FCC won’t stop sale of Houston AM station


FCCHeritage African-American radio outlet KCOH-AM is being transferred to a non-profit entity sure to change its format, a situation that drew informal objections from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) and Rev. Jesse Jackson. But the objections made no headway at the FCC.

The 1430 kHz station is going from the Estate of Michael Petrizzo to La Promesa Foundation in a combination sale/donation deal valued at $2.766M.

The petitioners acknowledged that La Promesa is a qualified licensee, but feared the loss of radio service to Houston’s African-American community, and also used the occasion to protest the lack of airwave diversity in general.

As usual in cases such as this, the FCC stated that it was not authorized to consider programming when considering the approval of a transaction, and KCOH was no exception.

It also noted the offer of Liberman Broadcasting to provide KCOH a new home on 1230 kHz via LMA, on the channel currently used by its own KQUE-AM. According to the FCC, the calls will likely move to that location on the dial. The FCC also said the LMA is apparently on track to begin 3/1/13.

It said that Lee and Jackson’s broader complaints on media diversity were indeed worthy of consideration, but not within the context of the KCOH transaction. It acknowledged that the topic was currently under consideration and stated that their objections would be included in the record of that proceeding.