Feb 27, 2012

Native applicant loses permit to start new radio station

The FCC has denied the request of a Native American college in New Mexico for more time to build a new noncommercial FM station. (PDF of decision.)

Navajo Technical College in Crownpoint, N.M., had run into a number of setbacks as it worked toward getting its new station on the air. To start with, the school blew past its FCC-imposed deadline for starting the station due to a misunderstanding. It then revealed to the FCC that it couldn’t build the station at the location it had initially proposed because the solar-powered facility at the site would produce too little power. NTC blamed this error on a consultant who has since been fired.

The college was able to find an alternate location but found that a station at the new site would reach a smaller audience than had initially been promised to the FCC. That nullified its permit, which was given on the condition that the larger audience would be served.

NTC now has the option of appealing the decision, or it may be able to start over with a new application, according to an FCC spokesperson.

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