Translator Move From Kentucky To Indiana Rejected By FCC
September 22, 2014 at 4:00 AM (PT)
The FCC has denied a "TELL CITY" waiver for an FM translator seeking to move to TELL CITY, IN itself, rejecting WAY MEDIA and HANCOCK COMMUNICATIONS' application to transplant W218CR/CENTRAL CITY, KY to TELL CITY to rebroadcast HANCOCK's WTCJ-A.
WAY MEDIA had proposed to sell the translator to HANCOCK and had asked for a waiver to move the station to the new location despite the new facility's contours being beyond the station's presently-licensed 60 dBu contour, not permitted under the current rules. The applicants argued that the rule had "outdated public interest benefit" and that allowing the move via waiver rather than a change in the rules was appropriate because it "does not behoove the FCC to use rule making resources in tweaks to its existing rules if doing so would only benefit a limited class of broadcasters."
The application also tied the move to AM revitalization. But the Commission said that the application did not show special circumstances to warrant a waiver, instead showing results "so widely applicable as to be a general boon to the AM industry," making it more appropriate for a rulemaking proceeding than a waiver.
The Commission also granted the move of TRUTH BROADCASTING Religion KTIA-F/BOONE, IA to JUXLEY, IA, closer to the DES MOINES and AMES markets, over the objection of SAGA COMMUNICATIONS. TRUTH argued that the move is not a "move-in" to the larger markets because there are no existing towers from which the station could cover 50% or more of those areas.
SAGA said it had identified two such towers, but the Commission found that neither would give KTIA a 70 dBu signal over either market; it did find a tower that would allow the station to cover AMES with a directional antenna, and on that basis rejected the application.
The dismissal was rescinded after TRUTH pointed out that the Commission can't reject a proposal on the basis of an alternate hypothetical situation, and reduced the proposed height of its new facility to reduce coverage of AMES; SAGA argued that the 49% coverage of AMES that resulted from the proposal should be rounded up to 50%, which would be impermissible. The grant of TRUTH's application also requires an involuntary channel change for Contemporary Christian KPUL (PULSE 99.5)/WINTERSET, IA.