BROADCAST STATIONS
June 30, 2010
(Number in Italics are 1/1/09)
Blue 12/31/11
Green 3/31/12


AM STATIONS 4786 4786 4,766 4762
FM COMMERCIAL 6427 6494 6542 6555
FM EDUCATIONAL 3040 3213 3644 3712
TOTAL 14,253 14,503 14,952 15,029


UHF Commercial TV 796 1021
VHF Commercial TV 582 372
UHF Educational TV 252 284 
VHF Educational TV 129 107 TOTAL 1,759  1,784 

CLASS A UHF 460 462
CLASS A VHF  94 91
TOTAL 554  523


FM TRANSLATORS & BOOSTERS        6120 6145  6,099 6,097
UHF TRANSLATORS 2476 2885
VHF TRANSLATORS 1513 1506 TOTAL 10,089 (10,730

UHF LPTV 1763 1908
VHF LPTV 535  543
TOTAL 2,298  2,451


LPFM   859 864 838 830

TOTAL BROADCASTERS  29,812  30,473

FCC Rules and Policies -

1/29/11 How LPFM Stations Can Increase Their Coverage: Translators and Local Networks

Most LPFM stations are interested in increasing their coverage area.  There are ways to accomplish this within current regulations.  The easiest and best way is to rebroadcast the LPFM signal over a nearby translator, but the LPFM cannot own the translator.  WHRZ-LP 104.1, Spartanburg, SC is rebroadcast on ten translators and the subchannels of three HD full-power stations.  (It is also legal for a full-power to rebroadcast an LPFM.)  The only limitations are the availability of translators in a local area and the cost of using them.   

LPFM stations can rebroadcast programming from other LPFMs.  For example, let’s say four couples are on the board of an LPFM.  Before the next window, three of the couples could resign from the board. Each couple could then start their own non-profit organization, apply for an LPFM in the next Window, and share programming when they get on the air.  While immediate relatives cannot be on the boards of multiple LPFM board, there are no limitations on friends applying.  

Here are some considerations, based on current LPFM regulations:

1. The original LPFM must get FCC permission to change more than 50% of this board, i.e. reduce from eight members to two.  If the rules are followed, approval is routine.
2. State and IRS regulations must be followed, that is, can a married couple be the only members of an LPFM board?  This is OK with the FCC, but check with state official and IRS before proceeding.
3. Rebroadcasting 24/7 an LPFM more than ten miles from the original LPFM creates a problem.  To get the Point for “local programming,” a station must air more than “eight hours a day of programming originating within ten miles.”  While airing the call letters of more than one LPFM at the top of the hour is probably legal, it would be obvious to listeners that the stations were sharing programming.  If an LPFM has its transmitter, headquarters, “production studio,” and EAS Originating Point at different locations, it is not how the FCC woul calculate the ten miles.  

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Official Checklist for Low Power Stations
                             EAS Rules

Political, Logging & Record-Keeping Regulations             FCC Order - Religious Groups can hold NCE Licenses

Can LPFM Stations Be Sold?  By John Broomall, Christian Community Broadcasters

The answer is "no" based on the typical meaning of "sold." When most people "sell" something, they expect to benefit financially from the sale.  Using this definition, the FCC does not permit the sale of LFPM stations.  Ownership can be "transferred" or assigned from the local non-profit owning a LPFM station to another local non-profit wanting the license.  The regulations are tough:
1. The station must have been on the air and licensed for more than three years
2. The prospective owner must meet all requirements for holding an LPFM license. i.e. local headquarters and board
3. No compensation can be paid, or promised, except the depreciated value of the equipment.
4. No compensation can be made or promised for:
(a) value of the license (b) goodwill (c) services rendered by board, employees, or volunteers (d) other assets
5. The current owner must explain why it wants to relinquish operation and the reason must be acceptable to the FCC

While the FCC position may be unpleasant, if an LPFM licensee does not want to continue operation they have two choices:
1. Return the license to the FCC
2. Give the station away.  In reality, this is alll that is allowed.  The depreciated value of broadcast equipment, more than three-years-old, is quite low, possibly lower than a CPA's charge to appraise the equipment.

Most groups attempting to sell .... or buy .... an LPFM do not understand the regulations.  Interestingly enough, FCC attorney and LPFM consultants are allowed to make a profit off the related filings, but obviously cannot give "kick-backs" to the seller or buyer.  (CCB would glad to answer privately additional questions from any non-profit wanting to divest, or acquire, an LPFM station.

