Simmons Waco sale approved over St. Louis-tied objection


Simmons-Austin LS LLC filed to sell KLRK(FM) Marlin; KRQX(AM) and KRQX-FM Mexia; and KRZI(AM), Waco, all in the Waco TX market, to M&M Broadcasters. But the transaction drew an informal objection from Daryl O’Neal, who holds that Simmons lacks “the basic qualifications to be a Commission licensee due to its alleged misrepresentation and lack of candor during the investigation of Station KSLG(AM)” out of St. Louis MO. The FCC sided with Simmons.

The St. Louis situation took place in between October 1 2006 and January 31 2007. KSLG, which operate with 5 kW days and 1 kW at night, apparently had the day power going when it shouldn’t have been at times during the period. The issue was resolved via a consent decree, with Simmons admitting no wrong-doing and making a $25K voluntary contribution to the US Treasury.

The KSLG situation, and Simmons’ representation of it to the Commission, was the basis of the objection, and the FCC wasn’t buying it.

In the first place, said the FCC, misdeeds at one station do not necessarily impugn a licensee at its other stations, making the events at KSLG irrelevant when considering the Waco-area stations.

In the second place, the FCC said that “in substance,” O’Neal was questioning the findings that resulted in the consent decree. In that, it was extremely untimely, by a period of several years.

The FCC concluded, “Based on the evidence presented in the record, we find that O’Neal has failed to raise a substantial and material question of fact warranting further inquiry. We further find Simmons-Austin to be fully qualified to assign, and M&M fully qualified to be the licensee of the Stations and that grant of the Applications will further the public interest, convenience, and necessity,” and granted the transfer.