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FCC analysis of 32 MX Groups

The Media Bureau (“Bureau”) has before it for comparative consideration 32 groups of mutually exclusive applications for new or modified noncommercial educational (“NCE”) FM station construction permits.  By this Memorandum Opinion and Order (“Order”), the Bureau performs threshold analyses and identifies the tentative selectee in each group.  Petitions to deny the application of any of these tentative selectees must be filed within 30 days of the date of release of this Order.
 

2.      The groups addressed in this Order consist of applications that were filed or amended in October 2007, during the first filing window for NCE FM applications.These applicants have had an opportunity to settle among themselves and are now subject to a simplified, comparative process codified in Part 73, Subpart K, of the Commission’s Rules (the “Rules”).  During the first step of this process the

 

Bureau, acting pursuant to delegated authority, uses service area population data and certifications provided by the applicants to conduct a threshold analysis.

MX Group Numbers 4, 5, 7, 17, 20, 21, 23, 41, 48, 64, 112, 121, 137, 198, 199, 201, 202, 204, 205, 208, 212, 223, 224, 225, 226, 228, 231, 244, 248, 250, 251, and 259.


 

 

THRESHOLD FAIR DISTRIBUTION PROCEDURES

2.      A threshold “fair distribution” analysis is performed on mutually exclusive NCE FM groups only if applicants within the group propose to serve different communities and will provide a new first and/or second NCE aural service to a substantial population.  In such cases, the Bureau, consistent with

 
 

Section 307(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the “Act”), determines whether grant of any of the applications would best further the fair, efficient, and equitable distribution of radio service among communities.  An NCE FM applicant is eligible to receive a Section 307(b) preference if it would provide a first or second reserved band channel NCE aural service to at least ten percent of the population (in the aggregate), within the proposed station’s service area, provided that the population served is at least 2,000 people.

 
 
 
 

3.        If only one applicant qualifies for a “fair distribution” preference, the preference is dispositive with respect to applications in the group that would serve different communities.  If more than one applicant in a mutually exclusive group qualifies for the preference, we compare each applicant’s first service population coverage totals.  An applicant will receive a dispositive fair distribution preference by proposing a first NCE aural service to at least 5,000 more potential listeners than the next highest applicant’s first service total. If no applicant is entitled to a first service preference, we consider combined first and second NCE aural service population totals and apply the same 5,000 listener threshold.  At each stage of the Section 307(b) analysis, any applicant that is comparatively disfavored in terms of eligibility or service totals is eliminated.  The process ends when the Bureau determines that one applicant is entitled to a preference or that none of the remaining applicants can be selected or eliminated based on a Section 307(b) preference.  In the latter case, all remaining applicants proceed to a point system analysis.   Applicants that have received a Section 307(b) preference are required to construct and operate technical facilities substantially as proposed, and cannot downgrade service to the area on which the preference was based for a period of four years of on-air operations.

 

GROUP-BY-GROUP ANALYSIS

 

 2.   This Section contains narrative descriptions of our analyses, organized chronologically by group number.  Unless otherwise noted, each component of the analysis is based on information provided by each of the respective applicants.

 
 
 
 

3.   Group 4.  The four applicants in this group propose service to three different communities in Alabama.  Miles College (“Miles”) proposes service to Demopolis.  The City of Tuscaloosa, Alabama (“City”) and TBTA Ministries (“TBTA”) propose service to Moundville.  Catholic Radio Network, Inc. (“CRN”) proposes service to York.  Miles and CRN claim that they are eligible for a fair distribution preference and submit supporting information.   TBTA states that it would not qualify for a Section 307(b) preference.  City states that it is eligible based on provision of a second NCE service, but does not provide necessary supporting information.  City and TBTA are thus eliminated.

 

4.   Each of the remaining applicants asserts that it is entitled to a first NCE service preference.   Miles claims that it would provide a new first NCE service to 9,410 people.  CRN asserts that it would provide a new first NCE service to 12,070 people.  These first service proposals are comparable.  If no proposal prevails on first service, we consider combined first and second NCE service population totals.  Miles would provide a first or second NCE service to 28,338 people (9,410 first service plus 18,928 second service).  CRN would provide a first or second NCE service to 48,178 people (12,070 first service plus 36,108 second service).  Because CRN would provide new NCE service to at least 5,000 people more than Miles, CRN is the tentative selectee in Group 4.

 

5.   Group 5.  There are two applicants in this group.  Appalachian Performing Arts Institute (“APAI”) proposes to serve Mentone, Tennessee, and Shredding the Darkness (“STD”) proposes to serve Sylvania, Alabama.  STD asserts that it is eligible for a fair distribution preference.  APAI does not.   Accordingly, APAI is eliminated and STD is the tentative selectee in Group 5.

 

Group 7.  Group 7 is comprised of two applicants proposing service to different communities in Alabama.  TBTA Ministries (“TBTA”) proposes to serve McIntosh and Archangel Communications (“Archangel”) proposes to serve Mount Vernon.  Each claims that it is eligible for a first NCE service fair

 
2.   distribution preference.  TBTA claims that it would provide a new first NCE service to 8,788 people.  Archangel would provide a new first NCE service to 2,777 people.  Because TBTA’s proposal would provide new NCE service to at least 5,000 people more than Archangel’s proposal, TBTA is the tentative selectee in Group 7.
 

3.   Group 17.  In the next group, Calvary Chapel of Casa Grande (“CCCG”) proposes to serve Chuichu, Arizona, and Primera Iglesia Evalgelica De Apostoles (“Primera”) proposes to serve Eloy, Arizona.  CCCG asserts that it is eligible for a fair distribution preference.  Primera does not.  Accordingly, Primera is eliminated and CCCG is the tentative selectee in Group 17.

 

4.   Group 20.  This group is comprised of two applicants that propose service to different communities in California.  Native Media Resource Center (“NMRC”) proposes to serve Gualala, and Iglesia Alto Refugio (“IAR”) proposes to serve Point Arena.  Only NMRC asserts that it is eligible for a fair distribution preference.  Accordingly, IAR is eliminated and NMRC is the tentative selectee in Group 20.

 

5.   Group 21.  In Group 21, Community Public Radio, Inc. (“CPRI”) proposes to serve Buffalo Hill, California, and Centro Cristiano Cosecha Final (“CCCF”) proposes to serve Placerville, California.  CPRI asserts that it is eligible for a fair distribution preference.  CCCF does not.   Accordingly, CCCF is eliminated and CPRI is the tentative selectee in Group 21.

 
6.   Group 23.  The two applicants in this group propose service to two different California communities.  Nevada-Utah Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists (“Nevada-Utah”) proposes to serve Bishop, and 1 A Chord, Inc. (“Chord”) proposes to serve Mammoth Lakes.  Only Nevada-Utah asserts that it is eligible for a fair distribution preference.  Accordingly, Chord is eliminated and Nevada-Utah is the tentative selectee in Group 23.
 
 

For the rest of the 32 groups and original R&O click here.

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