KOA conspiracy theory shot down


Did Clear Channel’s KOA-AM in Denver (still displaying the not-forgotten and not-quite-gone-yet Jacor brand in the licensee) conspire with itself to deny citizens of that market emergency information? John Ravetti thinks so and says its grounds to deny the company a license renewal for the AM blowtorch. In particular, Ravetti said KOA dropped the ball during the "2002 Hayman Fire" and that on other occasions it failed to broadcast EAS weather warnings. Clear Channel reacted with a head scratch, since the EAS system is triggered by "national, state or local authorities." It was further in the dark about the ignored weather emergencies, since Ravetti did not bother to provide any details. The FCC noted its limited ability to inject its own opinion into programming and news decisions. Finally, Ravetti complained that the station had failed to respond to his complaints. The FCC noted that KOA’s only responsibility is to put Ravetti’s complaints in its public file. "Licensees may, of course, take listener comments and complaints about station operations into account, but there is no requirement that they do so."

RBR/TVBR observation: It’s good to have it confirmed by the Commission that every wacky, off-the-wall or otherwise misguided consumer communication need not require a thoughtful response and plan of action. Just make sure you get it in the right file — make sure it doesn’t go into that circular one.