Monday, November 14, 2005

Good Morning Falcons, Here's Your Morning Announcements

That's how it all started for me. . .alright, that's a little dramatic. Still, my first "big break" into the world of radio came when I volunteered to read the morning announcements over the intercom system at Hanford High School (home of the Falcons!) in Richland, WA.

That led to letters and resumes sent to all the General Managers of radio stations in the area the summer of my junior year, and eventually got my foot in the door at a local country station.

So, with that in my past, I was saddened to read this story about a high school radio station in Maynard Mass. Click Here.

Apparently WAVM has been broadcasting at 10 watts for more than 2 decades and recently decided to make a request to the FCC to boost power to 250 watts. According to the FCC, whenever a station petitions for 'major changes,' a competing interest can also petition to have the station awarded to them. That's exactly what happened to this high school station (with more than 180 students involved). But, here's the kicker. . . the group the FCC awarded the license to doesn't even reside in Maynard, MA. They are a religious group (Living Proof) that "plans" to open up a branch in a nearby town.



Sam II said...

Bob - That's how the FCC operates. They award a license through a "Comparative Hearing" during which a clueless examiner pretends to listen to arguments from both sides and then makes the award based on some personal preference. In 1957, my group applied for a license for a small town daytime AM license. Another group jumped in and filed for the same frequency. In late 1963, after spending tens of thousands of dollars, we merged with the other group to get the license.

Rob said...

I am steamed at the whole WAVM upgrade situation. WAVM had the chance to upgrade to class A status back in 1980. But FCC rules have changed, as well. I argue that since the station is already licensed, it can upgrade through a minor change application, which is exactly what they did. The FCC is wrong and we're not going to stand for it. The Commission admits
that it is already an FM authorized station....and they cite in their report that they will only count the increased coverage WAVM will provide, with the new application. Yet, for all other competing proposals ie. Living Proof, Inc., the Commission is counting all population in their service contour. If WAVM can get on a level playing field like the rest of the other applications, then they will win this. And if the FCC won't count WAVM's current countour, then they admit that this FM is an existing station, and subject to a "first-come, first served" minor change. Minor changes won't trigger mutual exclusive applications if on a co-channel or 3 up or 3 down adjacent channels. MX applications only apply for initial licenses, and this is not an initial license, as they themselves readily admit in their report and order to WAVM. I would like to see a very public D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals lawsuit on this. Uggggghhhh!