Could Randy Michaels Lose An FM’s License?


The FCC on Thursday adopted a hearing designation order pertaining to an FM radio station in north-central Michigan to determine whether the station’s license renewal application should be granted.

The station has operated just one day a year since it was initially licensed in 2010, most recently on Oct. 17, 2016.

The station is owned by Radioactive LLC, led by one Benjamin L. Homel.

He’s better known as Randy Michaels, the flamboyant former CEO of Tribune Co., iHeart predecessor Clear Channel Communications, and Jacor Communications.

Radioactive was licensed to operate WRAX in 2010. According to FCC documentation reviewed by RBR+TVBR, the station licensed for 250 watts at 98.9 MHz resumed operations for one day in late October or early November every year since.

A renewal application was filed in 2012 by Radioactive.

The last correspondence on file with the FCC pertaining to WRAX is a letter dated Nov. 4, 2016, sent from Media Bureau Audio Division Assistant Chief Lisa Scanlan to attorney Marissa G. Repp, Radioactive’s legal counsel.

In the letter, the Media Bureau grants Radioactive Special Temporary Authority (STA) to remain silent for no more than 180 days from the date of the letter. It notes that WRAX went silent on Oct. 17 “for staffing reasons.”

The hearing designation order will be conducted by paper filings, and enables the Commission to efficiently and fairly assess whether Radioactive has fulfilled its licensee obligations.

Under the hearing procedures set forth in the order, the full Commission, rather than an Administrative Law Judge, will determine whether the renewal application should be granted or denied.

Before today’s FCC action, WRAX’s broadcast license was set to expire on Oct. 18 had broadcast operations not resumed.