Radio Resurrection: An Arizona AM Returns From Deletion


It’s been an interesting year for an AM radio station in Coolidge, Ariz., that ran afoul of the Commission’s rules on tower fences, improper transmitter power, staffing, and the absence of EAS logs.

On June 29, the Media Bureau of the FCC dismissed an application from the station’s owner, Cortaro Broadcasting Corp., to renew the station’s license. This led to a license cancellation and the deletion of its call sign from the FCC database.

Now, the station’s call letters have been restored, with the facility being brought back from the end — with conditions that could yield a license revocation hearing.

The station at the focus of the Petition for Reconsideration decided today (11/8) by the Media Bureau is Cortaro’s Class B KCKY-AM in Coolidge, Ariz., which uses the two towers for its 5kw daytime/1kw nighttime facility.

Media Bureau staff dismissed the renewal application pursuant to the Commission’s “red light” rules, which prohibit grant of an application when an applicant is delinquent on debts owed to the Commission.

But, it seems the Media Bureau went a little too far in its actions.

The Bureau affirmed the staff’s dismissal of the renewal application, explaining that Cortaro could have sought a waiver, reduction or deferral of its regulatory fees and raised public interest factors such as “reduced minority ownership” in area broadcast facilities, but did not.

Cortaro also failed to establish that the Commission “is  statutorily obligated to grant” a renewal application if the criteria set forth in Section 309(k)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934 are met.

Nevertheless, the cancellation of the KCKY license and call letter deletion were “premature” and have been reversed.

That’s not to say Cortaro can celebrate a victory. “Concurrent with our decision herein, the Media Bureau is initiating a proceeding under Section 9(c)(3) of the Act and Section 1.1164(f) of the Rules to revoke KCKY’s license for failure to pay delinquent regulatory fees owed to the Commission.”


In other FCC News today:

InSite Wireless Group has closed on its acquisition of broadcasters towers in New Mexico and Texas from Ramar Communications. Ramar owns towers in Texas, along with radio and television stations in Texas, New Mexico, and Colorado. InSite Wireless Group owns more than 1,700 telecommunications towers and sites for wireless carriers across North America and Canada. Kalil & Co. was the exclusive broker for this transaction.