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In God's Good Providence
. . .
In June 2000 a dozen applicants filed for an LPFM station in Providence, RI, the largest LPFM market in the USA with 250,000+ potential listeners.  By 2005, seven had withdrawn or been dismissed.  Three of the five remaining entered into a time share agreement.  Petitions to Deny, Oppositions, Replies to Oppositions, and Supplements were filed to attack other applicants or defend themselves.  Three years later, in a 16-page ruling with 38 sections and 95 footnotes, the FCC granted three time-share applications and dismissed the remaining three two.  FCC document (Word format): click here

FCC LPFM Regulations - Answers to Tough Questions
By John Broomall

How does the FCC determine power for LPFM station?  100 watts at 30 meters (about 100 feet) above average terrain is the default power.  Stations in a hole do not get more than a 100 watts while WWOK-LP, Greenville, SC is so high above average terrain on Paris Mountain that it has only one watt power!

The FCC does not allow stations to request a specific power; in fact most LPFM organizations do not know what their effective radiated power (ERP) will be until they receive their construction permit.  In theory, all LPFM stations are supposed to have the same circular coverage.  This is not true in the real world with the possible exception of rural Kansas.  Virtually all engineers prefer height to power.

Stations wanting more power can move their antenna lower on their tower (but not too low) or move the site to lower ground level.  The FCC relies on the accuracy of USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) data.  KAAJ-LP in Monticello, UT has 31 watts ERP.  After discovering that USGS has confused a mountain for a valley, the station was granted 100 watts because surrounding mountains in several directions are much higher.  However, in one direction the station is received consistently 75 miles away - the most jackrabbits reached by any LPFM in the country!

How many hours a day must an LPFM operate and how much programming must be local?  The basic requirement for a license is "five hours a day with no local programming."  LPFMs operated by schools are not required to operate on weekends, holidays, and during vacations; other stations must broadcast every day.  

Are some LPFM required to do more local programming?  Yes.  When the FCC established LPFM in 2000 applicants were give "points" - one for "established presence," a second for "promising to operate 12 or more hours a day" and a third for "eight or more hours a day of local programming."  If several applicants each applied for the same frequency in the same community the applications were "Mutually Exclusive" (MX).  Under these circumstances the FCC awarded construction permits (CP) to groups with the most points.

Some applications were unopposed (called "singletons").  It these cases the FCC issued CPs without considering "points."  Some LPFM believe is they did not need the "points" and did not keep their original promise. This theory has not be tested; apparently no one has notified the FCC that they were not doing what they promised.  (When stations are "sold" (transfer ownership) the new owner must hold "basic qualifications" for an LPFM license but the prospective owner is not asked to comply with any of the "points" requirements.")

Since operating 24-hours-a-day is easy using automated or satellite programming, stations have not questioned the 12-hours-a-day minimum.  Even this has its exceptions.  Time share stations can operate as little as ten hours per week.  Obviously time-share stations are exempt but this is not covered in the regulations.  

What is "local programming"?  A live round-table discussion of local community and social issues is local programming.  Unfortunately, many people believe this type programming - live and talk-oriented - is required.  That is an incorrect assumption.  Burn a CD containing a station ID and gather your favorite music CDs.  Load into a CD player attached to your transmitter.  Hit "random play" and you have met all FCC requirements for local programming.  Unbelievable, but true.  

Some LPFM organizations pledged to air eight hours a day of locally produced programming.  To keep that promise programs must be produced "within ten miles of the transmitter location."  Loading a CD player or automation system is considered "production."  A "song" is not a program; there is no requirement that individual songs must be locally written, performed, and recorded.  Obviously covering a sporting event at a nearby high school or college is local.  So is airing away games by community teams.  

What about the new FCC policy concerning "repetitive program"?  The FCC is considering defining "local programming" as "programs that has been aired fewer that three times a week."  Here is where it gets complicated: (1) individual songs are not programs and can be aired many times each week, and (2) the FCC does not care what is aired for 16 hours each day (if the station operates 24/7.  

As a result, a station could create a four-hour program and air it six times a day.  The first airing would be "original programming", the second "an allowed re-airing", and airings three through six would be "programming" outside the eight hour block."

By the way, these rules changes are only proposed and not currently in force.  if implemented they probably will be required only for stations seeking "special favors" from the FCC, i.e. the right to make Second Adjacent channel moves.  (Proposed rule changes are a separate topic, covered elsewhere.)  Is this simple?  Of course not!

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AM Station in Michigan Gets FM Translator STA

LPFM on Fast Track in 08 - More Action in Two Months than in Two Previous Years
By JohnBroomall@Yahoo.com

2/16/08 In two years (06-07) the FCC only processed 18 LPFM originals applications (16 CPs were granted plus two dismissals and two re-instatement.  In the first six weeks of 2008 the FCC acted on 36 applications including 11 CPs, 23 dismissals, and two Accepted for Filing.

