FCC brushes off Birach protest


Potomac Radio has earned FCC permission to execute a major upgrade of its WAGE-AM Leesburg VA, going from 5 kw to 50 kw during the day and from 1 kw to 3 kw at night. The project involves dropping a slot down the dial, from 1200 kHz to 1190, and shutting down WBIS-AM Annapolis MD.

All of these moves passed FCC muster, but Birach Broadcasting objected because, it claimed, Potomac behaved in an anticompetitive manner. As an example, Birach noted that when it had a tower matter before a local zoning board, a lawyer for a citizens group acted against it, and that same lawyer was known to represent Potomac.

The FCC noted that there is no law against an attorney representing more than one client, nor was a showing that any of the Potomac principals were involved in the citizens group. And even they were part of the group, there was no evidence of abuse of process. So Birach’s objections were denied and the upgrade is cleared for take-off.