I know some of you have been waiting for this news for a while, but Weber State has agreed to sell KWCR to EMF for $100,000. And they threw in a mixing board as a bonus.
A couple of things about this don't make a lot of sense to me. One, it's interesting to note that Weber State retains the rights to the KWCR callsign. They don't really have the rights to that unless they plan on getting another broadcast station which I doubt they're going to do. The only thing I can figure there is that they want to force EMF to change the callsign so whatever EMF puts on there doesn't get confused with any Weber State offerings. Two, only $100,000? And KCPW didn't grab that? That would have been a steal.
The next question is what will EMF do with it? They already have the main K-Love programming on KKLV-FM (107.5 Salt Lake). They didn't ever flip KNKL (88.7 North Ogden) to Air1 did they? Since whatever-88.1-will-be-called doesn't have nearly as much power and is hemmed in by KCPW-FM, I would guess it will become an Air1 station. There's also the question of where to put the transmitter, since that hasn't been worked out yet either.
My guess as to why Weber State wants to retain the KWCR call is for merchandising purposes, i.e. hats, T-shirts, and the like; or for use on their internet station. I'm not clear on what the rules are for online radio stations call signs, though, so Weber might not need to retain the KWCR call for that purpose. In regards to EMF, I can receive both 88.7 and 107.5 at my location in NE Ogden, and it's a simulcast as far as I can tell. They've already got plenty of overlap in signal coverage in Ogden, so it wouldn't make sense for them to put the same programming on 88.1. Maybe EMF's plan is to shut down 88.7 and move to 88.1 once all the sale details are finalized.
Online "radio" stations (not actually radio at all) don't have callsigns and are not subject to any FCC regulation at all, so that would be irrelevant. That was actually the whole point of Weber State going online only. They don't have to worry about all that. As far as merchandising, they can't keep the callsign unless they have something to attach it to. It's actually the "property" (for lack of a better word) of the FCC and assigned to a station. They might have some copyright claim or something along those lines, but that's outside of anything the FCC has jurisdiction over and irrelevant to this conversation. One other idea I had was that they might have made a separate deal with someone other than EMF who wanted to use the callsign. That wouldn't have shown up in any filings related to the sale of 88.1 to EMF. If Weber just changes the callsign to whatever EMF wants per the contract then the KWCR callsign becomes available for any station to take if it wants them.
I find it impossible to believe that shutting down 88.7 is going to happen. EMF is buying all over the country. It makes zero sense to buy a station and then turn off a different one (and one with a better signal to boot) in the same general location. It's a pretty safe bet that either 88.1 or 88.7 will be Air1. Which one I'm much less certain about. I could see that going either way. There's also still the question of what the coverage area of 88.1 will be once everything is finalized. Remember that they still need to find a permanent transmitter site. There might even be a change of community of license involved. We'll have to see.
In reading some of the correspondence for KWCR on the FCC web site, I got the impression that a big part of the reason(s) Weber State made the station online only was to avoid further problems with the listening public regarding obscenity issues. Some of the letters the FCC received from KWCR "listeners" sounded like congressional testimony from the hearings with the PMRC and Tipper Gore in the 1980's.
That's exactly what I'm talking about David. The administration had to constantly be mindful of the FCC regulations and make sure the talent didn't go off the reservation. Online they can pretty much do what they want and nobody can say anything. Most of the complaints were thrown out according to All Access, but I'm sure the nuisance I'm sure was time consuming. (https://www.allaccess.com/net-news/archive/story/166728/fcc-fines-weber-state-university-in-consent-decree)
If I were responsible for the programming put on KWCR during the keep-the-license-active times I might be tempted to play a loop of "Banned in the USA", but that might be a little too much.
I suppose that the online version of KWCR isn't required to broadcast EAS alerts on a regular basis either, which apparently was part of the consent decree with the FCC along with the complaints about indecent broadcasts.
The idea of playing "Banned in the USA" is great, but I'm not sure anyone but us radio geeks would get the joke. Since KWCR's final over the air broadcast was on October 31st, 2016, they should have just put on a loop of "Monster Mash" and "I'm A Mummy" by Bob McFadden and Dor instead.
Anyone know what the differences are between the KLOVE and Air1 formats? In looking at their web pages, they both appear to be playing similar Christian music with positive and uplifting lyrics, but then again I'm not very knowledgeable about the different types of religious music formats.
Now that the station has been sold, KWCR has just filed another application for extension of silent authority with the FCC. Not a big deal and probably something that was expected to happen, but the strange thing is the explanation given for remaining silent. It reads like someone copied and pasted the explanation from the previous application, and states that "the licensee is still working on a course of action". Um, isn't the resolution of the course of action selling the station to EMF?
DOH! My bad, CA. When I looked at the date of the posting on the FCC web site, all I saw was the date the extension was granted, not the date it was filed. I keep forgetting that it usually takes the FCC 3-4 weeks before they grant or dismiss an application. Hey, at least now I know why I felt like I'd read the same thing before.
A filing has been made for a new transmitter location for whatever KWCR will be called. It's about a half mile north of where KYFO is now. This is listed as basically the same location where there's a construction permit for 99.9 that translates KSVN(AM).