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LPFM Watch: Awaiting Word on Public Notice for Competing LPFM Groups in the West

Earlier this week, REC Networks reported that the FCC will soon release a Public Notice regarding LPFM applicants in the western United States. This notice will apply to those applicants who are still in competition with others for the same frequency in mutually exclusive (MX) groups. According to REC Networks,

…the upcoming Public Notice… will announce the scores, tentative selectees and the window openings for settlement agreements and objections.  The document is currently in ‘circulation’ meaning that it is being reviewed by the full Commission for approval…”

It will be important for those applicants to watch for this notice, as it will open a 90-day window during which MX group applicants can “file a major change application to resolve…MX situation[s],” according to REC Networks. Additionally, “a 30-day window will be open to entertain informal objections and Petitions to Deny.”

Only 6 new LPFM applications were granted in the last week, bringing the grand total to 1229. The grantees include La Vergne Educational Media (La Vergne, TN), Xavier College Preparatory High School (Palm Desert, CA), Mid Valley Assembly (Weslaco, TX), Cochise County Community College District (Sierra Vista, AZ), Rocky Mount Community Radio (Rocky Mount, VA), and Uno Mision, Inc. (Coconut Creek, FL). Additionally, the application for Ubuntu National and International Training and Education (Rayville, LA) was dismissed today.

I was excited to see both a high school and a college in this new batch of grantees. By my count, there are now around 46 colleges and universities that have been granted construction permits for new LPFM licenses.

According to documentation submitted with Cochise College’s LPFM application,

The proposed station will be focused on serving the student population of Cochise College with programming that is educational, informative, and entertaining. Student programmers will provide at least 12 hours of original local programming each day with the remaining time dedicated to syndicated content that will help to build a bridge to the community of Sierra Vista. A portion of the local programming will be committed to providing local news and public affairs that will focus on the City of Sierra Vista as well as Cochise College and its educational, civic, and athletic activities.”

The application also states that there is currently no other non-commercial radio station in town and that for that reason, Cochise College will also work with community members in addition to other groups, including “local media entities at the City of Sierra Vista, University of Arizona South, Fort Huachuca and Buena High School to develop collaborative programming that can serve the entire coverage area.”

As far as the high school radio station at Xavier College Preparatory High School, it’s unclear what the programming will be at the Jesuit school. Its application states that programming will be “consistent” with the school’s “organizational purpose and objectives and will also include discussion of current local news, family development, child rearing, eduction, health information, and religion.”

In other LPFM news, there will be some workshops of interest to LPFM candidates at the Grassroots Radio Conference (GRC) this August in Ames, Iowa. More details can be found on the GRC conference website.

We cover LPFM news every Thursday in our LPFM Watch feature.

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