Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The mighty Note 4.

The FCC is an organization of laws... well it used to be and I've been mocking them of late for their new masonry. Kev seems to be more into political favoritism and back room deals but that's they way he was raised. I blame his parents.

But point being, once long ago the FCC had the stones to decide that entities owning too many stations was baaaaaaaaad. Specificly they refer to it here: 47 C.F.R. Section 73.3555 note 4. And it is there that they say clearly and succinctly "grandfathered status does not survive a transfer of control under theCommission's rules. "They are tolerant in their application of law to keep it's well-behaved broadcasters in a as-is arrangement. But when grandpa trims the fat and sells it off... the status is kaput. The rules apply anew! Great example here.

It concerns Stauffer Communications, licensee of WIBW-TV, Topeka, Kansas. Stauffer tries to transfer all control to Morris Communications. The comission in connection with Stauffer'sownership of broadcast television stations, and granted a temporary waiver of the television-newspaper cross-ownership rule to allow combined ownership by Morris. The stations are all put in trust pending completion of the sale.

Then oops Marris falls out. Stauffer goes to reacquire and noooo the flag comes down. While the multiple ownership was ok in 1975, it's not ok today. The common ownership of the Topeka Capital Journal (newspaper) and WIBW-AM & FM violate Section 73.3555d (at least abscent a waiver.) This one ends well. Stauffer really intended to just sell them again so they ask for 18 moths temporary waiver and to get it done. The FCC says.. ok you can do that. laypeople forget that the FCC has to aplly this in consideration to media outlets.. that includs print. Does it include websites? Nope. should it? probably yes.

Kent Frandsen has an 8 station cluster near Logan Utah. He was just trying to move one of his sticks to Humpy Peak to rimshot Salt Lake City. He had an approved ruel making for the construction. But 47 C.F.R. Section 73.3555 stopped him. He planned to move KNYN, Fort Bridger, WY to Franklin, ID and then KGNT, Smithfield, UT Fort Bridger, WY to Humpy Peak. Then leave KKEX where it is but change the City of license to Smithfield, UT. His ownership limit is grandfathered, and removing KNYN from the cluster kills his exclusion from the rules.

In stead Kent keeps KNYN licensed to Fort Bridger, but still physically moves it to Humpy Peak. KKEX will stays in Preston but KUPI, change reference coordinates to make KGNT’s move legal. oy vey!