Should Australians Own U.S. Radio Assets?
If two Australians seeking to boost their ownership percentage in U.S. radio stations are allowed to do that, it would set a precedent.
Husband and wife team Richard and Sharon Burns jointly own 20% of Frontier Media, consisting of a total 29 stations in Alaska, Texas and Arkansas. They’ve asked the FCC for a ruling on whether they can increase that ownership percentage to 100%.
Their broker Cliff Gardiner told RBR+TVBR recently that’s what makes the case unusual. The Burns are Australian citizens who have work Visa’s for the U.S.
They moved to Juneau, Alaska in 2006 to manage the stations owned by Roy Paschal and have managed the stations for several years. They tell the commission in their petition Richard has managed the Alaska stations for 10 years and the Texarkana stations for three years and understand FCC rules.
Granting the request, they say, poses “no national security or other threat” to the U.S.
The commission is now taking public comments on their petition (due August 5 to MB Docket 16-212.)