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FCC Stands Firm on Tango, STI

It upholds decision declaring five FM CPs as expired due to application problems

Here’s an FCC ruling that shines light on what can happen if the commission doesn’t get information it asks for during a construction permit phase.

Tango Radio LLC and South Texas FM Investments LLC have received separate but related “nos” from the FCC in their efforts to revive a total of five FM license applications in Texas and New Mexico. The petitions were filed by attorney Dan Alpert, to whom the FCC’s rejections are addressed.

In the Tango ruling, Audio Division Chief Peter Doyle denied its petitions for reconsideration; so the construction permits for its three stations — KANM in Skyline-Ganipa, N.M., KNOS in Albany, Texas, and KKUL in Trinity, Texas — remain as they have been: expired.

This upholds an FCC action in 2011. The Media Bureau at that time dismissed the license applications, saying Tango had failed to provide information repeatedly requested by the FCC staff, including RFR measurements and photos of tower fencing in areas where RFR levels were expected to exceed general exposure limits.

Tango then appealed, arguing among other things that the FCC staff may have been unaware of its requests for additional time, and that Tango had been in regular contact with the staff and filed numerous amendments, which demonstrated responsiveness.

In its ruling this week, the FCC detailed its own attempts to obtain the necessary information prior to the eventual dismissal of the CPs, and said that Tango had had raised no new reasons for it to reconsider.

At one point in the process, Doyle wrote, the company appeared to have assumed that an extension request had been granted, and later it presumed that FCC staff may not have been aware of the extension request. The company was in error to rely on those presumptions, he wrote.

FCC staff, Doyle also wrote, “provided Tango numerous opportunities to provide the requested information over the course of almost one year. At some point, staff had to resolve the pending applications,” he said, and could not indefinitely wait for Tango’s compliance with its special operating conditions.

“Ultimately, to resolve the pending applications, staff gave Tango a final opportunity to file all the required information for all three license applications by January 30, 2011. Tango provides no adequate explanation for its failure to comply with the numerous requests and opportunities to submit the requested information by the specified deadline.”

Using similar language, the FCC rejected petitions for reconsideration, also filed by Alpert, on behalf of South Texas FM Investments LLC.

Those involved construction permits for KAHA(FM) in Olney, Texas, and KXME(FM) in Wellington, Texas.