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Ohio LPFM Has Its License Yanked

FCC didn’t get answers to its questions about license renewal

WWGH, low-power FM, Scott Spears
Scott Spears

Update: The FCC has restored the license; see our subsequent story.

A low-power FM station in Marion, Ohio, has lost its license after failing to reply to Federal Communications Commission correspondence.

The station was WWGH(LP), which now has the dreaded “D” prefix added to its call sign, meaning deleted. For trivia buffs, the station call letters are a reference to Pres. Warren G. Harding, who lived in Marion.

The LPFM was licensed to the Marion Education Exchange. It had applied for license renewal, but after the commission sent the station a letter of inquiry requiring more information and never heard back, the license was deleted.

[Read: Georgia LPFM Agrees to Consent Decree and to Pay $10,000 Penalty]

“Although the [letter] directed MEE to respond no later than Jan. 7, 2021, MEE has filed no response,” wrote Audio Division Chief Albert Shuldiner. Failure to respond to official correspondence is cause for dismissal of an application.

The Marion Star website has a news account of the dispute that led to this situation. It involves program manager Scott Spears and allegations about his role and the makeup of the station board.

The FCC’s revocation letter did not discuss the underlying allegations that had been made about the station, simply that the license was being pulled for lack of response.

The newspaper quotes Spears saying that Friday was the first the station had heard from the FCC, that it was working on a formal response and planned to work with the commission on its investigation. The newspaper reported that the station remained on the air this weekend.