M&M Broadcasters, Ltd.
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554September 5, 2012
In Reply Refer to:
Anne Goodwin Crump, Esq.
Released: September 5, 2012
Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, P.L.C.
1300 N. 17th Street, 11th Floor
Arlington, Virginia 22209
Facility ID Number: 21494
File No: BPH-20091211AFR
Dear Ms. Crump:
This letter refers to the minor change application (the “Application”) of M & M Broadcasters, Ltd.
(“M & M”), licensee of Station KWBT(FM), Channel 285A, Mexia, Texas. The Application proposes a
city of license modification for Station KWBT(FM) from Mexia, Texas, to Bellmead, Texas. For the
reasons discussed below, we request additional information from M & M regarding the proposed
modification of Station KWBT-FM to Bellmead, Texas.
Background.The Application was filed pursuant to Section 73.3573(g) of the Commission’s Rules,1
which sets forth the requirements for modification of an FM Station license to specify a new community of
license without providing an opportunity for competing expressions of interest. Among other
requirements, an application for such a minor modification must demonstrate that the proposed change of
community constitutes a preferential arrangement of allotments in comparison with its current service.2
We make this determination using the FM allotment priorities set forth in Revision of FM Assignment
Policies and Procedures.3
In the Application, M & M claims that its proposal satisfies Priority 3 of the FM allotment priorities,
because the proposed city of license modification could provide a first local service to Bellmead, Texas, a
community with a 2008 U.S. Census population of 9,579 persons. It states that Station KLRK(AM) would
continue to provide local service to Mexia.
1 47 C.F.R. § 73.3573(g).
2 See Modification of FM and TV Authorizations to Specify a New Community of License (“Community of License”),
Report and Order, 4 FCC Rcd 4870 (1989), recon. granted in part, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 5 FCC Rcd
7094 (1990) (“Community of License Reconsideration Order”).
3 Revision of FM Assignment Policies and Procedures, Second Report and Order, 90 FCC 2d 88 (1982). The FM
allotment priorities are: (1) First fulltime aural service, (2) Second fulltime aural service, (3) First local service and
(4) Other public interest matters. Co-equal weight is given to Priorities (2) and (3).
M & M proposes to relocate Station KWBT(FM) within the Waco Urbanized Area (“UA”). The
proposed facilities would substantially expand service in the UA and cover 84 percent of the UA with its
predicted 70 dBu signal. The station is not located within any urbanized area, nor does its 70dBu signal
contour cover any part of any urbanized area.4 In situations such as this, when a station’s proposed
community is located in an urbanized area or the station could, through a minor modification application,
cover at least 50 percent of an urbanized area, the Commission has established a rebuttable presumption
that the application should be treated, for Section 307(b) purposes, as a proposal to serve the urbanized
area rather the named community of license.5
On August 30, 2011, following release of Rural Radio, M & M submitted an “Updated Section 307(b)
Showing Regarding Bellmead, Texas” (“Updated Showing”) In its supplement, M & M argues that
Bellmead is culturally divided from the rest of the Waco UA, because the residents of Bellmead are
predominantly non-Caucasian. M& M therefore contends that it is essential for Station KWBT(FM), the
top-rated station in the Waco market providing programming oriented to African-Americans, to better
serve its listeners by moving closer to Bellmead. M & M further argues that the proposed relocation
would advance the public interest by enhancing the financial support for the station so that it can continue
its sole service to the African-American community in the Waco market.
Discussion.Because Priorities 1 and 2 of our allotment priorities do not apply to the present
circumstances, we proceed to evaluate the Application under Priorities 3 and 4. In applying the three-
prong Tuck test for independence (Priority 3 status), we look first at the degree to which the station can
provide coverage to the urbanized area. In this case, the extent of coverage (84 percent) of the Waco UA
is a very persuasive factor that favors application of the presumption and the treatment of this move-in as
one to serve the Waco market, rather than the specified community of Bellmead.
We turn next to the size and proximity of the proposed community of license relative to the central city
of the urbanized area. Bellmead, the proposed community of license, has a 2010 population of 9,901
persons, while Waco, the central city of the urbanized area, has a 2010 population of 124,805. Bellmead
thus has a population that is 7.9 percent of the population of Waco. Bellmead is located approximately 4.4
miles from Waco. Based on the extreme disparity in size and the close proximity of the two communities,
we also find that the presumption should apply here.
