EMF prevails in 2nd adjacent FM translator dispute


Noncommercial Educational Media Foundation received the FCC go-ahead to put a 10-watt FM translator in New Albany IN, two dial clicks away from WFLP-FM Louisville, even though it would be entirely within the full-powered station’s 60 dBu contour. The FCC has denied a request for review filed by NPR on behalf of WFLP licensee Kentucky Public Radio.

EMF used undesired-to-desired, or U/D signal strength methodology to meet the FCC’s requirement that “…no actual interference will occur due to intervening terrain, lack of population or such other factors as may be applicable.” As far as the FCC was concerned, it successfully demonstrated that a very small area where there might be interference didn’t matter, since nobody lived there.

KPR questioned the decision, believing that a more rigorous interference standard should have been applied, but its request for review was turned down and it did not file for reconsideration. But NPR came in, saying it had standing because it represents many affiliates nationwide, had a pending U/D case at the FCC and couldn’t possibly have foreseen that the FCC would base a decision in favor of EMF on U/D evidenced.

EMF responded that NPR should have been able to foresee the U/D component, since it was “squarely before the Commission” from the beginning of the proceeding.

The FCC said that even if it decided to accept NPR’s standing, its request for reconsideration would fail since it was repetitious of KPR’s original plea.