A licensee of an LPFM station in Buffalo, Wyo., has had its application for review denied and its license cancelled after missing a return-to-air deadline with the Federal Communications Commission.
Buffalo Baptist Church had appealed a decision handed down by the Audio Division cancelling the church’s license for KBTG(LP) in Buffalo.
Buffalo Baptist argued as a novice licensee, it misunderstood the statutory limitation on the length of time a station may remain silent. It said that it erroneously believed that the deadline by which it had to resume operations and avoid license cancellation, pursuant to Section 312(g) of the Communications Act, would be extended because it acquired the station when it was already off the air and that it had been granted a modification construction permit valid until a date after the May 5, 2015 deadline.
It believed the modified permit “superseded the 12-month deadline to return to the air,” the group wrote in a filing with the FCC.
Section 312 (g) of the Communications Act states that a station’s license will expire if the station fails to transmit a broadcast signal for any consecutive 12-month period.
In a decision last fall, the Media Bureau rejected those arguments, saying that the commission extends or reinstates a station’s expired license generally only where the failure to transmit broadcast signals for 12 consecutive months is due to circumstances beyond the licensee’s control. In this case, it had received two clear written warnings regarding the impending expiration date before that date.
As a result, the commission concluded that the matter was properly decided. The application for review now has beendenied, its license was cancelled and the station’s call sign deleted.