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LPFM Watch: University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Cancels Permit, WTSQ Launch & More News

This week a handful of low power FM (LPFM) construction permits were issued. It’s been a slow few months, so four grants on one day is a bit unusual. Two grants were in Texas and went to Iglesia Jesucristo es mi Refugio de Mexia TX, Inc. (Mexia, TX) and 94.9 Media Foundation, Inc. (Harlingen, TX). The other two grantees are part of a four member mutually exclusive (MX) group of competing applicants for 104.7 FM in the Orange County area in California (see more below).

Additionally, an applicant that had its application approved and then rescinded on July 15 (Iglecia de Jesucristo, Israel, Inc. in Watsonville, CA), amended its application and had the construction permit issued once again on July 20th. This application was originally called into question by REC Networks, as part of its investigation into the 245 applications prepared by Antonio Cesar Guel. REC Networks withdrew its informal objection against Iglecia de Jesucristo, Israel, Inc. on June 15, 2015, stating, “…we have determined that this organization is valid and that the parties to the application have consented to the filing of the application…”

Some LPFM Action in Orange County, California

The FCC granted construction permits to Latino Center for Prevention and Action in Health & Welfare and to Centro Cultural de Mexico en el Condado de Orange. Both applicants are in Santa Ana, California.

As Michelle Bradley of REC Networks points out, a license holder of two co-channel stations at 104.7 FM (LC Media) filed a Petition to Deny arguing that, “…when an LPFM station seeks a waiver of the second adjacent channel spacing, that they are required by the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA) to protect all radio stations.  LC Media claims that due to the geography of Orange County and based on Longley/Rice studies, the proposed LPFM stations in Orange County will cause interference to the listeners to the two full power stations.”

The FCC dismissed the Petition to Deny and according to REC Networks, “…the FCC states that the interpretation of the LCRA is that the provision in Section 3 that states that an LPFM station under a second adjacent channel waiver must not cause interference to any radio service is limited to those radio services on second adjacent channels and does not extend new protections to co-channel or first-adjacent channel.”

First LPFM Construction Permits from 2013 Application Window Expire

Remember when the first batch of construction permits were issued for the latest round of LPFM stations back in January, 2014? Michelle Bradley of REC Networks scoured the FCC database and found that five of the initial 144 permits issued more than 18 months ago have expired. The five expiring permits include Warrick County School System (Boonville, IN), Washington College (Chestertown, MD), Iglesia Lutherana Amigos de Cristo (Sedalia, MO), Dickson County Schools (Dickson, TN), and Baird Broadcasting Club (Baird, TX). Bradley writes, “LPFM permittees may request a one time extension of their construction permit for another 18-month period.” See a full list of construction permits that are about to expire. If your station is on this list and you need an extension, be sure to file the paperwork so that you don’t lose out on your opportunity to get on the air in the future!

Dismissed Applications in California and Texas

A few applications were dismissed this week, including Calvary Chapel Huntington Beach D/B/A Refuge Calvary Chapel (Huntington Beach, CA), New Hope Family Worship Center (Corona, CA), and La Palabra Viviente Ministries (San Juan, TX).

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Surrenders LPFM Construction Permit

A year ago we wrote about some confusion at University of Wisconsin-La Crosse regarding its application for a new LPFM. Well, on July 14, 2015, the construction permit was dismissed, following a July 13, 2015 letter to the FCC from University of Wisconsin’s Board of Regents. The letter states, “…we hereby surrender for cancellation the…original construction permit for a new low power FM station at La Crosse, Wisconsin…” It’s sad to hear this, as I’m always a champion for more college radio LPFMs.

WTSQ “the Status Quo” Launches in Charleston, West Virginia

As more LPFMs launch, press continues to roll in about their plans. A Radio Survivor reader alerted us to the launch of WTSQ-LP 88.1 FM “the Status Quo” in Charleston, West Virginia. See more in this short WTSQ video and read about the launch on the WCHS website

LPFM Watch is a weekly feature on Radio Survivor appearing every Thursday.

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