FCC Rejects Clear Channel-Withers Deal For WDDD-A
September 1, 2010 at 4:05 AM (PT)
The FCC has once again rejected CLEAR CHANNEL's attempt to sell Sports WDDD-A (FOX SPORTS RADIO 810)/JOHNSTON CITY, IL to WITHERS BROADCASTING OF SOUTHERN ILLINOIS, LLC, dismissing the application for waiver by letter dated AUGUST 23rd.
WDDD was the basis for the allocation of an expanded band station, WHTE-A/JOHNSTON CITY, that moved into the CHICAGO market and is now Talk WVON-A/BERWYN, IL (owned by CLEAR CHANNEL and operated by MIDWAY BROADCASTING). The FCC requires surrender of either of the two licenses by AUGUST 2nd, 2011, and WITHERS asked for a waiver of the rule so that WDDD can continue to serve the MARION-CARBONDALE downstate market. WITHERS argued that adhering to the rule and requiring WDDD to go silent would deprive listeners in the downstate market of service. RADIO 810 NASHVILLE objected to the sale, noting that WDDD is the primary reason its Spanish Variety WMGC-A (LA SABROSITA)/MURFREESBORO, TN can't increase its nighttime signal.
The Commission said that CLEAR CHANNEL and WITHERS were only arguing that "it is somehow unfair to deprive JOHNSTON CITY and the surrounding area of long-standing service when the WDDD license is surrendered, because CCL (CLEAR CHANNEL) successfully sought a 280-mile relocation of WVON (AM) in order to 'maximize the people served by the 1690 kHz frequency.'" The agency noted that CLEAR CHANNEL "was aware of the condition on the WVON (AM) license, and it alone made the choice to seek to move that station out of the JOHNSTON CITY market."