FCC Nixes Challenge To Citadel-Saga Deal
October 8, 2008 at 11:02 AM (PT)
The FCC has rejected a challenge to the sale of Talk WKRT-A (now Religion WYBY-A, donated to BIBLE BROADCASTING CO. in 2007) and Classic Rock WIII (I-100)/CORTLAND-ITHACA, NY by CITADEL to SAGA.
A group called the FINGER LAKES ALLIANCE FOR INDEPENDENT MEDIA challenged the sale on the grounds that even though SAGA complies with FCC ownership limits in the ITHACA market, the sale would result in an undue concentration of ownership. FLAIM's contention is that the "bright line" test for ownership, using ARBITRON-defined metros, includes stations that do not really serve ITHACA; FLAIM, which used the same arguments in a failed challenge to SAGA's previous purchase of a station in the market, used whether stations advertise in the local YELLOW PAGES as an example of "serving the market."
The Commission agreed with SAGA and CITADEL that the FLAIM petition was untimely under the MOODY BIBLE INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO FCC case precedent and dismissed the late petition, noting that under MOODY, a party cannot "sit back" and wait for a verdict hoping that it would go its way, and then file a petition alleging new evidence.