Demise predicted for Channel 6 radio stations


If Peter Doyle, Chief, Audio Division, Media Bureau at the FCC had the authority, radio stations operating as low-power TV stations on Channel 6 licenses would be shut down already. But even thought that’s under his colleagues in the Video Division, Doyle predicts that the operations won’t last much longer.

During a session at last week’s Radio Show in Washington, DC, a broadcaster from a non-commercial FM station asked Doyle when stations such as his might get relief from interference from such “Franken-stations.” Channel 6 is immediately adjacent to the reserved non-commercial section of the FM band, beginning at 88.1 MHz. The LPTV stations pitching their audio as a radio station generally brand themselves as being at 87.9.

“I am persuaded that these stations cannot possibly be operating in technical compliance with the television technical rules,” Doyle said. He also questioned how they could comply with their public service and other requirements. Doyle wants them shut down and is delivering that message to the people at the FCC responsible for LPTV licensing.

Of course, such operations will have to stop operating as analog FM radio stations when the FCC requires all LPTV stations to go digital, just as all full-power TV stations have already done. But Doyle told the Radio Show audience he believes the problem with the 87.9 stations will be resolved before that time.

RBR-TVBR observation: To the best of our knowledge, none of the licensees of these LPTV “Franken-stations” are doing the radio programming themselves, but rather are leasing them to other parties. However, any FCC fines will be the responsibility of the licensee.