In an August 2017 Summary Decision from then-FCC Chief Administrative Law Judge Richard L. Sippel, authorizations for a trio of FM broadcast licenses filed by William Zawila, the estate of Linda Ware (doing business as Lindsay Broadcasting) and the estate of H.L. Charles (doing business as Ford City Broadcasting) were revoked.
It’s a complicated case RBR+TVBR last shared with readers in 2016, but dates to 2003. They faced charges of lack of candor, misrepresentation and unauthorized transfer of control, among others.
As of today, they’ve lost a 17-year fight for their right to broadcast.
The matter involves unpaid regulatory fees, and the licensees collectively asked the Commission to pay them following a 2004 distress sale to Lazer Broadcasting Corp. of Oxnard, Calif.
That was not allowed and the deal was scrubbed.
Fast-forward to 2015, when another distress sale was proposed. Avenal Educational Services and Central Valley Educational Services objected to this deal, and the Media Bureau agreed.
The licensees appealed, even though a policy allowing distress sales to “eligible entities” had been suspended after an appeals court vacated the definition. The full Commission upheld the Media Bureau decision in June 2016.
That didn’t stop the matter from ending in the hands of Sippel, who revoked the authorizations for the following stations:
- KNGS-FM 100.1 in Coalinga, Calif., licensed for 19kw at 1,499 feet
- KZPO-FM 103.3 in Lindsay, Calif., a Class B1 serving Visalia and Porterville, Calif.
- KZPE-FM 102.1 in Ford City, Calif., licensed for 6kw at 2,218 feet and serving rural portions of Kern County, Calif.
The full Commission then affirmed Sippel’s decision, on Dec. 23, 2019.
This then put the wheels in motion to deny the license renewal applications for all three stations, resulting in the deletion of each station’s call letters and order from Media Bureau Chief Michelle Carey to CEASE BROADCAST OPERATIONS IMMEDIATELY — will all caps used in the letter sent to the licensees by the Bureau on Feb. 6.
The station’s towers must be maintained until they are dismantled as it is “imperative to the safety of air navigation.”