The Video Division of the FCC's Mass Media Bureau has dismissed objections from Global Radio's WNWR(AM) in Philadelphia and granted the applications from CBS station KYW(DT) and ABC's WPVI(DT) for digital television station licenses in that market.
The issue goes back to 1998, when the two TV stations wanted to build a tower for their DTV channels about 1,500 feet from WNWR's site.
Global asked the commission to ensure that the stations complied with rules for protecting nearby directional AM radio stations against adverse effects from new tower construction.
The TV stations got their CPs in 1998 and built the tower for their digital facilities. A consulting engineer jointly selected by Global and the stations performed measurements which showed the new tower hadn't affected WNWR's directional array.
Global disagreed and in 2005 applied to tweak its AM license to reflect modified operating parameters. It described the change as a "minor adjustment of the daytime directional antenna pattern," said the FCC, which added that WNWR didn't attribute the change as necessary to compensate for its array being affected by the new DTV facilities.
In its decision this week, the FCC found that Global failed to substantiate its claim that WNWR's directional array was hurt by the digital facilities constructed in 1998. The agency said data collected in this proceeding was "inconclusive on the question of adverse effect."
The commission also referenced its relatively new "moment method modeling" techniques for determining adverse affects of new construction on AM tower arrays. It said if construction near the WNWR array is proposed again in the future and if the parties can't agree on costs for converting WNWR to the MoM system, the agency may announce that that expense would "be borne equally by WNWR and the next party that builds a new tower or materially changes an existing tower."