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LPFM Watch: First LPFM granted in a Top 20 urban market

The FCC’s Media Bureau continues its breakneck pace approving low-power FM license applications. More than 200 additional construction permits have been issued since our report last week, bringing the grand total to 708 new LPFM stations authorized.

Yesterday the first LPFM in the urban core of a major top 20 market was issued. That went to the Southwest Heritage Foundation in Phoenix, AZ, market number 14. This was a station that could not have been approved without the Local Community Radio Act of 2010, because at 95.9 FM it is on the second-adjacent frequency to KYOT-FM at 95.5 FM. However, the applicant submitted a request for the required second-adjacent waiver which was approved by the Commission.

College Swaps AM for LPFM

In one interesting case a college station is swapping its AM signal for an LPFM. As Jennifer reported in last week’s College Radio Survivor, Luther College in Decorah, IA was issued a low-power construction permit. In its application the college told the FCC that it will divest KWLC-AM if its LPFM was approved. Even though its signal at 1240 AM has a larger broadcast radius, the school shares the frequency with another station, KDEC. So the new low-powered FM signal will result in a net gain of broadcast time.

4 LPFMs Fail to Renew

In somewhat sadder news, four LPFM stations in Hawaii, Washington and Alaska expired on February 1 for failing to file license renewal applications by the October 1, 2013 deadline for stations in those states. However, a total of 29 LPFMs successfully renewed in these three states, with more new stations on the way.

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