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FM Translator Settlement, Auction Proposed by 21 Broadcasters

It’s a counter to the Prometheus/EMF pitch

Some commercial radio broadcasters who have FM translator applications still pending from the 2003 FM translator window have a counter-proposal to one made earlier by Educational Media Foundation and the Prometheus Radio Project.

In that proposal, on which RW reported earlier, EMF and Prometheus proposed that the FCC subject the now-pending FM translator applications of commercial broadcasters to over-filings by new applicants for LPFM stations.

In a filing submitted Thursday to the FCC (MM Docket No. 99-25), 21 commercial radio broadcasters with pending FM translator applications stated that EMF/Prometheus proposal would “change the FM translator application rules midstream, in essence yanking the rug out from under commercial broadcasters who followed the FCC’s rules.”

Some of the broadcasters are The Cromwell Group, East Kentucky Broadcasting, East Arkansas Broadcasters and Hancock Communications.

The original Auction 83 rules anticipated a settlement window and auction; that’s what the group is proposing, saying it would not harm the goals of EMR nor Prometheus. The “singletons” resulting from the settlement window would proceed to the grant stage, according to the proposal. Also, many of the mutually-exclusive groups are composed of noncom applications and would not be affected by this proposal (because NCE applications can’t go to auction).

Womble Carlyle attorney John F. Garziglia told Radio World: “Our government is being asked by EMF and Prometheus to change its rules by a results-oriented fiat on small and medium-size commercial broadcasters that only benefits EMF, Prometheus and other similarly situation non-commercial broadcasters.”

Rather than favoring only one constituency, the FCC should largely follow its established Auction No. 83 auction procedures, he stated.