Statistics from the 2013 LPFM filing window

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This data was compiled on June 9, 2017 in a review of whether we need review the eligbility standards for new LPFM stations.  REC's priority is to foster new community stations operated by collectives of local community members with a level of transparency and accountability and free of hidden multiple ownership.

REC has been tracking all 2,796 applications that were filed in the 2013 LPFM filing window (“2013 window”).  As of June 9, 2017, the FCC has finished processing 99% of the original construction permit applications.  So far, approximately 58 percent of all applications were granted.  A total of 1,216 LPFM stations are currently licensed and on the air, 8 applications are still pending and 826 applications were dismissed.

ed. As of September 13, 2018, the number of pending original construction applications is down to 1 (Canoga Park, CA Cesar Guel application).

Reason for dismissal

REC tracked the dismissal reasons for each application into one of over 30 different categories. Reasons were based on letters from staff or from public notice comments. The major reasons for dismissals were as follows:

  • Applicant requested dismissal (241),
  • Short spaced on co-channel or first-adjacent channel (115),
  • Applicant was not eligible to be a non-commercial educational licensee (84),
  • Non-tentative selectee/insufficient points (77),
  • Second adjacent channel short-spaced and no waiver request included (43),
  • Duplicate application (39),
  • Organization’s state corporate status expired during the application process (29),
  • Inconsistent application/same person appearing on more than one application (26) and
  • Lack of site assurance (21).

Group Filings

During this filing window, REC has observed various “group filings” that were done by common attorneys and engineers for “local” organizations within the communities the LPFM stations were being proposed in.  In some cases, we saw situations where the applications were intended for the use of national networks while in other cases, there was the appearance of pure speculation and the potential for unauthorized transfers/sales of the facilities.   Out of 2,803 applications filed in the 2013 window, 398 (19%) of these applications originated from 7 different sources.  This includes:

  • Hispanic Christian Community Network/Antonio Cesar Guel (226),
  • Eternal Word Television Network (85),
  • New Tang Dynasty aka Sound of Hope (25),
  • Seventh Day Adventist Church/3 Angels Broadcasting Network (25) and
  • Three regional speculators (39).

Informal Objections and Petitions to Deny

Out of the 2,803 applications for new construction permits filed in the 2013 Window, 485 applications had either an Informal Objection or a Petition to Deny filed against the grant of the application.  Most notable of those objections is the REC originated Informal Objection filed against 246 applications that specified Antonio Cesar Guel (“Guel”) as the application certifier.  In addition to REC, the Guel-assisted applications also had objections from other LPFM advocates, competing LPFM applicants and other individuals residing near the proposed stations.  Of the remaining 239 facilities that had objections, there was a total 369 initial filings of informal objections and petitions to deny meaning on average, every other LPFM application with objections had at least two objections filed.  Of that 369, the Audio Division has statused 72 as denied, 77 as dismissed and 43 as granted.  The remaining 177 are either still pending or they were not specifically marked with a status but were still decided or, there was another pleading that was decided on for that facility or the applicant voluntarily dismissed their application. Following the close of the 2013 LPFM window, informal objections and petitions to deny (“objections’) were filed by different types of entities.  Other than the informal objections filed by REC and others against the Guel applications of which some are still pending as well as other pending applications, objections were filed by:

  • LPFM applicants that are MX to the application being objected to (33.5%)
  • LPFM advocacy groups such as REC and Prometheus Radio Project (15.1%)
  • Individuals (14.7%)
  • Other LPFM stations and applicants other than mutually exclusive applicants (13.3%)
  • Short-spaced full-power stations on second adjacent channels (11.5%)
  • Full power FM broadcast stations (7.3%)
  • Licensees and permittees of FM translators (4.6%)

The primary issues in these objections can be categorized as follows:

  • Questioning the overall qualifications of the applicant (26.7%)
  • Questioning the applicant’s corporate status (20.8%)
  • MX related: challenging points, alleging collusion, etc. (14.3%)
  • Interference to second adjacent channel stations (12.4%)
  • Co-channel interference (6.9%)
  • Site assurance and zoning issues (6.4%)
  • Alleging unlicensed broadcasting (2.5%)
  • Environment impact issues (2.0%)
  • Interference to a translator’s input signal (1.5%)
  • Inconsistent application, party on more than one application (1.5%)
  • Questioning the localism of the organization (1.5%)
  • Questioning the applicant’s educational statement/programming choices (1.0%)
  • Questioning applicant’s public safety status (1.0%)
  • Interference to radio reading services (1.0%)
  • Questioning the quality of the engineering (0.5%)

Single Party Applications

In the 2013 window, 308 applications (11%) specified corporate structures consisting of only one individual.  Of those applications, 149 were granted and 159 were dismissed.

Applications without parties in Section II for Form 318

There were 49 applications filed where no information was provided in Section II, question 3(a) of Form 318.  This is the portion of the form where the names and addresses of all parties to the application including the organization itself are specified.  While applicants in the public sector (city governments and school districts) would not necessarily need to fill in this section, there were also educational organizations that did not fill in this information.  In some cases, the applicants included articles of incorporation that listed the board members at the time of filing those articles or other letterhead with the board members listed.  In some of those cases, the addresses of the board members were not listed therefore localism can’t be determined.

Establishment Date

Based on the information provided on their original applications, these are the local presence dates given claimed by LPFM applicants:

Prior to and including 1/1/1950

199

1950 to 1959

90

1960 to 1969

86

1970 to 1979

122

1980 to 1989

153

1990 to 1999

295

2000 to 2009

700

2010

118

2011

142

2012

80

2013

823

Between 10/17/2011 and 11/14/2013

917

Between 10/17/2013 and 11/14/2013

426

Original construction permits

As of June 9, 2017, the following is a breakdown of the outcome of original construction permit (CP) applications filed in the 2013 LPFM window:

Granted active CP, still constructing within the first 18 months.

86

4.4%

Granted active CP, requested the 18 month extension.

330

16.8%

Expired CP, permittee did not request the 18 month extension.

176

8.9%

Expired CP despite permittee requesting the 18 month extension.

152

7.7%

Applicants able to complete construction within 18 months

749

38.0%

Applicants needing the 18 month extension in order to complete.

467

23.7%

License cancelled after application granted

9

0.5%