As the saying goes, "ignorance of the law is no excuse." If the president of KXOL was in such ill health that the station had to be taken silent, he could have hired someone to ensure that the station would return to the air within the period specified by the FCC, or put the station up for sale. After being off the air for almost 2 years, does anyone besides us radio nuts even know that KXOL is back on the air? More importantly, did KXOL have more than a handful of listeners before the station went silent? I just don't see how a market that has a 10-15% Hispanic population can justify 6 Spanish language stations on AM plus the 2 or 3 on FM. It will be interesting to see if the FCC fines Inca now that the license has been cancelled and KXOL is still on air.
Last Edit: Aug 19, 2015 0:37:19 GMT -7 by David: grammar
I wouldn't be at all surprised if they came up with another reason for an appeal. That does seem to be the way radio stations around the country operate. They just keep pestering the commission until they get what they want. Whether that will be what happens here and whether it will be successful I don't know and can't even speculate. The more immediate concern to me is that their purchase of KMRI 1550 and KEGH 107.1 has yet to be approved. It's possible (though given FCC history probably unlikely) that this could call the company's fitness as a licensee into question.
I'd be curious to hear the thoughts of whoever is running KBJA 1640 now, which I've always felt was short spaced to KXOL. I'm sure they would love to see 1660 go off permanently.
Last Edit: Aug 19, 2015 1:46:49 GMT -7 by CAwasinNJ
For what it's worth: KXOL has been on air with an open carrier (transmitter still on, but no audio) since at least Saturday 8/22. I don't think that qualifies as going silent under FCC rules, but maybe they're just keeping the transmitter on the air for now hoping that the FCC will reconsider the license cancellation.
Running a dead carrier would be even worse because they aren't even doing the required legal ID. A previously licensed station operating after the license is expired is viewed less severely that a completely unlicensed operation by the FCC, but it's still not viewed particularly well. No legal ID isn't going to help though.
No new petitions have been filed with the FCC, but I wonder if they could even come up with anything.
The station is finally back on the air with audio after broadcasting a dead carrier for a week. An AM station query at the FCC site shows no records for KXOL, so I assume that means the license has been officially deleted. Apparently KXOL's owner has yet to receive the message. That's a pretty callous attitude to have considering the fine that may result for unlicensed operation. Most of the FCC's monitoring stations were closed down years ago, but if I'm not mistaken they still have a field office in Denver.
For deleted facilities you need to put a D before the callsign to look for it. In this case you'd end up at transition.fcc.gov/fcc-bin/amq?list=0&facid=87107 I'm sure they know they lost. It will take a complaint before the FCC does anything though.
I think it's laughable that the FCC devotes so much of their limited resources to shutting down pirate radio stations, but they will only shut down a commercial AM/FM station with a revoked license if someone files a complaint. IMHO they are essentialy the same violation (operating without a license), although the argument can be made that pirates sometimes cause interference to licensed stations.
KXOL might as well go silent permanently because I don't believe more than a handful of people listen to the station regularly. The station has gone downhill ever since Bret Larson LMA'ed it to Simmons years ago. Even before they went silent in 2012, I remember listening to the station while the automation "hiccuped" (sort of like a record with the needle stuck in a groove) for hours on end before the problem was corrected. That seems like a tremendous waste of electricity and air time, as does broadcasting a dead carrier for a week.
Last Edit: Aug 30, 2015 14:36:39 GMT -7 by David: grammar
The FCC will only investigate a pirate station if there's a complaint too. The FCC (by their own admission) runs mostly on the honor system.
One of the FCC commissioners was just commenting on having a summit about pirate radio. They are losing the war on pirate radio badly. In some metro areas (Miami and New York being big examples) there are COMMERCIAL pirates that have been on the air for YEARS and nobody has been able to do anything about it. One big problem IMO is that their enforcement action has no teeth. Even if the pirates are fined, the FCC almost never gets the money. The whole FCC is a mess and needs to be overhauled, but Congress (the opposite of Progress) is too busy making their own mess of things and can't be bothered.
The petition is hilarious. First they claim that it's the FCC's fault for not telling them they needed to get back on the air within a year of going silent. Every radio station operator should know that. It's in the regulations. Then they say that the FCC should use its discretion and reinstate the license because the silence was beyond its control.
The initial request to be silent was to determine the source of "interference". I don't see anything regarding the type of interference, whether that was affecting transmission or STL or anything else. That would be important because it would determine whether it would be possible to go back on the air from the transmitter site even with temporary programming. But that becomes irrelevant with the second request to be silent which was filed Oct 8 2014, about a month and a half before the 1 year was up. It says "MR. NICOLAS VICENTE GENERAL MANAGER OF KXOL, WHO ALSO SERVES AS THE PRINCIPLE STATION PROGRAMMER AND SALES PERSON, HAS BEEN SUFFERING FROM SEVERE HEALTH PROBLEMS AND THE STATION REMAINS OFF AIR. MR. VICENTE INTENDS TO TAKE ANY NECESSARY ACTIONS TO RESUME OPERATION OF THE STATION BEFORE THIS REQUESTED EXTENSION EXPIRES." Let's parse this: It says "principle station programmer", which implies there are others who can or do assist. It also states that he intends to take any necessary action to get back on the air, which implies the station *could* go back on the air but he doesn't want to do that yet due to his health issues. It's understandable that they wouldn't want to try to resume normal operations without the main guy at the helm, but just plug an MP3 player on loop into the transmitter and let it run for a few days on autopilot. That's what everyone else does. That way everyone's happy. But that's not what they did. They did nothing. And what's worse, they know full well that they have no authorization to be on the air yet they've been transmitting illegally for over a month.
All that being said, I would not be surprised if the FCC decides to reinstate the license anyway. They have no stomach for controversy.
Last Edit: Sept 19, 2015 5:53:24 GMT -7 by CAwasinNJ
I just skimmed over the text of the petition and it is indeed hilarious. I especially liked the part about how not renewing KXOL's license would cause Mr. Vincente "extreme financial hardship" and would be a disservice to the Hispanic community of Brigham City (approximately 8% of the population). My guess is that most of the Hispanic community of Brigham City doesn't even know 1660 is back on the air and are probably listening to KSVN 730 or KOGN 1490 AM. Moreover, how could shutting down KXOL cause Mr. Vincente financial hardship when odds are that no more than a handful of people are listening anyway? If anything, I'd think the savings of not having to continue to pay the Rocky Mountain Power bill for KXOL would actually prevent "extreme financial hardship" for Mr. Vincente.
Another laughable page about KXOL is its Wikipedia page. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KXOL_(defunct)> Whoever wrote the Wiki article is under the impression that 1660 is defunct simply because the station's license was cancelled in August. Apparently the author hasn't listened to the radio lately or they don't read the posts on this board.
I really hate to defend a Wikipedia article since so much of the information there is wrong, but in this case it is technically correct. What is on the air now is technically a very high power pirate that was previously licensed.
They've been off the air every time I've checked for a few weeks now, FWIW.
I wonder if there's an easy way to set up something like a silence monitor to automatically log audio/dead carrier/no carrier for a particular station. There's almost certainly a commercial product that does that, but spending big bucks for a little pet project like this seems too much.