FM Translator Application, New London, CT
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
May 1, 2012
Released: May 1, 2012
Richard J. Bodorff, Esq.
Wiley Rein LLP
1776 K Street, NW
Washington, D.C. 20006
Malcolm G. Stevenson, Esq.
Schwartz, Woods & Miller
The Lion Building
1233 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Kevin F. Reed, Esq.
Dow Lohnes PLLC
1200 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Sally A. Buckman, Esq.
Lerman Senter, PLLC
2000 K Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
NEW (FX), New London, CT
Facility ID No. 156163File No. BNPFT-20030827AMA
Petition to Deny
This letter concerns: (1) the referenced application (the “Application”) of Red Wolf Broadcasting
Corporation (“Red Wolf”) for a construction permit for a new FM translator station on Channel 258 in
New London, Connecticut; (2) a Petition to Deny the Application, filed on February 18, 2004 by Greater
Boston Radio (“Greater Boston”) (the “Greater Boston Petition”); (3) Informal Objections to the
Application filed on April 29, 2004, by Cox Radio, Inc. (“Cox”) (the “Cox Objection”) and on May 26,
2004, by Citadel Broadcasting Company (“Citadel”)1 (the “Citadel Objection”) (collectively, “the
1 Cumulus Media, Inc., acquired control of Citadel in September of 2011. See Existing Shareholders of Cumulus
Media, Inc., Transferors, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 12956 (2011).
Objectors”); and (4) related responsive pleadings.2 For the reasons set forth below, we deny the
Objections and grant the Application.
Background. Red Wolf filed the Application during the 2003 FM Translator filing window.3 The
application was accepted for filing on February 3, 2004.4 The Greater Boston Petition and the Cox and
Citadel Objections make similar arguments: that Red Wolf’s proposed translator will cause substantial
interference to the Objectors’ stations. Specifically, Greater Boston argues that Red Wolf’s translator
would operate on a co-channel (Channel 258, 99.5 MHz) with its then-owned Class B Station WKLB-
FM, Lowell, Massachusetts,5 and cause “serious interference” to the reception of WKLB-FM in an area
that has substantial WKLB-FM listenership.6 Cox states that the proposed translator would interfere with
the reception of its second-adjacent channel (Channel 256, 99.1 MHz) Class B Station WPLR(FM), New
Haven, Connecticut.7 Citadel claims that the proposed translator would interfere with the regularly
received off-air reception of its first-adjacent-channel (Channel 257, 99.3 MHz) Class A Station WSKO-
FM,8 Wakefield-Peacedale, Rhode Island.9 Each of the Objectors claims that the Application violates
Section 74.1204(f) of the Commission’s Rules (the “Rules”) and should be dismissed.10
In its various Oppositions, Red Wolf offers detailed rebuttals to the Objector’s arguments. It
denies that the Application would cause any interference, maintains that there will be no prohibited
overlap with any of the Objectors’ stations and that the Application complies with all Commission rules..
2 Red Wolf filed an Opposition to the Greater Boston Petition on March 3, 2004, and it Oppositions to the Cox
Informal Objection on May 13, 2004, and to the Citadel Objection on June 21, 2004. Citadel filed a Reply to Red
Wolf’s Opposition on August 2, 2004 and a Supplement to that Reply on September 27, 2004.
3 FM Translator Auction Filing Window and Application Freeze, Public Notice, 18 FCC Rcd 1565 (MB 2003).
4 See Broadcast Actions, Public Notice, Report No. 25664 (Feb. 3, 2004).
5 Greater Boston subsequently assigned the station, Facility ID No. 23441, to Nassau Broadcasting III, LLC
(“Nassau”). See File No. BALH-20060803AMR granted by the staff on October 16, 2006 and consummated on
November 15, 2006. Nassau subsequently assigned the station to WGBH Educational Foundation (“WGBH”). See
File No. BALH-20090928AHR, granted on November 13, 2009, and consummated on November 30, 2009. Neither
Nassau nor WGBH has participated in this proceeding. Although this station’s call sign was changed to
WCRB(FM) on December 1, 2006, for administrative convenience, we will refer to it by the call sign referenced in
the pleadings, WKLB-FM.
6 Greater Boston Petition at 1
7 See Cox Objection at 2-3 and Exhibits 1, 2 and 3
8 The call sign of this station was changed to WEAN-FM on March 11, 2008. For administrative convenience, we
will refer to the station by its previous call sign, WSKO-FM, as specified in all pleadings in this case.
