MB 02-124: FCC grants allotment to Amboy, CA

FCC grant means another "highway station" is coming soon to the Southern California desert

The FCC has granted an FM allotment to the small roadside town of Amboy, CA at the request of KHWY, Inc., the operators of the famous "Highway Stations" along the Interstate 15 and 40 corridors between Southern California, Las Vegas and Arizona.

REC went on record to support the Class-A (Ch. 237A) allotment in Amboy stating that the allotment would provide city-grade service to a portion of Interstate 40 not covered by Highway Stations, The Drive or any other full power station operating in the area.

A counterproposal filed by Cameron Broadcasting was suggesting:
- Channel 231A instead of 237A be alloted to Amboy,
- Channel 237A be alloted to Desert Center, CA,
- Change a Henderson NV allotment from Ch. 231C to 230C,
- Change a Parker AZ allotment from 230C3 to 252B1 (in cooperation with the permit holder)
- Change the proposed allotment in MB Docket 01-135 in Mojave Valley AZ from 229A to 232A
- Move KFLG(FM) from Kingman AZ to Pahrump NV (Mt. Potosi) (Note: Cameron is the licensee of KFLG),
- Change KHRQ Baker CA from Ch 235B1 to 276B1,
- Change KNYE Pahrump NV from Ch 236A to 250A,
- Change a vacant Caliente NV allotment from 233C1 to 232C1,
- Downgrade KSTJ Boulder City NV from C to C0.
- In addition, Cameron also proposed changing KZKE from Ch 277A to 234C2.

REC and KHWY filed reply comments objecting to KFLG being moved from Kingman, removing their second FM service and moving the station to Mt. Potosi, a location that can provide city grade coverage into the rural community of Pahrump NV but also provides 100% city grade coverage in the Las Vegas Urbanized Area. This is a similar coverage area as Pahrump station KXTE. In 1995, REC filed comments in support of an allotment that eventually resulted in KNYE, a station owned in part by talk show host Art Bell.

Others filed comments claiming that Cameron's counterproposal was defective. The FCC agreed stating that Cameron's counterproposal was "not correct, complete, and capable of being effectuated on the date of filing, due to conflict with cut-off proposals in another proceeding.". This was due to the fact that:
- The REC objected move of KFLG from Kingman to Pahrump was short spaced to a proposed allotment in nearby Tecopa CA.
- The allotment in Mojave Valley was subject to cut-off protection because at the time Cameron filed their counterproposal, the FCC had not made a decision on Mojave Valley.
Basically, you can not propose to make a change to an allotment from a different proceeding if the FCC has not yet made a decision on the other proceeding. This was Cameron's mistake. Therefore, their counterproposal was dismissed.

With the messy counterproposal out of the way, the Commission then was faced with the question of whether Amboy qualified as a community for allotment purposes. In the past REC has filed against attempts to put full-power allotments in small towns. This is usually because of the size of the facility or the location of the reference point, the allotment appeared more intended to serve a larger urban cluster or urbanized area. REC did not find this in Amboy. Amboy is a very small community with less than 50 full time residents. The station would service over 20,000 daily motorists traveling along Interstate 40 and the historic Route 66. REC felt that because the station at Amboy was not capable of any urban cluster or urbanized area and would only be of value to KHWY, The Drive LLC or any other competitor in the "I-15/I-40" market, the allotment would not provide more public benefit including to the residents of Amboy. In addition, many interference free LPFM channels are still available in Amboy.

The final result is that the FCC granted the Amboy allotment as it was originally proposed by KHWY, Inc.

For more information on the FM Table Allotments and the allotment process, see http://www.recnet.com/allotments