Here Comes FM Translator ‘MX’ Resolution


A Public Notice released Friday (10/19) by the FCC officially put the wheels in motion on “Auction 100,” and seeks comment on the procedures to be used for the “closed” auction.

This means only certain entities outlined by the Commission will be eligible for further auction participation.

Auction 100 is being held to resolve groups of pending mutually exclusive (MX) applications for cross-service FM translator construction permits.

Competitive bidding is the tool that will be used to resolve the MX situation.

With a comment date of November 15 and a reply comment date of November 28, the Wireless Telecommunications and Media Bureaus anticipate that the bidding for Auction 100 will commence in FY 2019.

The Bureaus will announce a schedule for bidding in Auction 100 by public notice, so as to
provide applicants with sufficient time to submit upfront payments and prepare for the auction.

At stake are mutually exclusive engineering proposals for construction permits for up to 13 new cross-service FM translator stations.

A PDF outlining all MX CPs for FM translators indicates that iHeartMedia, Red Wolf Broadcasting Corp., Family Stations, NRG Broadcasting, Salem Media Group, Townsquare Media and Radiohio will be eligible to participate.

Key markets include Norfolk; Columbus, Ohio; Nassau-Suffolk; Miami; Louisville; and Mobile.

Right now, the Bureaus seek comment on whether certain competitive bidding rules should be waived for any Auction 100 applicants with any of the same controlling interests, as they did for such applicants in Auction 99.