Why LPFM Lost Cancelled License Appeal


FCCIgnorance of the law didn’t save a low-power FM from having its license cancelled and its call letters deleted from the FCC’s database.

The commission Friday denied a request from former licensee Buffalo Baptist Church, asking the agency to review a previous decision.

BBC said it was a “novice” licensee of DKBTG-LP, Buffalo, Wyoming and not represented by an attorney. That’s why BBC didn’t know a station may only remain dark for 12 consecutive months. The former licensee told the commission it thought the deadline to resume operations would be longer because the station was already dark when BBC acquired it and BBC has a construction permit deadline that was valid beyond the May 5, 2015 deadline to go back on the air.

The Media Bureau rejected both arguments, saying it expected BBC to move the station to its new location and resume operations 90 days after closing. The bureau has discretion to allow leniency when the licensee can’t get a station back on the air because of circumstances beyond its control and that wasn’t the case here.

The full commission reviewed the bureau decision and found no mistakes so the decision stands.