POST-TRANSITION DTV TABLE OF ALLOTMENTS, 47 C.F.R. 73.622(I), North Pole and Plattsburg, New York
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2443
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554In the Matter of
Amendment of Section 73.622(i), )
MM Docket No. 99-238
Post-Transition Table of )
(North Pole and Plattsburgh, New York) )
REPORT AND ORDER
Adopted: January 4, 2011
Released: January 5, 2011By the Chief, Video Division, Media Bureau:
At the request of Hearst-Argyle Stations, Inc. ("Hearst-Argyle"), licensee of station
WPTZ(DT), channel 14, North Pole, New York, the Commission has before it a Notice of
Proposed Rule Making,1 proposing to reallot channel 14 from North Pole to Plattsburgh, New
York, and to modify station WPTZ(DT)'s authorization to specify Plattsburgh as its community of
Hearst-Argyle filed comments.3 On March 5, 2010, Hearst-Argyle filed a supplement,
requesting that the Commission amend the Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments to reallot
channel 14 from North Pole to Plattsburgh,4 to modify station WPTZ(DT)'s community of license
from North Pole to Plattsburgh, and to further update the record. For the reasons discussed below,
we will grant Hearst-Argyle's requested reallotment of channel 14 to Plattsburgh in the Post-
Transition Table of DTV Allotments, and further grant its request to change WPTZ(DT)'s
community of license.
Background. This reallotment proposal was filed pursuant to Section 1.420(i) of the
1 North Pole and Plattsburgh, New York, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 14 FCC Rcd 10447 (MMB 1999)
2 At the time it filed its rule making petition, Hearst-Argyle was also operating WPTZ(TV) on analog channel 5 and
requested that the Commission amend the analog Table of Allotments, 47 C.F.R. 73.606(b), as well as the pre-
transition DTV Table of Allotments, 47 C.F.R. 73.622(b). Pursuant to the DTV Delay Act, Pub.L.No. 111-4, 123
Stat. 112 (2009), full-power television stations were required to cease providing an analog television service by June
13, 2009, and the Commission was directed to terminate all full-power television analog licenses. Thus, the
proposed amendment with respect to analog channel 5 is moot. Likewise, for this same reason, the request to amend
the pre-transition digital table of allotments is moot.
3 Mt. Mansfield Television, Inc., the licensee of station WCAX-TV, Burlington, Vermont, filed Comments and Reply
Comments opposing the proposed change in community of license, but withdrew its opposition by letter dated
December 14, 2010. As discussed below, we have concluded that the proposed rule amendment is consistent with our
allotment policies and would serve the public interest.
4 47 C.F.R. 73.622(i).
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2443Commission's Rules,5 which permits the modification of a station's license to specify a new
community of license without affording other interested parties an opportunity to file competing
expressions of interest.6 In considering a reallotment proposal, the Commission compares the
existing allotment versus the proposed allotment to determine whether the reallotment will result in
a preferential arrangement of allotments.7 In addition, Section 307(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934, as amended (the "Act"),8 requires that station assignments be made to "communities."9 A
specified place that is incorporated or listed in the U.S. Census qualifies as a "community."10 A
petitioner seeking an assignment to a place that is neither incorporated or listed in U.S. Census
reports is required to provide demographic data with its rulemaking petition demonstrating that the
place specified for allotment is a "geographically identifiable population grouping" that may be
considered a "community" for allotment purposes.11
In its rulemaking petition, Hearst-Argyle states that North Pole has always been a
small village which, over time, has shrunk, and that there are currently only four houses near North
Pole's main intersection. According to Hearst-Argyle, North Pole's sole attractions are "Santa's
Workshop," and its post office, which is only open for a few weeks around Christmas to handle
letters to "Santa." The NPRM issued in this proceeding also observes that North Pole was not listed
in the 1990 U.S. Census and appears to lack any of the indicia upon which the Commission
routinely relies to determine community status, such as local schools, a library, community
organizations or local businesses, with the exception of "Santa's Workshop." Thus, the NPRM
questiones whether North Pole continues to qualify as a community for allotment purposes.12 The
NPRM found that Plattsburgh, on the other hand, clearly qualifies as a community for allotment
purposes since it has a 1990 U.S. Census population of 17,231 persons, its own local government,
5 47 C.F.R. 1.420(i).
6 See Modification of FM and TV Authorizations to Specify a New Community of License, Report and Order, 4 FCC
Rcd 4870 (1989), recon. granted in part, 5 FCC Rcd 7094 (1990).
7 This determination is based upon the television allotment priorities set forth in Amendment of Section 3.606 of the
Commission's Rules and Regulations, Sixth Report and Order, 41 F.C.C. 148, 167-173 (1952). The television
allotment priorities are to: (1) provide at least one television service to all parts of the United States; (2) provide each
community with at least one television broadcast station; (3) provide a choice of at least two television services to all
parts of the United States; (4) provide each community with at least two television broadcast stations; and (5) assign
any remaining channels to communities based on population, geographic location, and the number of television
services available to the community from stations located in other communities.
8 47 U.S.C. 307(b).
9 In the Matter of FM Assignment Policies and Procedures, Second Report and Order, 90 FCC 2d 88, 101 (1982)
("Assignment Policies and Procedures"). See also Mighty-Mac Broadcasting Co., 101 FCC 2d 303 (Rev. Bd. 1985).
