FCC Rejects Appeals In 'Dispositive Preference' Cases
May 22, 2009 at 4:49 PM (PT)
In a complicated case involving several applications for new AMs and changes to existing AMs, the FCC dismissed SUSQUEHANNA RADIO CORP. and JAMES K. ZAHN's appeal of the grant of a dispositive preference to an application by KM COMMUNICATIONS, INC. for a new AM at ELK GROVE, CA over ROYCE INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING CO.' application for a new AM at FOLSOM, CA (a conversion of a prior construction permit to a new station application) , ZAHN's bid for a new AM at CLOVIS, CA, and SUSQUEHANNA's applications for changes to its Sports KTCT-A (KNBR 1050)/SAN MATEO-SAN FRANCISCO and a new AM at FOLSOM.
The Commission also rejected JEFFREY B. BATE's Application for Review of the award of a dispositive preference to ANDREW JOHNSON's application for a new AM at WINCHESTER, NV over his own at ST. GEORGE, UT on the basis of larger population covered. BATE also lost his appeal of a dispositive preference granted to JEFFREY EUSTIS' application for a new AM at JOHNSTOWN, CO over his own application for a new AM at MESQUITE, NV on the same grounds.
In another dispositive preference case, KIDD COMMUNICATIONS' appeal of a preference granted to PAMPLIN BROADCASTING-OREGON, INC. for a new AM at JACKSONVILLE, OR over KIDD's for TRUCKEE, CA was rejected.
In the KIDD and SUSQUEHANNA cases, Acting Chairman MICHAEL COPPS and JONATHAN ADELSTEIN concurred but noted that the present procedure that grants dispositive preferences to stations that serve larger populations regardless of whether those markets are already "abundantly" served should be reviewed. COPPS wrote that "our existing allotment rules may unduly favor urban applicants by awarding, for instance, a dispositive preference to proposals that serve the greater number of people—even if that number is relatively small. The end result is that rural applicants often never even get the chance to bid at auction because the urban applicants are awarded a dispositive preference, typically under the catch-all priority for 'other public interest matters.'"
FCC Nixes Appeal Of Translator Grant
The FCC has also rejected BARRY LUNDERVILLE's challenge to the grant of a new FM translator to SHAW COMMUNICATIONS, INC. at BERLIN, NH. LUNDERVILLE claimed that the new translator could not possibly receive the signal of the primary station, Hot AC WVMJ (MAGIC 104)/CONWAY, NH, off-air, violating the rules; that the facility does not conform with reduced-power requirements within 320 km of the Canadian border; and that the translator would unfairly compete for business with other local full-power stations (including his own Oldies WMOU-A) in its coverage area, contrary to Commission policy.