Commlaw - Mass Media

Following the Broadcasting Industry

Friday, August 25, 2006

FM Auction Scheduled - What A Disappointment

The staff of the FCC's Audio Division has informally told us it intends to hold an auction of FM facilities on more or less a once a year basis. Since the last FM auction, Auction #62, was held last January, 2006, it was expected that another FM auction would be scheduled sometime this winter.

Well, the FCC has now scheduled Auction #68 for January, 2007 and what a disappointment. Rather than including in this auction some or most of the numerous new FM allocations that have been recently made, this latest auction consists of just 9 allocations, all of which were either unsold in previous auctions (now there's an indication of value!), or for which the winning bidder defaulted.

It is unfathomable why the Commission's staff would only put these "dog" allotments up for auction. What the staff should do is note that, for whatever reason, the construction permits did not previously sell, and the allotments should be permanently deleted from the FM Table of Allotments, in the hope that such a deletion would allow for a more deserving allotment at another community in the future.