FCC Nixes Townsquare Yakima, Tri-Cities Deal
July 29, 2011 at 12:01 PM (PT)
The FCC has rejected REVITALIZATION PARTNERS and TOWNSQUARE MEDIA's application for TOWNSQUARE to buy 12 stations from REVITALIZATION (as receiver for NEW NORTHWEST BROADCASTERS) for $6 million and to place eleven stations in the TRI-CITIES and YAKIMA, WA markets into a divestiture trust for spinoff.
The Commission called the deal "patently not in accord with our policy concerning the acceptable use of divestiture trusts.... the proposed use of this Divestiture Trust is not incidental to a larger transaction.... the Assignment Applications’ proposed disposition of 12 stations in Washington will result in 11 stations being licensed to the Divestiture Trust and only one additional station being licensed to TM in a manner compliant with the multiple ownership rule. Such use of a divestiture trust is neither incidental nor consistent with precedent. Moreover, even the use of the Divestiture Trust for the assignment of 11 of the 31 stations would be unprecedented."
"We have never allowed a station owner to use a divestiture trust to re-shuffle its radio station portfolio as proposed here," wrote the Commission. "This aspect of the Proposed Transaction presents even greater concerns about the competitive impact on these small radio markets."
TOWNSQUARE had applied to place Classic Hits KOLW (97.5 COOL FM)/BASIN CITY, WA; Hot AC KEYW (98.3 THE KEY)/PASCO; Country KDBL (92.9 THE BULL)/TOPPENISH, WA; and AC KQMY (MY 99.3)/NACHES, WA into THE TRI-CITIES/YAKIMA DIVESTITURE TRUST, and REVITALIZATION contributed Oldies KARY (100.9 CHERRY FM)/GRANDVIEW-YAKIMA; Talk KBBO-A (TALK 980 K-USA)/SELAH-YAKIMA; Sports KJOX-A (ESPN RADIO 1390) and Top 40/Rhythmic KHHK (HOT 99.7)/YAKIMA; Sports KALE-A (960 ESPN), and Country KIOK (94.9 THE WOLF)/RICHLAND; and Classic Hits KKSR (95.7 FUN FM)/WALLA WALLA. TOWNSQUARE was to buy and keep Adult Hits KRSE (105.7 BOB FM) and Country KXDD/YAKIMA, Classic Rock KEGX (EAGLE 106.5)/RICHLAND, Talk KTCR-A/KENNEWICK, and Top 40 KUJ-F (POWER 99.1)/BURBANK plus FM translator K232CB/PENDLETON.
In addition, HK MEDIA has been hit with a proposed $10,000 fine by the FCC for public file violations at Korean KFOX-A (RADIO SEOUL)/TORRANCE, CA. The station said its public file was destroyed by water damage at its LOS ANGELES studio and was not recreated until a week after an FCC inspection.