Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Sac Radio: FCC Renews Licenses For 5 Entercom Stations

The FCC has rejected the most recent attempt California broadcaster Ed Stolz to force Entercom to give up it scluyster in Sacramento.

Stolz accused the company of a “willful and reckless disregard” of the FCC’s rules, including what he says was the “unlawful” acquisition of HotAC KUDL 106.5 FM from him more than a decade ago. He’s also cited violation of FCC indecency rules and an investigation of the copy for payola rule violations by New York’s Attorney General.

According to InsideRadio, the bad blood between the two broadcasters began when Stolz changed his mind about his $25 million deal to sell KUDL (then known as KWOD) to Entercom. But the second thoughts came too late. Stolz has lost a series of appeals at the FCC and in various courts to regain control of KUDL and he’s currently challenging the agency’s approval of the transfer in court.

Audio Division chief Peter Doyle says in the latest decision that the FCC’s policy is to dismiss arguments already made and rejected. “Thus, to the extent that the Objection also claims we should consider Entercom’s activities at stations other than those referenced here, we reject those arguments on this basis as well,” he writes in the decision.

“This includes alleged payola and other rule violations involving stations whose renewals are not before us.”

Doyle also notes that KUDL and its sister stations—including 98.5 Rock KRXQ, Classic Rock KSEG Eagle 96.9 FM, Modern Rock KKDO Radio 94.7 FM, and Sports KIFM 1320 AM—haven’t had any “serious violations” of agency rules and has greenlighted new licenses for all five stations.

InsideRadio reports what happens long-term to the cluster will depend on which way an administrative law judge rules later this year. The Media Action Center (MAC) filed a petition this month asking the FCC to yank the licenses for all of the company’s stations in the market as part of its pending hearing into whether Top40 KDND 107.9 FM The End should get a new license.

Last October, the FCC took the extremely rare step of announcing it will decide whether KDND would be granted a new license in what is, for all intents and purposes, a trial. At issue is the company’s ill-fated “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” 2007 contest, which led to one of the contestants, Jennifer Strange, 28, dying of water intoxication. In a Hearing Designation Order issued in late October, the FCC said the incident “raises serious questions“ over whether KDND’s license should be renewed. “This information could lead to the conclusion that Entercom failed to serve the public interest,” it said.

No comments:

Post a Comment