As first reported by Streamline Publishing’s Radio Ink, former Alpha Media CEO and its founder, Larry Wilson, through attorneys at Brooks Pierce, wants the Audio Division of the FCC’s Media Bureau to deny the license renewal of four stations due to actions made over several years without — according to Wilson — full board approval.
The accusations by Wilson are numerous, and accusatory.
And, they came alongside another petition to deny filed by Southern Stone Communications‘ founder, also a minority investor in Alpha Media.
Alpha Media responded with a statement sent to Radio Ink early Friday.
“While we believe the petition is based on inaccurate information and baseless claims, Alpha Media remains squarely focused on serving our communities and operating our radio stations across the United States,” Alpha said. “Our core business continues to perform well despite current market challenges, and we are proud of what all of our teams have accomplished in delivering dynamic, diverse and exciting content to our communities.”
Alpha also notes that it continues to achieve “significant progress” in its financial restructuring process, confirmed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Richmond, Va., “and best positions Alpha Media with strong financial partners to navigate current market conditions and pursue growth opportunities.”
While all has appeared to be positive for Alpha, with an emergence from debtor-in-possession status all but certain, Wilson reemerged with fighting words submitted via a 191-page document with the FCC. In the filing, made to the attention of the Media Bureau’s Audio Division and his chief, Al Shuldiner, attorneys Mark J. Prak and Patrick Cross of Brooks Pierce lobbed several accusations against Alpha the FCC’s way.
Much of Wilson’s argument centers on the $88 million sale of a group of radio stations in West Palm Beach to Hubbard Broadcasting, which closed in early 2019.
And, while Wilson’s petition has received the majority of attention, a smaller but equally important petition to deny has been submitted to the Commission by Southern Stone Communications head Paul Stone.
He seeks a denial of Alpha Media’s request to increase its foreign ownership concentration via a temporary waiver of the Commission’s rules.