In October of 2009, The President and Trustees of Miami University of Ohio tried to sell their unbuilt CP for WMUI-FM in Rushville IN to Rush County Schools, only to run into objections from Martin L. Hensley. The FCC has decided to approve the deal.
The station is to be sold for $2K. It will be a Class A on 91.9 MHz with 225 w @ 263’.
Henley charged that RCS was already working on construction of the station well before getting FCC approval, and that MU never planned on building the station in the first place.
Hensley’s first petition came within the 30-day deadline to file an objection, but came without affidavit in support of his allegations. He filed again in December with remedial documents included, but by then his objection was no longer timely.
The FCC addressed it anyway, as an informal complaint.
An MU executive addressed the matter of intention in a declaration under penalty of perjury, testifying that the University planned on building the station but was forced to abandon its plans due to unforeseen budgetary constraints. Since Hensley’s charges on that count were unsupported, the FCC said that was enough to carry the day in favor of allowing the transaction to go forward.
As for the charge of premature construction, the FCC said there is no problem with getting an early start, prior to approval, for a great number of construction activities, up to building a tower base.
The FCC briefly explained what types of actions are allowed and which are not: “These include site clearance, pouring of concrete footings for a tower, installation of a tower base and anchors, installation of a new power line, equipment purchases, and on-site storage of equipment. Other actions, such as installation of an antenna, transmitter, transmission line, and related inside wiring linking these facilities together, constitute prohibited premature construction steps.”
RCS had not gotten anywhere near the prohibited construction steps, so the deal was cleared on this count as well.
RBR-TVBR observation: We would posit that there is circumstantial evidence that suggests Miami U. planned to build the station at the time it won the CP – the call letters. The “MU” is of no obvious value to Rush County Schools but it’s a pretty snug fit for the seller.