First full-power Equity deal arrives at FCC


A lot of full- and low-power sticks moved during the auction of Equity Media Holdings Corporation stations, and WMQF-TV Marquette MI wins the race to be the first in the FCC database.

The buyer is MMMRC LLC, headed by Paul B. Belschner, Scott R. Smett and Chad L. Smet. They are kicking in $100K for the station, officially licensed to Marquette Broadcasting Inc. as debtor-in-possession.

WMQF brings Fox into the market, as well as a few selections from MyNetworkTV, but according to Wikipedia it has a relatively weak local signal and gets its programming beamed in from Equity’s Little Rock AR headquarters, relying on cable and satellite subscriptions to distribute the stream to viewers.

It also was not prepared for the DTV conversion at the time Equity filed for bankruptcy protection. Since it is a relatively new station, it also does not have a digital companion station for its analog Channel 19 signal. It will be forced to flash cut from analog to digital, but is not prepared to do that yet. It is expected to apply to go dark 6/12/09 until the new owners are able to get a digital transmitter up and running.