Ed Stolz Strikes Out Again In Washington

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Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game will be held Tuesday night in Cleveland, and it’s a safe bet Washington Nationals pitching ace Max Scherzer could strike out multiple batters while on the mound.


Meanwhile, a different type of strike out was seen in Washington on Monday, and it involves a perennial petitioner on a quixotic quest to have the FCC thwart Entercom Communications in its ability to renew licenses in the Sacramento market.

That’s because this licensee, Ed Stolz, still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that his sale of what is today KUDL-FM 106.5 some 23 years ago will never be undone.

A trio of rulings adopted July 3 and released late Monday are the latest blows to Stolz, reaffirming Entercom’s right to operate stations in California’s capital city without impediment.

In the first Order acted on by the Commission, it denied an Application for Review filed June 6, 2018 by Stolz, who sought the review of an order by the General Counsel that dismissed and denied his petition for reconsideration of a FCC memorandum opinion and order that dismissed and denied an earlier petition and, furthermore, nixed an earlier AFR filed by Stolz.

All of this is tied to a station that no longer exists: KDND-FM 107.9 in Sacramento. To resolve questions as to whether the FCC should renew this station’s license in light of a “Hold Your Wee for a Wii” contest resulting in a contestant’s death, Entercom — seeking to move forward with a Reverse Morris Trust-fueled merger with CBS Radio — surrendered the KDND license to the FCC.


KDND was the subject of an FCC license review hearing tied to the death of a contestant in the infamous “Hold Your Wee For A Wii” promotion conducted a decade ago by the Top 40 station.


 

With its voluntary surrender of the KDND license, Entercom moved the CHR/Pop format and “The End” brand to what is today KUDL.

That’s the station originally known as KWOD-FM, which was sold in February 1996 to Entercom by Stolz’s Royce International for $25 million.

In September 1999, Stolz attempted to stop (or reverse) the license transfer of KWOD. He sued Entercom’s now-President/CEO David Field, alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO).

The battle dragged on to July 2002, when the FCC dismissed the original Form 314 filing proposing the transfer of control of KWOD to Entercom.

In May 2003, a new Form 314 filing was granted by the Commission, pursuant to “the interlocutory judgment issued by the Superior Court for the State of California” in Entercom v. Royce International, which ruled that the sale of KWOD was valid and should be consummated. The original February 1996 FAX from Entercom outlining the terms of the deal, which was dismissed in July 2002, was then resubmitted to the Commission.

Stolz argued that California state court went beyond its authority when it ordered him to surrender the license of KWOD to Entercom.

This is a fight that Stolz has waged ever since, as the voluntary surrender of the license of the original KDND-FM, at 107.9 MHz, wasn’t suffice. That’s because he wanted standing — and not simply the voluntary action of Entercom to resolve a matter that’s keeping his legal counsel fiscally fit for decades.

Whiff.

This brings us to a joint “Petition for Further Reconsideration,” a second petition, filed on Nov. 26, 2018 by Ed Stolz and Deborah Naiman. They wanted the Commission to give a new look at a decision denying their joint Petition for Reconsideration — and again asked that the FCC rescind the transfer of CBS Radio’s stations to Entercom.

It is the belief of Stolz and Naiman that CBS Radio’s basic character qualifications are in question, and wanted a Hearing Designation Order.

Whiff. The FCC denied this request.

That’s significant, as it did not come from the Media Bureau. Why? “We have decided to act on the Petition in order to discourage any further requests for reconsideration or review filed by Petitioners in the interest of promoting administrative finality.”

Translation: Enough already. The untimely nature of this request was also noted by the FCC, as the basis of the PFR are sexual misconduct allegations lobbed at now-former CBS Corp. Chairman/CEO Les Moonves.

Lastly, Stolz again requested a designation for hearing of the license renewals of KIFM-AM, KKDO-FM, KRXQ-FM, KSEG-FM & KUDL-FM in the Sacramento market.

Whiff.

This was denied based on a lack of standing by Stolz. Further, Section 309(k) of the Communications Act precludes designating the renewal applications for hearing based on conduct at a separate station — the now-deleted KDND-FM.

While it’s three strikes, you’re out at tonight’s All Star Game, there’s no guarantee that Stolz has completely struck out — and could very well try yet again to punish Entercom for actions seen when President Clinton resided in the White House and the biggest headline involving Donald Trump was his purchase of the Bank of Manhattan Trust Building at 40 Wall Street.