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LPFM Watch: Eight More Guel Applications Dismissed, While Seven Non-Profits Are Granted New LPFMs

On Monday, the FCC dismissed 8 more LPFM applications that were affiliated with Hispanic Christian Community Network owner Antonio Cesal Guel. As we’ve noted, Guel helped to file at least 245 LPFM applications in fall 2013  and several groups have expressed a myriad of concerns about these applications.

Monday’s 8 dismissals were due to lack of verification that tower site locations had been approved by the site owners.  As REC Net reports,

In these dismissals, the Commission sent a Letter of Inquiry to the tower owners to verify that either HCCN or the ‘applicant’ received assurance (permission) to use that site for their tower.  In these cases, the tower owners make swom statements that they did not provide assurance to either HCCN or the ‘applicant’.  As site assurance had not been arranged on the date of application, the applications were dismissed… All applications that were dismissed were singletons that were accepted for filing.”

These dismissals were for the following groups: North Texarkana Hispanic Education Family Fundation (Texarkana, TX), Iglesia Cristiana El Rey Ya Viene (Garland, TX), Pecos Iglesia Emmanuel (Pecos, TX), Walnut Park Assembly of God of Dallas (Garland, TX), Seattle Community Radio (Seattle, WA), North Minneapolis Community Radio (Minneapolis, MN), Minneapolis Community Radio (Minneapolis, MN), and Appleton Hispanic Community Church (Appleton, WI).

The FCC began investigating these applicants after finding that other applications prepared by Guel were marked by a lack of tower site assurance. As we reported, back in February, the FCC sent a Letter of Inquiry to Guel regarding 14 LPFM applications. Subsequently, all 14 of these applications were dismissed after the FCC found various issues with them, including lack of site assurance for 10 of those 14 applicants.

In its letter to Guel regarding the Seattle Community Radio application, the FCC states,

Based on that finding, the Bureau decided to investigate whether reasonable site assurance had been obtained prior to the filing of SCR’s Application. The Application lists ASRN 1032128 (the “Tower”), which was registered by King Broadcasting Company (“KBC”), as the location for the proposed LPFM station’s antenna. On June 27, 2014, the Bureau sent a Letter of Inquiry (“Tower LOI”) to KBC to determine whether SCR obtained reasonable site assurance for its proposed use of the Tower prior to filing the Application. The Tower LOI asked KBC whether any representative of SCR and/or any representative of Hispanic Christian Community Network Inc. (“HCCN”) contacted KBC on or prior to November 12, 2013, to discuss site availability for the Tower. On July 22, 2014, the Bureau received KBC’s response. In its response, KBC states that to the best of its knowledge, no representative from SCR or HCCN contacted KBC on or prior to November 12, 2013, to discuss site availability for the Tower.”

Seven More Non-Profits Have Their Applicants Granted this Week

The total number of granted LPFM applications is now up to 1245. Newly granted applications this week include an established arts group, Brownsville Society for the Performing Arts, Inc. (Brownsville, TX), as well as several other groups including Blaren Multimedia, Inc. (Rancho Viejo, TX), Practice What You Preach Foundation (Menifee, CA), and Quote…Unquote, Inc. (Albuquerque, NM).

Practice What You Preach is an interesting foundation, in that it plans to use its LPFM station to bridge connections across religious and secular communities. Quote…Unquote operates a media center in New Mexico and plans to involve high school students in its new LPFM station.

Several religious groups were also awarded new permits, including Campfires for Christ USA (Temecula, CA), La Respuesta Church Ministries (Mission, TX), and Three Angels Global Networking, Inc. (Fallbrook, CA).

Ottawa Educational Radio Dismissed Due to Lack of Non-Profit Status

In another dismissal this week, the FCC rejected Ottawa Educational Radio’s (Ottawa, IL) application because it was not a registered non-profit at the time that the application was filed. Originally the application was filed by an individual and was dismissed on those grounds. According to the FCC, the group filed a Petition for Reconsideration, “indicating that it intended to file the proposal under the name Ottawa Educational Radio (“OER”) but had inadvertently entered Mr. Freeburg’s name on the application. The Petition for Reconsideration also included a letter from the Illinois Secretary of State indicating that OER had been incorporated in Illinois.” After investigation further, the FCC found that “OER…was incorporated on December 19, 2013, after the filing of the application,” making it ineligible to apply for a LPFM license.

Grassroots Radio Conference in Ames, Iowa in August + Project to Send Under the Hood Staffers to Event

The Grassroots Radio Conference is just around the corner and will be held in Ames, Iowa from August 14-17. The conference will be full of information for LPFM applicants and to those holding brand new LPFM construction permits. More details can be found on the GRC conference website. Various groups are trying to raise funds in order to attend this event. Community radio advocate Jim Ellinger, of Austin Airwaves, wrote to tell us about a campaign to help send two staff members from Under the Hood Radio to the conference. The new LPFM in Killeen, Texas will serve the Ft. Hood community. Run by the Under the Hood Cafe and Outreach Center, the station will be focused on social justice issues.

Ellinger writes,

Austin Airwaves was a chief advocate for UtH applying for the LPFM when the FCC ‘window’ opened up in late 2013…We are asking that you make a donation today of between $20 and $200 to send [its Station Manager] Malachi and another UtH person to the upcoming Grassroots Radio Conference…Upon his return Malachi will present a ‘Report Back’ in Austin. Austin Airwaves will continue to provide financial and technical support for this important radio project. This project may prove to be one of the most effective and important of all the thousands of LPFM applications granted this year. Under the Hood’s application is, as far as we know, the only successful one by and for a military community concerned with social justice issues.”

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


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One Response to LPFM Watch: Eight More Guel Applications Dismissed, While Seven Non-Profits Are Granted New LPFMs

  1. Jerry Drawhorn July 31, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

    Looks like the FCC worked fairly quickly once the received the word from the Tower owners. I suspect that they’ll be receiving a bunch more letters over the next month which will mean even more applications will be denied. Odd that these little groups consistently made these “mistakes”…sometimes in the same community the same Tower owner was on the application of two different applicants and neither had actually called the Tower owner??? Looks more like a case of someone outside looking at a list of local commercial stations, finding their tower sites/owners, and filling in the blanks.

    What was in it for Guel? Is he simply some evangelical maniac trying to build a radio network to carry his own sermons? Or is he attempting to block other people from having the space and then intends to sell the frequency off to the highest bidder?

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