A pair of Class A television stations located in Terrebonne-Bend, Oregon was threatened with a drop in status to the less-well-protected LPTV level. After the licensee failed to respond to three separate FCC communications, the declassification is now official.
The stations, K42BR and K48BL, are licensed to Rodney S. Johnson.
Class A stations have the same rights and bear the same burdens as full power stations, for the most part, and that includes maintaining Children’s Television Programming Reports.
Many Class As have fallen down on the job in this respect, and that is the case here. On two separate occasions, the FCC asked Johnson about the failure to provide the reports and warned that declassification from Class A to LPTV was on the table. Johnson failed to respond to either query.
The FCC then specifically stated that it was planning to declassify the stations, and gave Johnson the opportunity to show cause why that course should not be taken. Again, the FCC received no responsse.
So now it is official – the stations are now both LPTV stations.
RBR-TVBR observation: It should be unthinkable to let your FCC correspondence go unanswered at any time, for any reason, period. AM, FM, LPFM, TV, cable system, tower structure owner – whatever you are, if the FCC has a question, please, for your own health and well-being, answer it!
For a Class A TV station, ignoring FCC correspondence in the face of the strong possibility of incentive auctions is potentially suicidal. The FCC isn’t just threatening such stations with declassification, it’s doing it, as this story illustrates.
Whereas Class A stations will have many of the same rights afforded their full-power brethren, LPTVs will have little or no protection and could quickly become an endangered species.