Non-profit licensee of commercial WFMT denied Form 323 waiver


Window to the World Communications Inc., the licensee of long-time Chicago Classical station WFMT-FM, would like the FCC to honor the noncommercial status of the corporation rather than the commercial status of the radio station when it comes to filling out the new enhanced disclosure ownership Form 323. The FCC said no dice.

WWCI would prefer to use the noncommercial version of the ownership form, 323-E, which is available for the use of noncommercial stations. That would allow its board members to avoid acquiring a FCC Registration Numbers, and in turn would eliminate the need for them to provide the FCC with their Social Security numbers. WWCI said that in its case, this requirement was “unduly burdensome, inequitable, and contrary to the public interest.”

The FCC said that other noncom licensees with commercial stations are using the commercial form without complaint, and that provisions have been made to ease the acquisition of FRNs.

Finally, it said that “…waiving the filing requirement for WWCI would undermine the purpose of the recent changes to the Form 323 and the new filing requirements. The Commission adopted changes to increase the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the minority and female ownership data collected. We continue to believe that obtaining the most comprehensive ownership information will further our objectives for use and reliance on the data. Therefore, compliance with the rules would serve the public interest better than grant of a waiver in this case.”