Church Planters At Peace With N.C. Station Sale


Nearly three years ago, the operator of a Class C1 noncomm serving Coastal North Carolina found itself in violation of an FCC rule. But, it received FCC approval for the construction of its facility.

Now, the licensee has decided to spin the station to another non-secular operator.

In April 2016, the Commission slapped Church Planters of America with a $3,000 NAL for violating Section 503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Section 1.80 of the Commission’s Rules.

At issue was Church Planters of America’s application for a license to cover a construction permit for WGHW-FM 88.1 in Lockwoods Folly Town, N.C., a Wilmington market signal.

In a May 26, 2015, license application, CPA admitted that it had installed the WGHW antenna at variance from the CPA Modified Permit, at a different height than authorized.

Craven Community College filed an objection, claiming that the WGHW facilities as constructed include “metal elements of another antenna on the tower [that] extend significantly into the aperture of Planters’ directional antenna.”

This configuration, Craven argued, could impact WGHW’s directional pattern so that the directional antenna values provided by CPA in a May 29 Modification Application might not be accurate.

Now, all of that is in CPA’s past — including ownership of WGHW.

An asset purchase agreement struck Dec. 14 by CPA sees the station, branded as “Old Paths Radio Network,” get spun to Peace Baptist Church of Wilmington.

CPA is pocketing a nice paycheck of $250,000 for the license transfer, and has already received from the church a $50,000 earnest money deposit.

The remainder will be paid per an installment agreement of $30,944.36 per year, with a 5% interest rate.

Peace indicates that WGHW will air a locally focused Christian Full Service facility, airing music and talk-and-teaching programming.

The FCC considers religious broadcasters in the same manner as secular noncomms, which explains why Peace notes WGHW’s programming is “educational” in nature.