FM Auction No. 91 slides back a month


The gavel kicking off FM Auction No. 91 will bang down about a month later than planned, according to a new FCC release, and there will be three less sticks on the shelf – but that still leaves 144 FM CPs up for grabs. The new beginning date for the proceeding is 4/27/11.

As RBR-TVBR previously reported, the event was originally scheduled for 3/27/11. The reason for the delay was the fear that a late-March kick-off could result in an auction that carries into the 4/0/11 kick-off of the 2011 NAB convention, which the FCC said could pose a hardship on small businesses that wished to both participate in the auction and attend the NAB event.

Two previously listed allotments, slated for Tuba City AZ and Union Gap WA, were already reserved for use. A third in Ennis MT was inadvertently listed twice. The subtraction of these three is what brought the total down from 147 to 144.

Two proposals put forth by Mullaney Engineering were dismissed, not on their merits, but because they were beyond the scope of the immediate proceeding.

Mullaney suggested that allotments that fail to draw a bid be immediately deleted, since their continued existence on the table could hinder proposals to change frequency or city of license by existing stations. Mullaney also proposed that the requirement to submit a permit payment be eliminated when there is only one bidder on a particular frequency. The FCC said that in both cases this was not the proper forum in which to consider the proposals.

The filing window is now open from 1/31/11 through 2/10/11. Upfront payments will be due 3/21/11 and a mock auction will be held 4/25/11. A list of available station is available from the FCC here.