Why Small Market Owner is Out


FCCOne radio owner is so ticked off at the FCC and the state of the broadcasting business in general, he’s turned in his license.

Radio Dalhart’s George Chambers filed a “Notice of Suspension of Operations” with the commission this week, telling the agency his station actually went dark in April.

KXQK-FM is licensed to Comstock, Texas. It had an ERP of 6,000 watts @ 328’ HAAT.

Under “reason for going silent,” which could be for technical, financial, staffing or programming reasons, he checked off “other,” telling the commission he’s surrendering his CP and asking for the call sign to be deleted.

Telling the agency he began as a DJ in 1972, the moved to engineering and has been an owner since 1982. “Over the years I have seen the Federal Communications Commission go from a governing and licensing agency to a money grabbing small business killer with unjustified regulatory fee increases yearly and the threat of excessive fines daily,” he writes.

He cites obstacles preventing him from building a new station from environmental, tribal and others “created by the FCC and government agencies have all but shut down many projects before they can even begin.” Constructing a new tower site is just not feasible for small broadcasters, he says.

Chambers thanks the FCC staff for their help but says he is “out of steam.”


  1. Anyone that has tried to build a tower and found out that they had to file a with the FAA, then TCNS (Tower Construction Notification System (TCNS), Fish & Wildlife, State Historic (SHPO), Tribal Historic (THPO), Local Government, State Aeronautical Commissions that it will tens of thousands of dollars.

    Each Indian Tribe that ever set foot in your state (can be dozens) will want hundreds of dollars from you, and may require an archeologist to go check for arrowheads.

    Now that doesn’t mean you will get permission after spending all that.

    The Tribal part (Indian) is the most frustrating because you are dealing with a sovereign nation that can charge whatever it wants with zero accountability. Nuts!

    Towers should be exempt from tribal considerations if you are removing a small amount of dirt. Why is that you can build a Walmart with no tribal problems, but if you did 5’x5′ hole in the ground have to get permission from 26 Indian tribes wanting $800 ea? Heck, why just be able to sift the dirt before can get a permit and take a picture email it and have an archeologist sign off?

  2. I hear you George. We run “out of gas” with all the government B.S. If we could use B.S. as fossil fuel, we’d be flying high!

    (My name will be held against me, unless its Clinton).

  3. I’m sorry this station is off the air. But the govmint is NOT responsible for every problem. If you want to try the “non-govmint” theory, there are places you can do that… Somalia comes to mind.

  4. Ed is exactly correct about the obstacles in getting things done, especially towers. That tribal notification situation is dire. So many people are up in arms about Carrier leaving the country, but Carrier is simply executing a survival plan. If I could move my radio station business to Mexico I would do so in a minute. Not only do we contend with regulation and interference with business, but the fact that as soon as you become an employer you are considered a BAD PERSON by the government is strangling employment. Workers compensation, matching taxes, unemployment, slip and fall, sex – age – race and other claims – all vexing to an employer, and all backed up by unlimited legal resources of the government. In this country, unfortunately, your worst business decision is to hire your next employee. I have decentralized our operation and now have no employees, only contractors. Wonderful people, all. All that being said, I am fortunate to have a profitable operation in a top-75 market, and do not take that lightly. Not everyone gets to do what I do.

  5. It is incredible as we all suffered (and continue to) through this devastated economy that the FCC continued to raise fees each and every year. In addition, they seem to go out of their way to create as many new radio stations as they can simply to add more regulatory fees to their coffers. Gone is the day when small markets could actually make a profit when only a few radio stations were authorized to a community. Their latest actions are laughable. Instead of deleting radio ownership restrictions which would allow small markets to consolidate under one ownership and actually make money which would benefit the community, they instead want to believe we are still in the 1980’s. What a joke!

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