Auction prepayment mix-up forces would-be bidder to sidelines


Four Corners Broadcasting thought it had all the bases covered and plenty of time in its pursuit at auction of an FM CP allocated to Durango CO. But a failure to communicate between its representative and its source of financing resulted in a late fee submission and a disqualification for the auction. Nor will the FCC grant a waiver to let the company back in.

The FCC’s special odds-and-ends Auction No. 88, featuring 11 FMs, one FM translators and one AM, is on target for 7/20/10.

But Four Corners will not be there. It had been slowed by an incomplete application, but managed to deal with that situation and refile in a timely manner. And it thought it had everything lined up to get its money in to the FCC on time, due to a mix-up between brokerage Neuberger Berman Group LLC and financing handler JP Morgan Clearing Corporation. They missed a 6PM 6/17/10 deadline, but got the money in before 9AM the next day only to have it returned by the FCC.

The FCC was unsympathetic to Four Corner’s request for a waiver. It says it reminds all prospective bidders to be extremely well prepared, precisely so that there is time to deal with last-minute hurdles. It further stated that the deadlines are important to keeping an operation like an auction on schedule, and said meeting that goal is where it finds the public interest to be.