FCC Dismisses FoxFur-Family Life Syracuse Swap, Fines FoxFur $20,000
June 15, 2016 at 11:32 AM (PT)
The swap of stations between FOXFUR COMMUNICATIONS, LLC, WOLF RADIO, INC., and FAMILY LIFE MINISTRIES, INC. in the SYRACUSE market has been dismissed by the FCC, which has also proposed a $20,000 fine against FOXFUR. The problem, in the FCC's eyes, was that a time brokerage agreement for FAMILY LIFE to program two of the stations and FOXFUR one of the stations resulted in FOXFUR having an unauthorized attributable interest in eight stations in the SYRACUSE market.
FOXFUR and WOLF, commonly-owned, swapped WOLF-F (now WCIS)/DERUYTER-SYRACUSE, WWLF-F (now WCIO)/OSWEGO, NY, and W252AC/FAIRMOUNT, NY to FAMILY LIFE for WSEN-F (briefly WNDR-F, now WOLF-F) and W207BH/BALDWINSVILLE, NY. FOXFUR and FAMILY then inked a TBA for FOXFUR to program the former WSEN-F as Country WOLF-F and FAMILY LIFE to program the former WOLF-WWLF as Contemporary Christian WCIS-WCIO. But the deal, the FCC said, gave FOXFUR eight stations in the market; FOXFUR sought a waiver and asserted that the deal would "bring two new FM voices to the SYRACUSE Metro" and would not adversely affect competition. The FCC noted that FOXFUR did not wait for a ruling on the waiver before taking over programming WNDR-F; "Business expedience is not synonymous with the public interest," the Commission noted. The parties can refile the swap applications without prejudice.