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FCC Rules for Mary V. Harris in Colorado Noncom Case

The FCC Media Bureau has rejected arguments of a losing applicant in a case involving a permit for a new noncom educational FM in Strasburg, Colo.

The FCC Media Bureau has rejected arguments of a losing applicant in a case involving a permit for a new noncom educational FM in Strasburg, Colo.

JPI Radio Inc. argued that the commission should deny the application of the Mary V. Harris Foundation.

In its NCE comparative selection process, the commission had used a point system that relied on a “snap shot” date of June 4, 2001. In this case, three applications tied, and the case went to a “tie-breaker round.” The Harris foundation had the fewest radio authorizations and therefore won the permit; but JPI argued that Harris subsequently had added at least two broadcast interests and failed to notify the FCC as required, while JPI had since divested all of its stations.

JPI argued that Harris’ failure to update the FCC constituted a lack of candor, while Harris said it was just an oversight. The FCC found no support for the allegation that Harris intentionally concealed information, and regardless Harris would have had a “tie-breaker cushion” at the time.

JPI also thought that the commission should use current data rather than the 2001 snapshot to judge qualifications, but the FCC said it could not do that.

The Harris Foundation was admonished for failure to file timely amendments but it remains the winner of the permit.

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