KUFO, KCMD Retain Licenses Despite Localism Gripes

KUFO(FM) in Portland, Ore., will keep its license. The CBS station had been challenged by the Oregon Alliance to Reform Media and by a local of the American Federation of Musicians.
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KUFO(FM) in Portland, Ore., will keep its license. The CBS station had been challenged by the Oregon Alliance to Reform Media and by a local of the American Federation of Musicians.

In early 2006, those organizations filed objections to the license renewal, saying they’d monitored KUFO for several months and that based on “hundreds of hours of informal listening,” KUFO was “falling far short of ‘localism’ expectations as required by the FCC.”

They complained about a lack of locally produced music, the airing of public affairs programming during off-hours and aspects of the station’s “Battle of the Bands” contests, among other charges.

The FCC rejected the arguments, as it has in similar cases involving programming decisions. Among other things, it stated, “While the objectors might prefer that the station broadcast more locally produced music, there is no statutory or regulatory requirement that it do so.”

The organizations also made similar objections to renewal for sister station KCMD(AM), knocking it for a lack of local on-air talent and absence of locally oriented news, weather and traffic information. They told the FCC the comedy format “is obviously produced elsewhere,” limiting potential access by local comedians.

They also raised concerns about the KCMD’s EAS capabilities; but CBS replied that the station’s EAS system is “fully functional and ready to operate in the event it is triggered by the appropriate state or federal officials.” That statement was backed by a sworn declaration from West Coast DOE Scott Mason.

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