9 See Citadel Objection at 1-2 and Attachment A.
10 47 C.F.R. § 74.1204(f), which states, in pertinent part, that:
An application for an FM translator station will not be accepted for filing even though proposed
operation would not involve overlap of field strength contours with any other station . . . if the
predicted 1 mV/m field strength contour of the FM translator station will overlap a populated area
already receiving a regularly used, off-the-air signal of any authorized co-channel, first, second, or
third adjacent channel broadcast station . . . and grant of the authorization will result in
interference to the reception of such signal.
Finally, it contends that the Citadel filing is an abuse of process which is designed to delay action on the
Discussion. Pursuant to Sections 309(d) and (e) of the Act,12 petitions to deny and informal
objections must provide properly supported allegations of fact that, if true, would establish a substantial
and material question of fact calling for further inquiry regarding whether grant of the Assignment
Application would be prima facie inconsistent with Section 309(a) of the Act.13 This section provides
that we are to grant an application if, upon consideration of the application and pleadings and other such
matters of which we may officially take notice, we find that the public interest, convenience, and
necessity will be served by the granting of such application. If, however, the applicant fails to meet that
standard, the Commission may deny the application after notice and opportunity for a hearing under
Section 309(e) of the Act.
In promulgating Section 74.1204(f) of the Rules, the Commission stated that it “will not grant an
application if an objecting party provides convincing evidence that the proposed translator station would be
likely to interfere with the reception of a regularly received off-the-air existing service, even if there is no
predicted overlap.”14 Under Section 74.1204(f), in order to demonstrate that grant of an FM translator
construction permit application “will result in interference to the reception” of an existing full-service
station, an opponent must provide, at a minimum: (1) the name and specific address of each potentially
affected listener; (2) some demonstration that the address of each purported listener falls within the 60
dBμ service contour of the proposed translator station;15 (3) a declaration from each of the affected
listeners that he or she listens to the full-service station at the specified location; and (4) some evidence
that grant of the authorization will result in interference to the reception of the “desired” full-service
station at that location.16
In this case, the Greater Boston petition fails to present a substantial and material question of fact
regarding the Red Wolf Application. Greater Boston has failed to satisfy the Section 74.1204(f) objection
11 See Red Wolf Opposition to Citadel Objection at 2.
12 47 U.S.C. § 309(e).
13 Id. § 309(a). See, e.g., WWOR-TV, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 193, 197 n.10 (1990), aff'd
sub nom. Garden State Broadcasting L.P. v. FCC, 996 F.2d 386 (D.C. Cir. 1993), rehearing denied (Sept. 10,
1993); Area Christian Television, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 60 RR 2d 862, 864 (1986) (informal
objections, like petitions to deny, must contain adequate and specific factual allegations sufficient to warrant the
14 See The Association for Community Education, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 12682,
12685-6 (2004), citing Amendment of Part 74 of the Commission’s Rules Concerning FM Translator Stations, 5
FCC Rcd 7212, 7230 (1990), modified, 6 FCC Rcd 2334 (1991), recon. denied, 8 FCC Rcd 5093 (1993)
15 The staff generally requires demonstrations of actual or potential interference from listeners within the translator
station’s proposed 60 dBμ contour who are unconnected with the full-service station whose service allegedly will be
disrupted. See Association for Community Education, Inc., 19 FCC Rcd at 12688 n.37 (approving staff practice
requiring that the complainant be “disinterested,” e.g., a person or entity without a legal stake in the outcome of the
translator station licensing proceeding).
16 Id., 19 FCC Rcd at 12687.
requirement to identify and provide declarations from specific listeners within the Application’s predicted
60 dBμ service contour.17
Cox similarly fails to present a substantial and material question of fact regarding the Red Wolf
Application’s compliance with Section 74.1204(f) of the Rules. As did Greater Boston, Cox fails to
identify or provide any declarations from specific listeners falling within the Application’s predicted 60
dBμ service contour. Even though WPLR(FM) may cover events in New London, Connecticut, has a
measurable audience rating in that community, and receives telephone calls from that community, these
facts do not satisfy the requirement to provide identifying and verifiable information bona fide listeners
within the translator station’s proposed 60 dBμ service contour.18
In its objection, Citadel correctly provides the names and addresses of three listeners who it
claims receive service from its station WSKO-FM and who reside within the Application’s proposed 60
dBμ contour.19 However, the Commission found in the 2007 Citadel MO&O that “[t]he staff may
properly exclude” the May 12, 2004, letter from Peter Smith as unreliable.20 Maureen Charles, signatory
to a second letter, apparently is the mother-in-law of the program director of WQGN-FM, Groton,
Connecticut, a Citadel station “that directly competes with Red Wolf.”21 Thus, we believe that we may
properly decline to credit Ms. Charles’ letter based on her connection to objector Citadel. Finally, with
respect to the letter from Mr. Green, the staff recently contacted Mr. Green to verify his statement. Mr.
