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FCC Rejects N.H. AM Owner Again

WMOU owner has been fighting against FM translator from Conway for eight years

New Hampshire AM station owner Barry Lunderville has been trying to convince the FCC that an FM translator in Berlin, New Hampshire shouldn’t have been built since 2003.

He’s lost again at the commission.

Shaw Communications is using the translator to rebroadcast the signal of WVMJ(AM), Conway, N.H.

Lunderville filed a Petition to Deny and Request for Declaratory Ruling in 2004. He argued that a signal prediction study established that the proposed translator wouldn’t receive a direct off-air signal from WVMJ because of mountains between the station and the translator, violating the FCC rules. He also argued the translator failed to operate at reduced power within 320 kilometers of the Canadian border and that the translator would compete with full-service stations.

The commission rejected those arguments in 2005, saying he mischaracterized agency rules and granted the CP. The translator does not violate the signal strength limits between the U.S. and Canada, added the FCC.

Lunderville owns WMOU(AM), in Berlin, N.H. He spent a lot of space in his latest petition arguing that WVMJ is promoting the station in Berlin and selling advertising time to local businesses, which have affected the ad revenues for his station, according to the FCC. He also claims “several experienced and accomplished broadcast engineers who have visited Berlin … have commented in their opinion the Shaw translator” is broadcasting with an ERP “far in excess of the permitted 10 watts,” according to the agency decision.

The commission called that “vague hearsay.” The agency said this week many of Lunderville’s arguments were not new and had been previously been denied so it told Lunderville “no” again this week.