This one’s interesting. Houston Christian Broadcasters was one of the also-rans in a comparative hearing for an FM CP in Caldwell TX (eventually KALD-FM CP).
But the winner, Philos Broadcast Inc., sold the CP to HCB. HCB then proposed a minor change that would eliminate much of the station’s expected coverage to the west while adding coverage in all three other directions.
It said 2,262 people would lose first service, but 2,081 would gain, a de minimis loss.
However, the FCC turned them down, saying they could not cut out any citizens who were to get first service in a case that was decided on merit by a comparative hearing. It may modify the license to the extent possible, but it cannot abandon the 2,262 citizens.
The FCC explained that it considers such competing applications simultaneously based on a population “snapshot” and will not consider the inevitable fluctuations in population. It does not want any downgrades of service to the area that was awarded a station on merit in the first place. And HCB cannot change the license of the station it bought, even though it competed for the same allocation in the first place.