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Three-Way LPFM Time-Share Set in Bay Area

Agreement is at 96.9 MHz

The shape of the expanded low-power FM broadcasting service continues to take shape, particularly in larger cities, where spectrum is scarce and potential audiences are largest.

Three LPFM hopefuls will broadcast at 96.9 MHz in the San Francisco area under a time-share agreement that solves an otherwise mutually exclusive situation.

The FCC has OK’d construction permits for the Chinese Culture and Art Heritage Foundation and for the Sound of Hope Radio Network, separate applications that appear to be related and whose organizational missions are about promoting the interests of the Chinese-language population in two local neighborhoods. The third CP goes to Peralta Community College District, which wants to use the frequency to benefit media, journalism and other students at Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College.

The three organizations had agreed in July to combine their respective FCC “points” in an effort to secure access to the airwaves. Such points are used by the commission to settle mutually exclusive, or MX, applications. According to LPFM consulting firm REC Networks, this is the first grant from the recent LPFM application window in which aggregated points were used to secure an outcome.

The Chinese Culture foundation will air from 7 a.m. to noon; Sound of Hope will air noon to 7 p.m.; and the college district will air programming from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., according the agreement filed at the commission.

Not successful for the same slot slot were MX applicants Causa Justa and the Golden Gate Society for Coatings Technology; those applications were dismissed. Yet another applicant in the original mutually exclusive group, Calvary Chapel of Hayward, subsequently modified its application and secured a CP on the same frequency in Hayward, Calif., according to information in the FCC database and on the REC Networks site.

Storm Clouds Brewing in L.A. Over Potential LPFM (Sept. 25, 2014)