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FCC Upholds Holy Family Decision

Dismisses Mary V. Harris Foundation Petition to Deny

The FCC does not like repetitive arguments, and in one case, the fourth time around was not a charm.

The Mary V. Harris Foundation had sought reconsideration of a decision from this April in which the commission denied Harris’ application for review.

At that time, the Media Bureau upheld its order denying reconsideration to grant Holy Family Communications’ application to build a new noncommercial FM in Lancaster, N.Y. At the same time, the FCC also dismissed Harris’ competing application to construct a new NCE FM station at Williamsville, N.Y.

The petition the commission is denying this week is Harris’ fourth attempt to win its case with the same argument, according to the agency.

The case originated when the Harris and Holy Family applications were considered competing and designated for the same mutually exclusive group in 2007. Finding that neither applicant merited a “fair distribution preference,” the FCC tentatively decided to grant the Holy Family application based on a comparative point system analysis of the two applications.

Harris filed a Petition to Deny, arguing it should prevail over Holy Family because its proposal to provide a first or second NCE service to 9.46% of the population within its proposed service area “came close” to the 10% minimum required for a fair distribution preference, and that such a 10% threshold is arbitrary, according to the agency’s decision.

Fast forward to this week, in which the FCC reiterated that the agency doesn’t rehash decisions and arguments the agency has already considered and dismissed. It dismissed the Harris petition as “repetitious.”