In late February, the FCC received a Joint Motion for Approval of a settlement between Entercom and Sue Wilson, founder of the non-profit advocacy group Media Action Center, following the Feb. 3 announcement by Entercom that it was surrendering the license of KDND-FM 107.9 in Sacramento.
That’s the radio station nearly 10 years ago held the “Hold Your Wee For A Wii” contest that resulted in the death of a 28-year-old finalist, and the decision by Entercom helped the company avoid any potential delay to its tax-free merger with CBS Radio.
It also put an end to a license renewal hearing that saw Entercom’s legal counsel plead its case in front of Washington-based Administrative Law Judge Richard Sippel.
The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC received a copy of the proposed agreement on Feb. 15, with the Bureau taking no part in the settlement.
It’s now been approved, Wilson confirms to RBR + TVBR. This means, as stated in the settlement, Entercom will reimburse Media Action Center for its “legitimate and prudent expenses.”
It’s not exactly pocket change.
“We have negotiated a settlement with Entercom, but it has not yet been approved by the judge,” Wilson says. “The amount is approximately $35,000.”
An Entercom spokesperson declined to comment on the settlement when contacted by RBR + TVBR.
Wilson says she was not motivated by dollars in her lengthy fight against Entercom. “The purpose must be to act in the public interest, not in one’s own financial interest,” Wilson notes. “As I drafted the Petition to Deny and did all pre-trial research on my own, there can be no value placed on my my time. My attorney’s time on the hearing itself is covered, thankfully.”
Wilson and MAC were represented by Oakland, Calif.-based practitioner Michael Couzens. Entercom was represented by its own Special Counsel, Jane Mago; attorneys at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP; and Steven Lerman of Lerman Senter PLLC.
Documents released by the FCC show that $31,238.66 will be going to Couzens. Most of the remaining funds will go toward travel expenses incurred for trial coverage, research and attorney expenses.
Meanwhile, sources confirmed to RBR + TVBR that Entercom is fighting off yet another challenge from longtime gadfly Ed Stolz by trying to prevent the Commission from undoing the license renewals for its one AM, KIFM-AM “ESPN 1320,” and four FMs in Sacramento: KKDO-FM 94.7, KSEG-FM 96.9, KRXQ-FM 98.5 and KUDL-FM 106.5.
Such action is highly unlikely, given the unprecedented action of surrendering the KDND license. Furthermore, of the four Entercom FMs, there are rumors KKDO may be divested in order to meet the FCC’s ownership limits.
CBS Radio owns one AM — KHTK-AM 1140 — and four FMs in Sacramento: KNCI-FM 105.1, KSFM-FM 102.5, KYMX-FM 96.1, and KZZO-FM 100.5. It is widely expected that two of these facilities will be spun.