Christian broadcaster Educational Media Foundation has closed on its purchase of FM signal KXOR in Thibodaux, La.
The station, in the past programmed with classic rock, will operate as a noncom educational outlet, part of the K-Love Radio Network, technically a “satellite” of EMF station KLVR(FM) in California under a waiver of the main studio rule.
KXOR is a Class C3 FM station at 106.3; it was bought from My Home Town Media LLC, headed by Jim Anderson, for $525,000; the transaction was announced in March and now has been finalized. The FCC approved the application to assign the license, which included the main studio waiver request, two weeks ago. Media Services Group represented the seller and announced the closing.
The main studio rule itself is under review at the FCC, as RW has reported. EMF’s waiver request in this instance thus makes for timely reading in that it parallels some of the arguments being used more generally by broadcasters who would like that rule thrown out — though in this case, EMF sought the waiver in the narrower context of noncommercial stations with limited funding, citing similar past cases.
“By co-locating KXOR’s main studio with KLVR, Middletown, Calif.,” it told the commission, “EMF will realize valuable economies of scale and cost savings, which are needed to maintain the high quality of K-Love’s noncommercial educational programming. As a listener-supported station, KXOR-FM will face financial constraints. The obligation to maintain separate staffing and studio locations for both KXOR-FM and KLVR will place a serious financial burden on EMF and divert the limited resources [that] are available for K-Love’s programming efforts.”
It said there was ample precedent in past FCC decisions: “In each case, the commission staff determined that the waivers were justified on the basis of the limited funding available to the stations and the increased efficiencies resulting from co-location of studios.”
But to ensure that the station fulfills its obligations to residents of Thibodaux even though the main studio is 1,900 miles away, EMF said it plans to have a local public affairs representative, “who may be a volunteer,” do interviews and surveys of community leaders and other residents at least four times a year. “EMF will then address the recurrent issues, problems and needs of the residents of Thibodaux in K-Love’s news and public affairs programming.” EMF also said it will maintain a toll-free telephone number and public inspection file as required by the rules.
Such language and steps presumably would no longer be necessary if the main studio rule eventually is eliminated by the commission as many broadcasters hope.