High FCC hurdle for tailor-made market analyses


Thumbs DownAn attempt to block a non-Arbitron market multi-station deal using an analysis that ignores the contour overlap methodology used by the FCC for analyzing local cap compliance has been turned down.

The stations are KRAO-FM, KCLX-AM, KMAX-AM Colfax WA and KZZL-FM Pullman WA. The stations were sold by Palouse Country Inc. to Inland Northwest Broadcasting LLC. The objection came fro Radio Palouse Inc. The FCC release noted that it was in relation to its grant of the deal way back on 12/11/07.

RPI argued that the in this particular case, using the contour overlap method was inappropriate and requested that only the stations existing in three communities should have been used to judge the permissibility of the combination.

The FCC found two reasons to deny the request of RPI.

In the first place, RPI’s argument was based on opinion and estimation – and failed to contain any factual evidence.

But mainly, the FCC put the contour method into place for a reason. The FCC explained, “The Bureau also observed that the Commission expressly rejected the type of case-by-case market analysis advocated by RPI when it revised the multiple ownership rules in the 2003 Ownership Order, for reasons of transparency, regulatory certainty, and administrative efficiency.

The FCC found no errors in its reasoning on reconsideration, and its prior decision to grant the transaction stands.