Court Upholds FCC Auction Of Vegas AM
June 29, 2009 at 4:57 AM (PT)
A three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals has denied ALVIN LOU MEDIA, INC.'s appeal of an FCC ruling that auctioned off a new AM allocation for the LAS VEGAS market and resulted in the grant of a construction permit to POWELL MEREDITH COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY.
The court ruled, in an opinion by Judge JUDITH ANN WILSON ROGERS, that the FCC can use standards for filing an application that are different from those needed to grant a permit. "(T)he Commission determined in 1998 to defer full technical reviews of applications until after the auction among mutually exclusive applications is conducted, and then to review only the winning bidder’s application," noted the opinion. "Pre-auction review of engineering data would be limited to determining mutual exclusivity and geographic preferences." The court ruled that the Commission's "explanation of the decision to defer full technical review — to promote expeditious deployment of new broadcasting services to the public and to conserve Commission resources — was 'a satisfactory explanation' (citation omitted) for the choice it made."
POWELL MEREDITH won the bidding in AM Auction No. 32 for 1590 AM in LAS VEGAS after it and competing applications by ALVIN LOU at SPRING VALLEY, NV and VICTOR A. MICHAEL, JR. at CHEYENNE, WY were determined mutually exclusive and sent to auction, and ALVIN LOU objected on the basis that the engineering initially submitted by POWELL MEREDITH was defective and should have disqualified the company's bid.