102.5 to Spanish? Nahhh.....

Scott Fybush scott@fybush.com
Sun Dec 18 23:32:29 EST 2005

At 11:07 PM 12/18/2005, Sid Schweiger wrote:
> >>I would imagine one could file for a COL change to somewhere
>like Tewksbury, Wilmington, Burlington, etc., seeing as 99.5
>moving would still leave Lowell with "local service."<<
>Not from the FCC's viewpoint.  A station's public service obligation
>derives from its COL first...other communities later or not at all.  The
>FCC would only view such a move as depriving Lowell of its only
>commercial FM, and the burden on the applicant to show just cause for
>that kind of move is much higher than it would be if Lowell had other
>commercial FM assignments.

The FCC places a decisively higher priority on a new first local 
service to a community than on maintaining third local service to an 
already-served community. All an applicant would have to do would be 
to demonstrate that Burlington or Lexington or Woburn is sufficiently 
independent of Boston to merit its own service (not a very high 
hurdle to jump, based on current FCC policy) and that Lowell would 
continue to receive service from WCAP and WLLH. The FM-versus-AM 
distinction is no longer a factor in the decision.

That Lexington or Burlington or Woburn already receive signal 
coverage from stations licensed to other communities is, as Sid 
correctly observes, not a factor in the FCC's current policy, just as 
any continued coverage of Lowell from a moved 99.5 signal wouldn't matter.

The COL rules are rather far divorced from reality these days.


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