FCC Approves Move Of New Birach AM Closer To Chicago
May 1, 2014 at 4:32 PM (PT)
BIRACH BROADCASTING has won FCC approval of the move of its unbuilt 640 AM construction permit at TERRE HAUTE, IN to PEOTONE, IL (south of CHICAGO) and the shutdown of its Regional Mexican WMFN-A (LA PODEROSA)/ZEELAND-GRAND RAPIDS, MI to allow the move, over objections from ROBERT MICHAEL DITTO, WORD POWER, INC., ANNA WHITE, and FRED J. NATION.
The WORD POWER petition complained that the move into the CHICAGO market puts the station in an area with many existing services, the TERRE HAUTE facility was technically superior, and the CP was won at auction for TERRE HAUTE, not PEOTONE. DITTO offered that TERRE HAUTE is a less competitive market with only two effective competitors, EMMIS and MIDWEST COMMUNICATIONS, and noted that BIRACH already owns a CHICAGO market station, WNWI-A.
The Commission also filed its brief against the appeal by MARY V. HARRIS FOUNDATION of a court ruling upholding the grant of a new noncommercial FM in upstate NEW YORK to HOLY FAMILY COMMUNICATIONS, INC. over the appellant. The FCC's process for mutually exclusive applications changed in the middle of processing the applications, and the parties were given an opportunity to add information to their applications to conform to the new points system. HARRIS sought a fair distribution preference because of its second noncommercial educational service to 9.46 percent of its population. The FCC's brief argues that its fair distribution threshold is lawful and that it did not abuse its discretion in denying a waiver of that preference for HARRIS not quite achieving the 10% second noncommercial educational service threshold. The Commission also argues that the appeal was untimely and the court lacks jurisdiction as a result.