THE UNIVERSITY OF RHODE ISLAND
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554January 8, 2009
In Reply Refer to:
Released: January 8, 2009
University of Rhode Island
326 Memorial Union
Kingston, RI 02881
Mr. Ronald P. Marsh
PO Box 3742
Newport, RI 02840
Norman C. Remington
87 Darrow Drive
Warwick, RI 02886
WRIU(FM), Kingston, RI
Facility ID No. 69206
Application for Renewal of License
Informal ObjectionsDear Licensee, Mr. Marsh and Mr. Remington:
This letter concerns the captioned application (the "Application") filed by University of Rhode
Island ("Licensee") to renew its license for noncommercial educational ("NCE") Station WRIU(FM),
Kingston, Rhode Island (the "Station"). Also on file are the Informal Objections filed by Ronald Marsh
(the "Marsh Objection") on March 15, 2006, and Norman Remington (the "Remington Objection") on
March 27, 2006. For the reasons set forth below, we deny the Objections and grant the renewal
Background.In their objections,1 Marsh and Remington state that, after the Station made known
its intentions of limiting classical and jazz programming in 2003, it welcomed listeners to "inspect its file
of documents relevant to its performance during the period prior to the application."2 Thereafter, they
1 Marsh and Remington styled their pleadings "Petitions to Deny." We are treating the pleadings as Informal
Objections under Section 73.3587 of the Commission's Rules (the "Rules"), 47 C.F.R. 73.3587, because they fail
to comply with the procedural requirements for filing Petitions to Deny, e.g., they were not served on the Station,
and they are not supported by affidavit signed by a person with personal knowledge of the facts contained in the
pleading. See 37 U.S.C. 309(d), 47 C.F.R. 73.3584.
2 See Marsh Objection Letter to Federal Communications Commission (March 15, 2006). The station now airs a
much more diversified programming format, although it still includes some jazz and classical music. See
claim, the Station received and reviewed listener input, much of which urged the Station to keep its
broadcast programming of jazz and classical music. However, Marsh argues and Remington agrees, there
is no record of this public comment, nor is there any reference to this issue "as a controversy," in the
Station's public inspection file.3
Discussion.Pursuant to Section 309 (e) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended,
informal objectors must provide properly supported allegations of fact that, if true, would establish a
substantial and material question of fact that grant of the application would be prima facie inconsistent
with Section 309(k) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the "Act"),4 which governs our
evaluation of an application for license renewal. Specifically, Section 309(k)(1) provides that we are to
grant the renewal application if, upon consideration of the application and pleadings, we find that: (1) the
station has served the public interest, convenience, and necessity; (2) there have been no serious
violations of the Act or the Rules; and (3) there have been no other violations which, taken together,
constitute a pattern of abuse.5 If, however, the licensee 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 or
grant the application "on terms and conditions that are appropriate, including a renewal for a term less
than the maximum otherwise permitted."6
The Objectors complain that the Station's public inspection file contained no trace of any listener
comments regarding the Licensee's alleged solicitation of input regarding its format change in 2003.
Section 73.3527 of the Rules7 requires an NCE broadcast licensee to maintain a public inspection file
containing specific types of information related to station operations. That rule does not require that NCE
licensees retain copies of letters or electronic mail messages from the public.8 Accordingly, even were we
to take as true the Objector's claim that the Station's public inspection file in 2006 contained no public
comment regarding the proposed format change in 2003, the Licensee's failure to retain in its public file
comments regarding its 2003 format change does not violate the Rules. This argument requires no further
Conclusion/ Actions.We have evaluated the WRIU(FM) renewal application pursuant to
Section 309(k) of the Act, and we find that the station has served the public interest, convenience, and
necessity during the subject license term; there have been no serious violations of the Act or the Rules;
and there have been no other violations which, taken together, constitute a pattern of abuse. Moreover,
3 Marsh Objection at 1. Mr. Marsh states that he "personally visited the radio station" and viewed its public
inspection file. Id.
4 See, e.g., WWOR-TV, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 6 FCC Rcd 193, 197 note 10 (1990), aff'd sub nom.
Garden State Broadcasting L.P. v. FCC, 996 F.2d 386 (D.C. Cir. 1993), rehearing denied (Sep. 10, 1993); Area
Christian Television, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 60 RR 2d 862, 864 (1986) (informal objection must
contain adequate and specific factual allegations sufficient to warrant the relief requested).
5 47 U.S.C. 309(k)(1). The renewal standard was amended to read as described by Section 204(a) of the
Telecommunications Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-104, 110 Stat. 56 (1996). See Implementation of Sections204(a)
and 204(c) of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Broadcast License Renewal Procedures), Order, 11 FCC Rcd
6 47 U.S.C. 309(k)(2), 309(k)(3).
7 47 C.F.R. 73.3527.
8 Compare 47 C.F.R. 73.3526(e)(9), which requires commercial broadcast licensees to retain all letters and
electronic mail messages from the public for a period of three years from when they are received.
we find that the Marsh and Remington objections contain inadequate factual allegations sufficient enough
to warrant further inquiry regarding renewal of WRIU(FM)'s license.
In light of the above discussion, and pursuant to Section 309(k) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, and Sections 0.61 and 0.283 of the Commission's Rules,9 the Informal Objections filed
on March 15, 2006, and March 27, 2006, respectively, by Ronald P. Marsh and Norman Remington ARE
DENIED, and the application (File No. BRED-20051201CHG) of the University of Rhode Island for
renewal of license for Station WRIU(FM), Kingston, Rhode Island, IS GRANTED.
Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
9 47 U.S.C. 309(k); 47 C.F.R. 0.61, 0.283.
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