Anatomy of a studio waiver request


SoldCalvary Chapel of Twin Falls is applying to acquire a station far away from that Idaho community, but it wants to run the station from its Idaho digs. Here’s how they presented their plan to the FCC.

The station is WGWS-FM St. Mary’s City MD. It’s a Class A on 88.1 MHz with 1.1 kW @ 174’. It serves the peninsula formed by the confluence of the Potomac River into Chesapeake Bay, well to the southeast of Washington DC.

Although quite a few commuters make the arduous trek from that location into DC on weekdays, it is not a feat the WGWS-FM contour is able to duplicate, making it strictly an exurban station.

The seller is Calvary Baptist Church of Lexington Park Inc., headed by William B. Ruckman Jr.
The price of the station is $57K.

Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls Inc. is headed by Michael Kestler, and has indicated that it proposes to run the station from that distant location. In asking for a main studio waiver, it presented the FCC with a fairly detailed explanation of its financial reasons for making the request, including this menu of expense savings:

* Studio rent: $1,500
* EAS & computer equipment: $600
* Station manager: $4,000
* Contract engineer: $2,500
* Utilities: $400
* Janitorial/administrative: $1,000
* Total monthly expenses: $10,000
* Estimated first year savings: $120,000

It also detailed a number of steps it would take to make up for its lack of a strong local presence. It said it will appoint a local representative to report back to the company; convene community meetings at least once a quarter; subscribe to local newspapers to stay on top of community needs; provide local news, weather and PSA service and toll-free number for use of local citizens; make sure at least 10%-15% of issues-oriented programs are responsive to the station’s service area; maintain public file at Idaho station’s studios but provide answers about and photocopies of any documents contained therein on request.