Townsquare Media Appeals FCC's Denial Of Attempt To Take 3 Iowa Stations Back From Trust
May 4, 2015 at 3:59 AM (PT)
TOWNSQUARE MEDIA WATERLOO LICENSE, LLC has filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC's denial of its attempt to take three stations in the WATERLOO-CEDAR FALLS, IA marker back from the CEDAR RAPIDS DIVESTITURE TRUST.
The stations -- Top 40 KKHQ (Q92.3)/OELWEIN, IA; Classic Rock KCRR/GRUNDY CENTER, IA; and Country KOEL-F (K98.5)/CEDAR FALLS, IA -- were assigned to the trust as part of the acquisition of several stations from CUMULUS MEDIA and were to be sold within two years, but TOWNSQUARE filed to reacquire the properties when NIELSEN/ARBITRON restored WATERLOO-CEDAR FALLS as a separate market from CEDAR RAPIDS, as it had been before the markets were merged.
In MARCH, the Commission dismissed the application as inadvertently accepted for filing, saying that it would not waive the two-year waiting period after a change in market definition.
TOWNSQUARE's petition, filed last week, contends that the waiver is justified because the move is not, as barred by the two-year rule, intended to "manipulate ARBITRON's market definitions." It points out that the stations were home to the WATERLOO-CEDAR FALLS market for 42 years until ARBITRON stopped rating that market in 2012. "TOWNSQUARE is not in any way 'gaming' market definitions, which is what the rule was intended to prevent," the petition asserts, adding, "The stations never were CEDAR RAPIDS stations, except in name only for a short time."