Green stated that, although he was a regular listener of WSKO-FM when Citadel filed its objection in
2004, the station has changed its format and he no longer listens to it.22 We will decline to credit Mr.
17 The e-mail communications indicate that the writers listen to WKLB(FM) at home or in the car, and they provide
only the community and ZIP code in which the writers reside. Greater Boston provides no evidence that these ZIP
codes are within the Red Wolf translator’s proposed 60 dBμ contour, and the staff has determined that they are not.
18 See, e.g., The Association for Community Education, supra, 19 FCC Rcd at 12686 (full-service station‘s statement
that it had subscribers within a ZIP Code partially encompassed by the proposed translator station’s 60 dBμ contour
is insufficient to demonstrate that the station had actual listeners within the translator station's protected service
contour); see also Calvary Chapel of Twin Falls, Inc., Letter, 3 FCC Rcd 25286, 25287 (MMB 1998) (Arbitron data
does not demonstrate that any such listener is within the translator's [60 dBμ] contour).
19 Although Citadel also uses Longley-Rice methodology to support its claim that WSKO-FM has listeners within
the Application’s proposed 60 dbμ contour, its use of the supplemental engineering methodology does not appear to
be designed to extend the protected service (60 dBμ) contour of WSKO-FM, but rather to support its claim that
WSKO-FM has a listenable (54 dBμ) signal in an area within the 60 dbμ contour proposed in the Application.
20 See Citadel MO&O, 22 FCC Rcd at 7091. In that document, the Commission also discussed the Charles and
Green Letters, but only in the context of Red Wolf’s allegation that Citadel intentionally concealed a relationship
between Charles and Green and Citadel. The Commission, without finding that there was such a connection, simply
The submission of letters from listeners who happen to be connected in some way with the full-
service station with which a proposed FM translator facility might interfere does not violate any
statute or rule. Red Wolf cites no precedent, nor are we aware of any, that establishes that the
submission of a listener letter that fails to disclose a relationship between the signing party and
the licensee of the potentially affected full-service station constitutes an actionable lack of
21 Red Wolf Opposition to Citadel Objection at 4 and Exhibit 1, Complaint filed on June 16, 2004, at 4.
22 Statement of Mr. Ed Green to Michael Wagner, Assistant Chief, Audio Division, in a telephone conversation
taking place on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, beginning at 6:50 p.m. e.s.t.
Green’s letter on that basis. Citadel therefore fails to satisfy the requirements for objections based on
Conclusion/Actions. In light of the discussion above, we find that neither Greater Boston, Cox,
nor Citadel has raised a substantial and material question of fact calling for further inquiry regarding
whether grant of the Application will further the public interest, convenience, and necessity. We will
therefore deny the Greater Boston Petition and the Cox and Citadel Informal Objections. We note,
however, that Section 74.1203(a) of the Rules23 states that, should the translator commence operation and
cause actual interference to WKLO-FM, WPLR(FM), or WSKO-FM (now WEAN(FM)) or any other
full-service station, the translator will be required to eliminate the interference or cease operation.
Additionally, we have evaluated the Application and find that it complies with all pertinent
statutory and regulatory requirements and that its grant would indeed further the public interest,
convenience, and necessity.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, that the Petition to Deny filed on February 18, 2004, by Greater
Boston Radio IS DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Informal Objection filed on April 29, 2004, by Cox Radio,
Inc. IS DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the Informal Objection filed on May 26, 2004, by Citadel
Broadcasting Company IS DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that the application (File No. BPNFT-20030827AMA) of Red
Wolf Broadcasting Corporation for construction permit for a new FM translator station in New London,
Connecticut, IS GRANTED.
Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
Red Wolf Broadcasting Corporation
Greater Boston Radio
Cox Radio, Inc.
Citadel Broadcasting Company
23 47 C.F.R § 74.1203(a).
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