NY Times Jr. Cops Out

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Fri Sep 24 18:02:02 EDT 2004

>The comment "answerable only to the student body, etc"  has
>one caveat:  any station is answerable come renewal time.
>I don't recall ever listening to WRIU, but imagine this
>scenario:  WRNI is in fact sold to a commercial interest that
>goes in a completely different direction, ethnic, "religious, etc.
>Then Rhode Islanders, used to what they heard on WRNI, tune in to
>WRIU, and the latter proves to be a juvenile jukebox.  Then they
>form an association to deny WRIU's renewal unless the
>the station become a CPB, NPR authorized affiliate.Or failing that
>they set up a Rhode Island Public Broadcasting entity,
>a la NH Public Radio.

That might have worked in 1975, but not in 2004.

The FCC no longer holds comparative hearings on license renewals. Absent 
evidence that a station has manifestly failed to meet the public 
convenience, interest and neccessity (a standard interpreted nowadays by 
the FCC as merely following the technical rules, keeping the public file in 
order and not showing microsecond flashes of pop stars' anatomy), the grant 
of a renewal is now automatic. I'm pretty sure the FCC wouldn't even 
entertain a competing application for the WRIU facilities come renewal 
time, which was the traditional way that such licenses were challenged back 
in the day.

The best you could do, *if* you could show that WRIU was operating at less 
than the minimum operating schedule, would be to file for a new facility to 
operate on 90.3 on a shared-time basis.


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