Cumulus Wins Out in Pensacola/Mobile Case
Three FM stations in Florida
and Alabama can become part of Cumulus, after the FCC staff rejected an effort
to deny the change. Among questions raised were when to apply a contour-overlap analysis and whether Pensacola and Mobile
should be considered a single market.
stations are WMEZ in Pensacola, Fla., and WXBM in Milton, Fla., both acquired
by Cumulus from 6 Johnson Road Licenses Inc.; as well as WABD (the former WLVM)
in Mobile, Ala., acquired from Educational Media Foundation.
ADX Communications had fought the assignment of licenses.
The case dates to May, when the commission granted a change in community of license for another
Cumulus station, WDLT(FM), moving it into the Mobile metro market. (The
station was WYOK for more than a decade.)
arguments, ADX raised concerns about FCC “multiple ownership” rules and said Cumulus
was trying to circumvent having to do a contour-overlap analysis by relocating
WDLT’s community of license to within the Mobile Arbitron metro. The move would
allow Cumulus to acquire the three stations, according to ADX, because while those
applications would meet multiple ownership rules under an Arbitron Metro-based
analysis, they would fail using a contour-overlap analysis.
In the end, the commission staff ruled that ADX did not make its case, and
allowed the three assignments of license to Cumulus.
question was whether the Pensacola and Mobile metros should be considered one
market. ADX said yes, but the FCC agreed with Cumulus that there is nothing new
or unique about two adjacent Arbitron markets sharing numerous radio