Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Commission Upholds License Renewals of Emmis Radio and Merlin Media

Download Options

Released: March 7, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 14-23

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Emmis Radio License, LLC

)
)

License Renewal Applications of
)
Station WFNI(AM)
)
File No. BR-20040401AOH
Indianapolis, Indiana
)
Facility I.D. No. 19521
)
Station WLHK(FM)
)
File No. BRH-20040401ARD
Shelbyville, Indiana
)
Facility ID No. 19522
)
Station WYXB(FM)
)
File No. BRH-20040401AOL
Indianapolis, Indiana
)
Facility ID No. 51432
)
Station WWVR(FM)
)
File No. BRH-20040401AJO
West Terre Haute, Indiana
)
Facility ID No. 68824
)
Station WTHI-FM
)
File No. BRH-20040401AJH
Terre Haute, Indiana
)
Facility ID No. 70652
)
and
)
)

Merlin Media License, LLC

)
)

Station WKQX(FM)
)
File Nos. BRH-20040802AQH,
Chicago, Illinois
)
BRH-20120801AJU
)
Facility ID No. 19525

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Adopted: March 7, 2014

Released: March 7, 2014

By the Commission:
1.
The Commission has before it two Applications for Review (collectively, “AFRs”) – the
first filed by David E. Smith (“Smith”) on February 17, 2009 (“February AFR”),1 and the second filed by
Smith, together with Peter LaBarbera, Kathy Valente, Illinois Family Institute, and Illinois Chapter of the
Concerned Women for America (collectively, “Petitioners”) on November 26, 2010 (“November AFR”).2
In the AFRs, Smith and Petitioners seek review of two Media Bureau (“Bureau”) decisions granting the
captioned license renewal applications filed by Emmis Radio License, LLC (“Emmis”), for Stations
WFNI(AM) (formerly WIBC(AM)), Indianapolis, Indiana; WLHK(FM) (formerly WENS(FM)),
Shelbyville, Indiana; WYXB(FM), Indianapolis, Indiana; WWVR(FM), West Terre Haute, Indiana; and

1 Emmis filed an Opposition to the February AFR on March 4, 2009. Smith filed a Reply on March 18, 2009.
2 Emmis filed an Opposition to the November AFR on December 13, 2010. Petitioners filed a Reply on December
29, 2010.

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 14-23

WTHI-FM, Terre Haute, Indiana (collectively, “Indiana Applications”),3 and for Station WKQX(FM)
(formerly WIQI(FM)), Chicago, Illinois (“WKQX Application”).4 Smith and Petitioners request that the
Commission rescind the Consent Decree5 it entered into with Emmis’ parent corporation, Emmis
Communications Corporation (“Emmis CC”), set aside the Bureau’s grants of the Indiana Applications
and the WKQX Application, and designate those applications for hearing.
2.
Upon review of the AFRs and the entire record, and finding no basis in the Applications
for Review to modify any of the Bureau’s decisions, we conclude that Smith and Petitioners have failed to
demonstrate that the Bureau erred. We uphold the Bureau’s decisions for the reasons stated in the
Indiana Staff Decision, the Indiana Reconsideration Decision, and the Illinois Staff Decision.6
3.
ACCORDINGLY, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 5(c)(5) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended,7 and Section 1.115(g) of the Commission’s Rules:8 (1) the
Application for Review filed by David E. Smith IS DENIED; and (2) the Application for Review filed by
David E. Smith, Peter LaBarbera, Kathy Valente, Illinois Family Institute, and Illinois Chapter of the
Concerned Women for America IS DENIED.
4.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Petition to Deny the license renewal application of
Merlin Media License, LLC (File No. BRH-20120801AJU) IS DISMISSED.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary

3 The February AFR also seeks review of the grant of the license renewal application for Emmis Station WIBC(FM)
(formerly WNOU(FM)), Indianapolis, Indiana (File No. BR-20040401AOO). However, the Bureau took no action
on that application in its decision denying the Smith Informal Objection to the Indiana Applications and the
application remains pending. Emmis Radio License Corporation, Letter, 22 FCC Rcd 16637 (MB 2007) (“Indiana
Staff Decision
”).
4 Smith filed a Petition for Reconsideration of the Indiana Staff Decision. The Bureau denied the Petition and
affirmed the Indiana Staff Decision. Emmis Radio License Corporation, Letter, 24 FCC Rcd 369 (MB 2009)
(“Indiana Reconsideration Decision”). Smith and Petitioners also filed a Petition to Deny the WKQX Application.
The Bureau denied that Petition based on the Indiana Staff Decision and the Indiana Reconsideration Decision.
Emmis Radio License Corporation,
Letter, Ref. 1800B3-MFW (MB Oct. 22, 2010) (“Illinois Staff Decision”).
5 The Commission adopted the Consent Decree, which resolved pending forfeiture orders, a memorandum opinion
and order, and all ongoing Commission investigations and complaints involving the broadcast of allegedly indecent
material by Emmis CC and its licensee subsidiaries, on August 12, 2004. Emmis Communications Corp., Order, 19
FCC Rcd 16003 (2004), recon. denied, Order on Reconsideration, 21 FCC Rcd 12219 (2006) (denying Petitioners’
petition for reconsideration of the order approving the consent decree), aff’d David Edward Smith et al. v. FCC, No.
06-1381, Order (D.C. Cir. Mar. 29, 2007).
6 During the pendency of the AFRs, Emmis filed an application to assign the license for Station WKQX(FM) to
Merlin Media License, LLC (“Merlin”). See File No. BALH-20110627AAW. The unopposed assignment
application was granted on August 16, 2011. See Broadcast Actions, Public Notice, Report No. 47544 (MB Aug.
19, 2011). Merlin subsequently filed a license renewal application for the station for the current renewal cycle. See
File No. BRH-20120801AJU. On November 1, 2012, Petitioners filed a Petition to Deny that application, arguing
that the application should not be granted until their November AFR is addressed. Because we are denying the
November AFR, that Petition is dismissed as moot.
7 47 U.S.C. § 155(c)(5).
8 47 C.F.R. § 1.115(g).
2

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.