10 Assignment Policies and Procedures, 90 FCC 2d at 101.
12 NPRM, 14 FCC Rcd at 1048.
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2443police and fire departments and educational institutions, as well as numerous religious institutions
and businesses.13 Finally, the NPRM recognizes that the proposed channel reallotment will result
in the removal of North Pole's sole local television broadcast service in order to provide Plattsburgh
with its second local and first commercial television service.14 The NPRM, however, tentatively
concludes that North Pole may no longer qualify as a community for allotment purposes, and that
because there is no proposed change in the station's transmitter site, there will be no loss of
reception service by anyone presently receiving WPTZ(DT)'s signal.15
4. In its comments, Hearst-Argyle reiterates that North Pole no longer has sufficient
attributes or indicia to qualify as a "community" for allotment purposes. Hearst-Argyle also asserts
that Plattsburgh is clearly a community for allotment purposes, with a Census 2000 population of
11,190, its own local government, police department, fire department, post office, public and
private secondary schools, local newspaper, religious institutions, and a Chamber of Commerce. In
addition, the WPTZ(DT) main studio has been located in Plattsburgh since 1954, and Hearst-
Argyle argues that "it makes more sense to have WPTZ's community of license square with its
main studio location."
5. Discussion. Channel 14 is the only channel allotted to North Pole. We recognize that
the Commission has stated its reluctance to remove a community's sole local broadcast service.16
After reviewing the record in this proceeding, however, we conclude that North Pole no longer
remains a community for allotment purposes. Thus, the change in community of license will not
deprive a community of its sole existing broadcast station because North Pole is no longer a
community within the meaning of Section 307(b) of the Act.
As noted above, North Pole is not listed in the 1990 or 2000 U.S. Census, nor is it
incorporated.17 In determining whether an unincorporated location or location that is not listed
in U.S. Census reports qualifies as a community for allotment purposes, the Commission
typically considers "whether the location has sufficient attributes or indicia of `community,' such
as political, commercial, social and religious organizations and services serving the community .
. .."18 While it is not necessary for a location to have political boundaries or a local government,
13 Id. at 10449.
14 Noncommercial educational television station WCFE-TV, channel 38, is allotted and licensed to Plattsburgh.
15 NPRM, 14 FCC Rcd at 10448.
16 See Bessemer and Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Report and Order, 5 FCC Rcd 669 (1990), app. for rev. granted, 11
FCC Rcd 11585 (1996).
17 The coordinates for the North Pole allotment specify a location in Essex County, New York. The Essex County
website does not recognize North Pole as either a town or a village. See http://www.co.essex.ny.us/towns.aspx and
http://www.co.essex.ny.us/downloads/TownVillageClerks.pdf (accessed December 28, 2010). We also note that the
Rand McNally Commercial Atlas, while not an official source for population listings, attributes North Pole with a
population of only 70 people in 1998 and 2009.
18 Mighty-Mac Broadcasting Co., 101 FCC 2d at 305.
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2443the Commission has recognized that "there comes a point when a place has such a lack of
attributes that it is no longer qualified as a community."19 Here, North Pole does not have a local
school, police or fire department, library, community organization, newspaper, or business.
While "Santa's Workshop," which Hearst-Argyle characterizes as "a holiday novelty village,"20
advertises its location as North Pole, that tourist attraction is actually located in the town of
Wilmington, New York.21
In addition, the North Pole post office is a community post office
within "Santa's Workshop" in Wilmington that offers a "North Pole, NY" postal cancellation to
visitors of "Santa's Workshop" or persons who package their pre-stamped mail and send it to the
"North Pole Postmaster" at a P.O. Box in North Pole.22 In view of the record before us, we are
unable to conclude that North Pole has any of the indicia which the Commission routinely uses to
determine community status. We also conclude that Plattsburgh, with an identifiable population
grouping, local government, schools, businesses, and other indicia of community status clearly
qualifies as a community for allotment purposes. Finally, we note that because Hearst-Argyle
does not propose a move of the station's transmitter, there will be no loss of reception service to
any of the existing WPTZ(DT) service area.
7. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, That the Petition for Rule Making filed by Hearst-
Argyle Stations, Inc., licensee of station WPTZ(DT), Channel 14, North Pole, New York, IS
8. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That the Post-Transition Table of DTV Allotments,
Section 73.622(i) of the Commission's Rules, IS AMENDED for the communities listed below, to
read as follows:
City and State
North Pole, New York
19 Noalmark Broadcasting Corp., Report and Order, 50 R.R. 2d (P&F) 755, 756 (1981)(Commission granted change
in community of license from Humble City, New Mexico to Hobbs, New Mexico, concluding that Humble City, a
former oil company camp with no residents, business establishments or local government, was no longer a
community for Section 307(b) purposes).
20 March 5, 2010 Supplement to Petition for Rulemaking at p. 3. We note that Mt. Mansfield Television, Inc.,
which initially objected to the change in community of license, did not dispute this characterization of North Pole,
but instead argued that the channel was allotted to the Tri-Lakes area, which includes the communities of Lake
Tupper, Lake Placid and Saranac Lake, New York. Comments of Mt. Mansfield Television, Inc. at pp. 7-9.
21 See web site for Santa's Workshop, http://www.northpoleny.com/Directions.html, giving its location as 324
Whiteface Memorial Highway, Wilmington, New York.
22 NPRM, 14 FCC RCd at 10449; see also http://www.northpoleny.com/Postoffice.html.
Federal Communications Commission DA 10-2443Plattsburgh, New York
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That the authorization for station WPTZ(DT) IS
MODIFIED to reflect that the station's community of license is Plattsburgh, New York
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That the Commission will send a copy of this
Order to Congress and the Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, That this proceeding IS TERMINATED.
For further information concerning this proceeding, contact Joyce L. Bernstein,
Media Bureau, at (202) 418-1600 or email@example.com.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Barbara A. Kreisman
Chief, Video Bureau
23 See 47 U.S.C. 801(a)(1)(A).
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