The third prong of the Tuck test, the interdependence of the proposed community of license and the
urbanized area, is based on examination of the eight factors set forth in that decision.6 Although Bellmead
4 Although KWBT(FM) is not treated as serving the Waco UA for the purpose of applying the urbanized area
service presumption, it is a rated station in the Waco market. See M & M Updated Section 307(b) Showing
Regarding Bellmead, Texas (submitted August 30, 2011).
5 See Policies to Promote Rural Radio Service and to Streamline Allotment an Assignment Procedures, Second
Report and Order, First Order On Reconsideration, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making, 26 FCC
Rcd 2556 (2011), petitions for recon. pending (“Rural Radio”). The Commission further provided that this
presumption may be rebutted by a compelling showing of the independence of the community from the urbanized
area, the community’s specific need for an outlet for local expression, and the ability of the proposed station to
provide that outlet. Id. at 2572, ¶ 30.
6 In its Rural Radio decision, the Commission stated that factor five, pertaining to zip codes and telephone
directories, is one that has “become increasingly anachronistic, and accordingly will not be given as much weight.”
Rural Radio, 26 FCC Rcd at 2572, ¶30. M & M states that Bellmead has two zip codes, 76704 and 76705, but does
not indicate whether it has its own local telephone directory.
has its own local government and provides its own municipal services, bus service is provided by the
Waco Transit System. In addition, a large majority of Bellmead residents work in the larger metropolitan
area, rather than in Bellmead itself.7 Perhaps most significant, we find that Bellmead and Waco are part of
the same advertising market.8 Although the evidence is mixed under the third Tuck prong, we conclude
that the record is insufficient to overcome our findings under prongs one and two, and therefore that M&M
has failed to demonstrate that Bellmead is independent of the Waco UA.
An applicant seeking to rebut the Rural Radio urbanized area service presumption must show both that
the specified community is both independent and has a need for an outlet of local expression.9 With regard
to the latter criterion, M & M argues that Bellmead is “culturally divided from the overall Waco
metropolitan area . . . .”10 Using MSA data, it notes that the Caucasian population of Bellmead is 34.5
percent while the Caucasian population of the Waco MSA is 69.8 percent. M & M fails to explain why
these data are evidence of “cultural barriers”11 and especially why non-Caucasian population data are
relevant to establishing the need for an outlet whose programming is targeted to an African-American
audience. Accordingly, we find this argument unpersuasive. Moreover, to the extent that demographic
differences might evidence the presence of “cultural barriers,” the data here undermine M & M’s claim.
According to 2010 US Census data, the number of African-Americans living in Bellmead is 17.5 percent
and in Waco is 21.5 percent. That is, M & M’s self-avowed target audience is larger as a percentage of
population and vastly larger in absolute numbers in the Waco UA when compared to the African-
American population of Bellmead; thus, to the extent these data are relevant, they support application of
the presumption here. Accordingly, the proposed change of community will be treated as a proposal to
serve the Waco UA, rendering Priority 3 inapplicable. We therefore will examine the proposal under
Priority 4, other public interest considerations.
Under Priority 4, we take into account transmission services, reception services, population gains, and
other information relevant to the public interest. M & M asserts that the Bellmead has experienced a
growth in population of 7.5 percent from 2000 to 2010, but that is less than the rate of growth for Waco,
the principal city of the urbanized area, which increased its population by 9.7 percent during the same time
period. M & M asserts that, although “KWBT is not currently located within the Waco urbanized area, it
is already a part of the Waco radio market.” M & M further argues that the public interest would be served
7 M & M reports that 39.1 percent of Bellmead residents work in that community.
8 M & M states that Bellmead has (unnamed) online publications and a monthly newsletter, the Bellmead Bulletin.
However, we find it significant that the Waco Tribune-Herald both covers news and community events in Bellmead
and has a large circulation in the two zip codes assigned to Bellmead. Under these circumstances, we find that
Bellmead is part of the Waco advertising market, despite having some minor local media outlets. See Charles Town,
West Virginia, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 21 FCC Rcd 1521, 1523 (MB 2006) (“Insofar as Tuck factor (7) is
concerned, we cannot make a favorable finding even though Stephens City has some local media under Tuck factor
9 See Rural Radio, 26 FCC Rcd at 2573 (“In addition to demonstrating independence, a compelling showing
sufficient to rebut the urbanized area service presumption must also include evidence of the community’s need for
an outlet of local expressing. . . . For example, an applicant may rely on factors such as . . . physical, geographical,
or cultural barriers separating the community from the remainder of the urbanized area.”).
