FCC Denies Nassau's Waiver Bid In Concord JSA Case
August 12, 2008 at 10:54 AM (PT)
The FCC has denied NASSAU BROADCASTING's request for a waiver or stay of the rules that will force it to end its sales agreement for Classic Rock WWHK (102.3 THE HAWK)/CONCORD, NH. NASSAU had a JSA in place since JULY 16th, 2004 and proposed to buy the station from VOX MEDIA GROUP's CONCORD BROADCASTING, LLC; the addition by ARBITRON of a separate CONCORD metro put NASSAU over the ownership cap for the new metro.
NASSAU appealed, asking for a waiver to allow it to continue its JSA until the appeal was acted upon, on the basis that a denial of the waiver would be a de facto ruling that the appeal would be denied. It asked in the alternative for a stay of the attribution rules for in-market JSAs, based on the likelihood of NASSAU winning its appeal and the "irreparable harm" a denial would cause.
The Commission rejected NASSAU's arguments, holding that NASSAU "has not demonstrated any reason or special circumstance why it should be permitted to prolong an arrangement the Commission has determined is inimical to competition or explained why the Commission’s concerns with the competitive of effects of such JSAs would be better served by waiver of the rule. Instead, it simply points to the pendency of its Application for Review and the fact that the ARBITRON Metro definition changed causing certain stations to be reclassified as "in-market stations." The FCC said that NASSAU was aware of the imminent creation of the new metro when it filed its application.
The ruling notes that NASSAU has been in violation of the rules since SEPTEMBER 3rd, 2006 and has turned the matter over to the Enforcement Bureau.