FCC Declares Great Lakes Station Licenses Expired

Broadcaster ordered to maintain towers for safety until they’re dismantled
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The FCC has confirmed that two Michigan FMs, DWJKQ in Jackson, and DWAQQ in Onsted and three FM translators — all owned by Great Lakes Broadcasting — will remain dark. Their licenses have expired and the commission is erasing all the call letters from its database.

The commission had previously shut down the stations.

The agency said Great Lakes falsely claimed multiple times to have built the noncommercial stations according to their CPs, “when really it had either failed to construct the station at all or had constructed the station at variance from the construction permit.”

In 2009, the commission cancelled four NCE construction permits, two FM translator CPs and three FM translator licenses. Great Lakes appealed and lost, and the cancellations became final by the end of that year.

The agency said it would subsequently handle “the character issues presented by the false certifications and misrepresentations” by Great Lakes owner James McCluskey and consulting engineer David Schaberg.

Earlier this year, Great Lakes asked the commission for the right to assign the stations to a new licensee. However, the company “answered ‘no’ to the certification that neither the licensee nor any party to the application held any interest in a broadcast application in a proceeding where character issues were left unresolved,” said the commission in its decision this week.

The agency has now dismissed the renewal applications, saying WJKQ never operated from its authorized transmitter site since it was licensed in 2004 and Great Lakes falsely said it had. The story was similar for the Onsted station and the translators and the FCC declined to extend or reinstate their licenses.

The FCC said it can address the character issue in a separate proceeding.

All authority to operate the stations and translators is terminated and operation must end immediately, the agency told Great Lakes, which must maintain the tower lighting and painting until the towers are dismantled.

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