From the "I'll believe it when I see it" department: the FCC is supposedly gearing up for a major crackdown on silent radio stations. If Uncle Charlie actually keeps his word, it could mean trouble for iHeart and KWDZ, which has been on the air for less than 24 hours in the past two years.
Apparently WRAX isn't going to be the test case. RadioInsight is reporting they turned in their license instead.
I think that's the ultimate goal of the FCC in this case: to force silent stations that have been gaming the system for years into surrendering their licenses so someone else can have the opportunity to use a broadcast frequency. After all, it's not like there's a shortage of buyers for radio licenses, even when they don't come with an antenna and transmitter attached. KWCR, KFNZ, and KRRF (ex-KRUZ) have all been sold within the past year, and that's just in the Salt Lake market. As for KQMB and KSRR, they're at risk of losing their licenses after being off the air for 30 days without notifying the FCC. I thought I heard KSRR on 1400 a week or two ago when I was doing some sunset DX'ing, but apparently it was just a similarly formatted MOR station on the same frequency.
I have to respectfully disagree with your viability assessment David, but I'm going to look at it a little differently. It took a year and a half to sell KWCR and even then it went for peanuts. 1230 has been twiddling its thumbs for even longer and that took 2 years to sell and it went for peanuts too. Cumulus wasn't even going to bother trying to sell KFNZ and only sold it when someone else came to them. The old KTKK 630 facility was given up on. And that doesn't even mention the new 780 facility that as far as I know was never built.
And then there's the FM dial. 107.1's sale never happened and it's still for sale. The move ins of 95.9, 98.3 and 105.5 have been cancelled. I think the 103.9 move in isn't going to happen either. 99.1 Manti I think is still off the air too. The 103.9 translator on Lake Mountain is rebroadcasting KUDD and apparently will be staying that way for a while, which is pretty much a waste.
I may be forgetting a few, but there's no shortage of space. The problem is viability. KKAT isn't even showing in the ratings. KLO barely is. KTKK hasn't shown for years. And on it goes. KWCR and KRRF were sold to religious outfits who really don't care much about how many people are listening as long as their word is out there. The jury is still out on what's going to happen to KFNZ.
I don't think the viability of a broadcast facility is the issue with the FCC in this case as is giving others the opportunity to use a broadcast frequency, but we can agree to disagree on that point. I also don't think that $100 K for a 1 KW graveyard frequency or even a 5 KW regional frequency is peanuts, but that's an issue for another thread. Suffice to say that it's probably going to cost Vic Michael and EMF at least $100 K to put up an antenna and transmitter for KFNZ and KWCR, and it's going to be at least a year or two after the stations are on the air before the initial investment is recouped.
While I personally don't care to listen to religious stations, I'd rather see someone who will actually use a frequency for more than a few hours once a year be given the opportunity to operate a broadcast facility instead of having some company "sit" on a license for years and not actually do anything with it. I know there's people within the broadcast industry who don't care for EMF because they're pushing so hard on the FCC to abolish the main studio rule so they can transmit programming to all their stations from one central location, but once again that's a separate topic.
There are hundreds (if not thousands) of AM stations lining up to get an FM translator allocation, and those who succeed in securing a translator frequency will have the opportunity to gain a whole new audience on FM since there are so many people who won't listen to AM radio anymore. There's plenty of ways to increase the viability of any radio station, but sometimes one has to think outside the box in order to be successful. One of my favorite online radio stations is a stand alone AM which stays on the air through a combination of advertising and contributions from listeners who are devoted to keeping the station and its programming on the air. But those who want to break into broadcasting can't succeed if they aren't given the opportunity to first obtain a license from the FCC.
Oh, Brian Dodge? He's been giving the FCC the middle finger for decades. Regardless of any new efforts he would have been at the end of the line anyway. This was the end of the agreement he entered into a year ago.
I guess you could say he's been "dodging" the FCC for decades, eh? (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) Since WCKL is one of the station licenses Dodge has to surrender, I'm guessing he won't be giving away any $20 K prizes on that station again (per the Fybush photo).
I wonder if anyone verified that he did indeed award the $20,000 to someone.
As much of a charlatan as Dodge is, I think it was just another one of his elaborate ruses. From the research I've done, WCKL appears to have been dark from March 2015 onwards, apparently because Dodge wasn't paying transmitter site rent to iHeart.