FCC Orders Detroit's 104.7 The Oasis Off The Air
October 18, 2011 at 12:24 PM (PT)
The FCC has ordered RADIO POWER, INC. to take its Smooth Jazz FM translator W284BQ (104.7 THE OASIS)/DETROIT off the air due to interference to CLEAR CHANNEL/CITICASTERS Rock WIOT/TOLEDO. The translator is fed by the HD2 channel of INTERNATIONAL FREE AND ACCEPTED MODERN MASONS Urban AC WGPR/DETROIT.
CLEAR CHANNEL complained shortly after TIM MARTZ signed the translator on the air that the station, which is co-channel with WIOT, was interfering with WIOT's signal, and identified 28 complaints from listeners in YPSILANTI, BELLEVILLE, and TAYLOR, MI. RADIO POWER said it modified its signal to suppress radiation to the south and offered affected listeners smartphones with CLEAR CHANNEL's iHEARTRADIO app to listen to WIOT, which CLEAR CHANNEL called "insufficient and unworkable," especially since it requires listeners to pay for a data plan. The Commission rejected MARTZ' smartphone plan and stressed that the rule requires the translator to suspend operations until interference is eliminated.
In addition, the Commission rejected RADIO POWER's approach of resolving each individual interference complaint one-by-one, saying that it "will inevitably lead the Commission into a quagmire of novel issues, including whether the commercial service is programmatically 'equivalent'; whether the service provides comparable signal quality and reliability; whether a listener or RPI is responsible for equipment repairs and losses; whether RPI and its successors are required to purchase equipment and pay subscription fees in perpetuity; and how the Commission could effectively monitor and enforce compliance with such requirements. The Commission cannot and need not expend such significant resources to keep a translator station on the air."