards rather than the less distant Class B1 (57 dBu) standards.
The challenge by RED WOLF BROADCASTING COMPANIES, INC. of the grant of REVIVAL CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES, INC,'s application to modify FM translator W283BW/NEW LONDON, CT was rejected by the FCC due to lack of standing. RED WOLF complained that the modified facility would interfere with listening to its Alternative WMRQ (RADIO 104.1)/WATERBURY-HARTFORD, but the Commission said that it failed to file its objection in time.
And the Commission also rejected a Petition for Reconsideration by CITIZENS FOR EQUITY IN TAXATION of the approval of sale of several COX MEDIA GROUP stations to SUMMITMEDIA, INC. and CONNOISSEUR MEDIA LICENSES, LLC. The petitioner, appealing the initial finding that it did not to have standing to block the sale and its argument that like-kind exchanges should not be allowed because they are against the public interest was deemed inappropriate for the proceeding, said that it did not seek to delay or reverse the COX-SUMMIT-CONNOISSEUR deals but is now seeking "on a prospective basis only, new requirements for future applicants involved in proposed like-kind exchanges," which the Commission said "fails to actually challenge an 'action taken pursuant to delegated authority' as required" by the rules.