Minority CP buyer petitions FCC for help on construction deadlines


Jose Antonio Aguilar has worked out a deal to acquire five commercial FM CPs in Texas, but to make his plan work, he needs more time to construct at least some of them. He said to deny a waiver based on the recent Third Circuit remand to redefine an “eligible entity” would be “…inequitable in the extreme to Aguilar and similarly situated minorities.”

Aguilar proposes to buy the CPs from KM Communications Inc. for $96.5K cash. Two of the five CPs are effective until early 2014, but the other three come due in February or March of 2012.

In a request for a waiver, the buyer noted that the court action was recent, and that the hold-up was specifically to determine if the FCC’s policy promotes the goal of diversity. Aguilar argues that this particular deal, it most certainly does promote diversity since he is an ethnic minority. The waiver stated, “In this case, granting Aguilar a waiver of the construction period rule will follow the Court’s order and directly increase minority ownership and operation of broadcast stations.”

Failing that, Aguilar asks that the CP expiration date be tolled until such time as the issue between the FCC and the Court is settled.

The stations include:

* An FM CP in Trent TX (with a signal to the east of and abutting Abilene TX), a Class C3 on 92.1 MHz with 13 kW @ 456’;

* An FM CP in Cotulla TX, a Class C3 on 96.3 MHz with 13.5 MHz @ 449’;

* An FM CP in Big Wells TX, a Class A on 102.1 MHz with 3.1 kW @ 459’;

* An FM CP in Sabinal TX, a Class C3 on 107.1 MHz with 14 kW @ 442’ (all three preceding stations are in unrated territory south of San Antonio, with Cotula and Big Wells stations forming a duopoly);

* An FM CP in Hebbronville TX (east of Laredo), a Class C3 on 98.7 MHz with 13 kW @ 459’.
Aguilar already owns KEWP-FM CP Uvalde TX.

The Cotulla and Big Wells CPs expire 2/9/12; the Trent CP expires 3/17/11; and the Sabinal and Hebbronville CPs expire 2/28/14.

Aguilar’s request for a waiver can be read here.

RBR-TVBR observation: There may very well be a good reason for the courts and the FCC to put on their Noah Webster hats and play around with the nuances of affirmative action lexicography. But there are real people with real investments out there that will be hurt while that is going on. This is of course the ultimate absurdity – the powers that be, in trying to promote minority ownership, put ownership by an ethnic minority in jeopardy.