Thursday, October 3, 2019

VA Radio: Saga Files FCC Complaint Over LPFMs

SAGA Communications' subsidiary, Tidewater Communications LLC., filed a complaint on September 3 asking the FCC to not renew the license of five local low power FM stations.

The stations are WKMZ 96.5 oldies station in Ruckersville, and Charlottesville stations WREN 97.9 oldies, WXRK Rock Hits 92.3, WVAI 101.3 Jamz hip-hop station, and WPVC 94.7 progressive talk.

According to CBS-TV19, the complaint alleged several issues, including that the non-profit stations are broadcasting commercial advertisements and that some of the stations are working together. The four Charlottesville LPFM stations all share the same location on Hillsdale Drive and split the rent, but are each their own entity.

Jeff Lenert, the manager of WPVC said the worst claim made in the complaint is that the stations provide no value to the community.

"What terrifies me about this whole process if SAGA is successful,” said Lenert, “is that all of the black and brown voices in Charlottesville that we worked so hard to provide...with an outlet... will be silenced and will be left with classic rock, right-wing talk, and country music like we were before we got here."

Lenert said he is not worried as much about SAGA being successful with the FCC as he is with how much money it will take to fight them.

SAGA owns local stations Newsradio WINA 98.9 FM and 1070 AM, WWWV 97.5 FM classic rock, and 106.1 FM WCNR The Corner alternative station.

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