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Mostly-Silent WRAX Turns In License

Radioactive LLC had faced FCC hearing over practice of broadcasting only briefly once a year

The Michigan FM station that faced a hearing designation order over lack of time on air has now indeed surrendered its license.

The FCC announced that Radioactive LLC, the Randy Michaels-owned licensee of WRAX(FM) in Lake Isabella, surrendered the license, apparent in response to the earlier action. The commission had said the station only operated one day each year since it was licensed seven years ago, as we reported. Several trade reports subsequently indicated Radioactive had decided to turn the license in; now the commission has confirmed it.

“The Media Bureau has deleted the station’s call sign and dismissed the pending license renewal application,” it announced. “The now-vacant allotment will be available in a future auction of FM broadcast construction permits.”

The commission has been drawing attention to the issue of stations that stay on the air only briefly in an apparent attempt to hold their spot on the dial. The FCC also has adopted a new procedure for such cases, and the action may presage bigger changes aimed at speeding up certain legal proceedings involving broadcasters.

In prior applications for an STA to stay silent, WRAX had cited “inadequate long-term staffing and programming resources” but said it was working toward “refining and implementing a business plan to ensure the financial viability of the station and resumption of operations.”