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Chicago Stations Deal With Their Own ‘Franken FM’

Smooth jazz on 87.7 draws attention

Broadcasters in yet another market are wondering what, if anything, they can do about a new “radio” signal that uses a TV license just off the lower end of the FM band — a so-called “Franken FM.”

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that smooth jazz content on a Channel 6 audio slot at 87.7 MHz is the operation in question.

“WLFM, which has a license to operate as a TV station, just this month ramped up its efforts to become a major player in the local radio market when it hired away former WNUA talent Rick O’Dell from as its first program director and first on-air host,” the paper reports. “O’Dell hopes to debut a mid-day show on WLFM as early as next month.”

It said the station is building radio studios in the John Hancock Tower.

Among the broadcasters not happy about this is public station WBEZ(FM), which is among public stations that are pressing the FCC for a ruling on such radio operations that use Channel 6 as a back door to the FM dial.

Read the story here.