FCC Rejects Attempts To Revive Cancelled FM Permits, Warns Against Temporary Facilities, Placeholder Applications
September 21, 2015 at 5:07 PM (PT)
The FCC has rejected an appeal by two companies of the dismissal of their license applications to cover construction of five stations in TEXAS and NEW MEXICO.
TANGO RADIO LLC's KNOS/ALBANY, TX; KANM/SKYLINE-GANIPA, NM; and KKUL/TRINITY, TX and SOUTH TEXAS FM INVESTMENTS, LLC's KAHA/OLNEY, TX and KXME/WELLINGTON, TX were not constructed by their APRIL 2010 deadlines. Both companies acquired the permits, won at auction by other parties, in 2008, but both companies and the permittees from which they bought the permits are closely-held entities in which related family members hold ownership interests. The applicants filed incomplete applications for licenses and the Media Bureau returned them as defective and unacceptable, also denying waivers of the main studio rule. Asked to provide additional RF information, the applicants missed the JANUARY 30, 2011 deadline and requested an extension, but the Bureau instead dismissed the applications and deleted the permits as expired.
"Parties cannot file defective license applications as mere placeholders," the Commission warned in dismissing the applications. "(T)he Applicants neither completed construction, satisfied all permit conditions, nor established a basis for additional construction time by the respective deadlines. The Applicants’ attempted use of the corrective amendment process to extend their construction deadlines is inappropriate and inconsistent with the Commission’s goals of prompt initiation of service and spectrum efficiency."
Subsequently, the FCC sent agents to monitor the frequencies for unauthorized temporary construction; they were told by a business owner at one of the station's sites that two men showed up in AUGUST 2010 erecting a temporary tower and saying that they were putting a temporary signal on the air at 98.1 (KKUL's frequency). The Commission wrote, "It appears that some permittees, such as Applicants here, are attempting to circumvent our construction deadlines by erecting facilities, conforming or otherwise, with or without the site owner’s permission, temporarily — long enough only to file a license application before the underlying construction permit expires. We take this opportunity to caution all permittees that they may not rely on temporarily constructed facilities to satisfy construction requirements and that construction permits associated with temporarily constructed facilities are subject to automatic forfeiture...."