10 Updated Showing at 4.
11 Rural Radio, 26 FCC Rcd at 2537.
by the proposed relocation, because it would “enhanc[e] the financial support for the station so that it can
continue its sole service to the African-American community in the market.”
M & M’s emphasis on KWBT’s programming, purportedly directed to the African-American segment
of the Waco market, is misplaced. It is well-settled that a determination under Section 307(b) of the
Communications Act must focus on comparing the needs of competing communities for an additional
service.12 Moreover, the Commission has rejected public interest showings premised on the argument that
specific types of programming are uniquely appealing to certain population segments of a station’s
potential audience,13 or that minority segments of a community should be considered independently of the
interests of the community as a whole.14 Finally, to the extent that M&M argues that KWBT fills a unique
programming need for the Waco market, we note that the station is free to change its format and
programming at any time.15
We therefore do not find that the relocation is supported by the alleged need for KWBT’s current
programming. Consistent with the Commission’s stated goal of protecting listeners in smaller
communities and rural areas from the loss of needed transmission and reception services, we conclude that
the public interest would be better served by retention of Station KWBT as a second local transmission
service at Mexia,16 rather than by the addition of an eighth local transmission service at Waco.17
Conclusion.For the reasons discussed above, we find that M & M’s 307(b) showing is deficient.
Accordingly, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 73.3522(c)(2), M & M Broadcasters, Ltd., shall have a period of
thirty (30) days from the date of this letter to correct all deficiencies in the tenderability and acceptability
of the underlying application, File No. BPH-20091211AFR, including any deficiency not specifically
identified by the staff. Upon the expiration of thirty (30) days from the date of this letter, any remaining
uncorrected tender and/or acceptance defects in the application will be grounds for dismissal of the
application, with no further opportunity for corrective amendment.
12 Suburbanaire, Inc., Decision, 104 FCC2d 909 (Rev.Bd. 1986) (“Suburbanaire”) (“Section 307(b) addresses the
needs and entitlements of competing ‘communities’ for new or improved broadcast services, not on indigenous
applicant (or audience) characteristics,” citing Debra D. Carrigan, Decision, 100 FCC2d 721 (Rev.Bd. 1985)).
13 Suburbanaire, supra.
14 See WHW Enterprises, Inc., Decision, 89 FCC2d 799 (Rev.Bd. 1982), aff’d in pertinent part, 753 F.2d 1132
(D.C.Cir. 1985), and cases cited therein. See also Riverside Amusement Park Company, Inc., Memorandum Opinion
and Order, 69 FCC2d 1040, 1042 (1978) (“On two separate occasions, we have rejected the contention that a
particular racial or ethnic group should constitute a ‘community’ for allocation purposes”), citing Grantell
Broadcasting, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23 FCC2d 74 (1970); and 1360 Broadcasting Co., Inc., Decision,
36 FCC 1478 (Rev.Bd. 1964).
15 See FCC v. WNCN Listeners Guild, 450 US 582 (1981) (upholding Commission reliance on market forces, rather
than licensing procedures, to influence licensee format and programming decisions). See also Mr. Rod Kovel and
John W. Zucker, Esq., Letter, 23 FCC Rcd 1884 (MB 2008) (rejecting license renewal objections based on format
and programming issues); and Tri-State “Like It Is” Support Coalition, Letter, 26 FCC Rcd 362 (MB 2011)
(declining to consider lack of programming responsive to the needs of African-American community in license
renewal application proceeding), and cases cited therein.
16 The other local transmission service in Mexia is provided by Station KLRK(AM).
17 Waco currently has five local FM stations (WACO-FM, KBCT(FM), KBGO(FM), KWTX-FM, and KWBU-FM)
and three local AM stations (KBBW(AM), KWTX(AM), and KRZI(AM)).
For further information concerning this case, contact Deborah A. Dupont or Rolanda Faye Smith,
Media Bureau, (202)418-2700.
Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
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