This is evidence that the FCC plans to complete the processing of all remaining 2000-01 applications before opening a new LPFM filing window, probably in September or October of this year

FCC to Finally Dismiss Thousands of Pending Translator Applications On December 11, 2007, the FCC released the LPFM Third Report and Order  It established a going-forward limit of ten pending short-form applications per applicant from FM translator Auction No. 83 and directed the Media Bureau to resume processing of applications of those applicants in compliance with the cap.

By this Public Notice and to effectuate the ten-application limit, the Media Bureau invites Auction No. 83 applicants to identify pending short-form applications for voluntarily dismissal. In accordance with the Third Report and Order, long-form applications will be processed without regard to the cap. Thus, applicants that have more than ten
pending long-form applications and no pending short-form applications will have all of their long-form applications processed. Where an applicant has more than ten pending long-form and short-form applications combined, construction permits granted from the group of pending long-form applications will count toward the ten-application
limit. Therefore, certain applicants may prefer to request dismissal of long-form applications to avoid the dismissal of higher-priority short-form applications.

Applicants will have thirty days from the date of release of this Public Notice to file dismissal requests. After the close of this voluntary dismissal period, the Media Bureau will dismiss applications based on file number and pursuant to the instructions set forth in the
Third Report and Order. Thus, in the case of an applicant with more than ten pending short-form applications, the Bureau will retain the ten first-filed applications and dismiss all later-filed applications should the applicant take no action in response to this Public Notice. In addition, the Bureau may dismiss additional short-form applications following the grant of currently pending long-form applications.

REC marks the 5th anniversary of the Great Translator Invasion
M

Question: Is the FCC granting permission to change (FM) channels?

Answer: Yes.  On October 9, WFBH-LP, Hamilton, AL, was given FCC approval to move from 103.5 (major interference from a Memphis station) to 96.7 (one of seven frequencies available).  The FCC gave its OK in seven weeks.  First Baptist Hamilton has now ordered a new broadband Nicom BKG77 antenna from CCB and its starting its mass mailing campaign to promote it switchover before Christmas.

Question:  How long does it take the FCC to grant minor LPFM mod?  

Answer: It varies greatly.  On October 17, 2005 licensed  KCIU-LP 103.7, Lawrence, KS was granted an engineering mod request made September 14 ..... of last year!  (One of the fastest times is three weeks.)

Question: 
How long does it take the FCC to grant a license? 
Answer: On October 19, 2005 WPCG-LP, Canton, GA, was granted its license; the 319 was filed May 12, 2004. 

8/3/05 LPFM Assignment of Permit Granted in 23 Days! Voluntary Assignment of Construction Permit for 105.7 MHZ Pennegrove, CA Permit, as amended from: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, PCA To: One Ministries, Inc. (Form 316)

Political Regulations, Other Logging and Record-Keeping Rules, click here

Do You know the Indecency Rules? Click here for a 25-question interactive "true-false" quiz on the rules.  WARNING! The quiz out of necessity uses actual vulgar words!  

The Federal Communications Commission has launched a new, user-friendly Web site, http://www.fcc.gov/eb/oip, 
designed to educate the public about the laws governing the airing of obscene, indecent and profane material and the Commission's enforcement of those laws. The site explains how to file a complaint and what 
happens to the complaint once the Commission receives it. In addition, for each year dating back to 1993, it provides useful statistics on the Commission's enforcement efforts, including the number of obscenity, 
indecency and profanity complaints received by the Commission; the number of Notices of Apparent Liability issued by the Commission and the total forfeitures imposed by the Commission. Finally, the site answers 
frequently asked questions on a wide range of topics ranging from how a consumer can determine the status of a complaint he or she filed to what makes 
material obscene, indecent or profane. 

The site can be found at http://www.fcc.gov/eb/oip 

FCC Fines LPFMs for Not Renewing License 

$$7,000 fines: failure to timely file renewal application and unauthorized operation.
SOUL HARBOR ASSEMBLY OF GOD CHURCH. WRDS-LP, Roscommon, MI 1/31/07 
FRANKLIN AVENUE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD WYAH-LP, Winchester, KY 
CALVARY CHAPEL (CHURCH) OF MENOMONIE. WRJF-LP, Menomonie, 01/31/2007 

$1,500 fines:
failure to timely file its renewal application. Granted the application for renewal. 
MEADOWLAND BAPTIST CHURCH. WBLG-LP, Bowling Green, KY/30/07 
COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS. KCHW-LP, Chewelah, WA 01/31/2007 
GREAT ROUND-UP COWBOY CHURCH. KGRU-LP, Ellensburg,WA 01/31/2007
FAITH FELLOWSHIP MINISTRIES, INC. WJHV-LP, Fairbury, Illinois  01/31/2007 
DAVIS COMMUNITY TELEVISION. KDRT-LP, Davis, California,  01/31/2007