The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is looking forward to the chance to forward the careers of women and minorities by giving them hands-on broadcast experience at four geographically-disparate AM stations being donated by radio giant Clear Channel Communications. MMTC already operates one such station.
The stations are WYNF-AM North Augusta SC, KYHN-AM Fort Smith AR, WHJA-AM Laurel MS and KMFX-AM Wabasha MN.
The Fort Smith donation will require an FCC waiver. It’s an expanded band station operating at 1650 kHz – Clear Channel would like to slide it over to MMTC while retaining sister KWHN-AM. Normally, one or the other would have to be shut down after a transitional period of side-by-side existence. This particular pair is in operation beyond the shut-down date by virtue of an FCC waiver.
In a filing requesting permanent life for the EB station, the two companies wrote, “Grant of the waiver requested herein would further the Commission’s important goal of increasing participation in the broadcasting industry by new entrants and small businesses, including minority- and women-owned businesses…As noted above, MMTC intends to use the radio stations for training purposes as well as to incubate a new generation of minority and women broadcast owners.”
They further emphasized the fact that CCC was not acting to enrich itself via the transaction.
The further argued that the FCC act on an existing petition to allow similar arrangements for other standard band/expanded band pairs that could be allowed permanent life and used to increase diversity in the ranks of broadcast ownership.
MMTC received WLCC-AM Bradenton FL, formerly a Mega Broadcasting station, from Adam Lindemann in a similar donation transaction in late 2008.
RBR-TVBR observation: This is an interesting win-win-win proposition at a time when selling marginal broadcast properties is extremely difficult. CCC pares down its portfolio, scores excellent public interest points and gets a nice charitable tax deduction; the FCC will enjoy a bump up on the diversity scale and a slight decrease in consolidation; and MMTC gets an excellent opportunity to further its own noble goals.
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