In order to accommodate locating a station that would be a first local radio service in Moulton, Texas, the FCC has issued an Order to Show Cause to Emmis Communications to explain why one of its nearby stations shouldn’t be reclassified.
Katherine Pyeatt requested an allotment of Channel 232C3 in Moulton and asked that KLBJ(FM), a Class C in Austin, be reclassified to operate as a Class C0, since it’s operating below the minimum Class C standards now with an effective radiated power of 97 kilowatts at 320 meters height above average terrain.
Moulton is southeast of Austin and midway between San Antonio and Houston.
The FCC can modify an authorization if such action is in the public interest and in this case, the Media Bureau agrees with Pyeatt that the reclassification would be in the public interest. A petitioner proposing both an amendment of the FM Table of Allotments and reclassification of a Class C FM station must certify that no alternative channel is available for the proposed service. The agency said Pyeatt had done so.
Emmis, the licensee of KLBJ, is now required to show why the station’s license should not be modified to a C0 at its current authorized transmitter site, located at coordinates 30-18-36 NL and 97-47-33 WL.
Emmis has until April 16 to respond. If the broadcaster raises a “substantial” question about the facts, a hearing may be scheduled to resolve the situation, according to the agency. If the broadcaster doesn’t respond by the deadline, the commission will assume Emmis consents to the change.
However, Emmis can also apply to modify its facilities, and file an application for a construction permit to increase the antenna height and ERP for Class C standards. It must let the agency know it intends to do that by April 16 and file the CP application “within 180 days subsequent to” the April 16 deadline.
Once Emmis files what the agency considers an acceptable modification application, Pyeatt’s proposal to allot Channel 232C3 at Moulton, Texas, would be dismissed.
Emmis would have three years to modify the KLBJ transmission facilities. However if it didn’t meet that construction deadline, KLBJ would be subject to reclassification automatically as a Class C0 station. If that happened, Pyeatt could file a new petition for rulemaking to allot Channel 232C3 at Moulton, Texas.