Back to Index

 

 

 

 

In the Matter of AMENDMENT OF PART 73 OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES, REGARDING AM STATION ASSIGNMENT STANDARDS AND THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AM AND FM BROADCAST SERVICES

 

Docket No. 18651

 

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

 

39 F.C.C.2d 645

 

RELEASE-NUMBER: FCC 73-220

 

February 28, 1973 Released

 

 Adopted February 21, 1973

 


JUDGES:

BY THE COMMISSION: COMMISSIONER ROBERT E. LEE ABSENT; COMMISSIONER JOHNSON DISSENTING AND ISSUING A STATEMENT; COMMISSIONER WILEY ISSUING A SEPARATE STATEMENT.


OPINION:

 [*645]  1.  This matter concerns the adoption of new rules to govern the assignment of standard broadcast, or "AM" facilities, both new stations and major changes in existing facilities.  The proceeding was begun by Notice of Proposed Rule Making and Memorandum Opinion and Order adopted September 4, 1969, FCC 69-960, 34 F.R. 14384 (September 13, 1969), 17 R.R. 2d 1524. Previously, in July 1968, a "freeze" had been imposed on the acceptance of applications for new AM stations and major changes, pending the formulation, proposal and adoption of rules to govern this service in the future.  n1 Comments and reply comments in response to the Notice were filed until early April 1970. 

n1 Report and Order adopted July 18, 1968, FCC 68-739, 33 F.R. 10343, 13 R.R. 2d 1667. The "freeze" applied to all new and major change applications except change applications required by circumstances beyond the applicant's control (e.g., inability to continue at its present transmitter site), applications which are mutually exclusive with AM renewal applications, applications necessary to comply with international commitments, and applications for Class IV power increases where new international agreements make them possible (the latter provision was relaxed somewhat in 1969 along with the Notice).  The "freeze" has been waived in a few cases.

 

I.  CONSIDERATIONS UNDERLYING THE "FREEZE" AND NOTICE PROPOSAL

2.  The 1968 "freeze" Report and Order expressed in substance the following considerations: since the adoption of new and somewhat more restrictive rules in 1964 (Docket 15084), applications have continued to flow in, and, while they do not present problems of degradation of existing service through interference (one of the important objectives of the Docket 15084 was to adopt rules under which such degradation would be minimized), stations authorized pursuant to these rules have been less than successful in improving AM service  [*646]  generally in two important respects: reduction of "unserved area" n2 and provision of first local outlets in communities of significant size (while a majority of the stations being authorized as of mid 1968 were first stations, the size of places to which they were assigned was quite small, with a median population of 2,850).  Also, since virtually all of the applications recently granted were for daytime-only facilities they do nothing to improve service at night, where the really substantial unserved area exists.  The Report and Order stated that this situation necessitated a study to determine whether there is still a significant national need for new AM stations or for major changes in existing stations, except in underserved areas, whether the remaining frequency space should be conserved for developing areas or to eradicate "unserved area", whether any future allocation system should view AM and FM as a single aural service, and whether the traditional "demand" basis of AM assignments is an efficient use of spectrum space.  Since a continuing flood of applications would frustrate the objectives of the forthcoming rule making, on these basic questions, the "freeze" was adopted. 

n2 The term "unserved" where used herein means area or population not receiving AM primary service, daytime or nighttime as the case may be.  The term "white area", used traditionally and in the Notice to express this concept, has been confusing at times, and therefore is not used herein, "unserved area" meaning the same thing.  We are retaining the traditional term "gray" to refer to area or population receiving only one primary service, since the only other likely expression, "underserved", is not sufficiently precise.

3.  The September 1969 Notice herein expressed these concepts in more concrete form.  A quite restrictive rule was proposed, which would have prohibited the filing of applications for new stations unless the proposed operation would provide a first primary aural service to 25% of the area or population within the proposed primary service contour, and, if the application were for changed facilities, the area or population for which the station provided the only service would be increased.  In determining the extent of present aural service, signals from existing FM stations of 1 mv/m or greater would be taken into account.  n3 Also, a test of FM channel availability would be included with respect to applications for new AM stations or new nighttime facilities (though not for changes in facilities on the same frequency): the AM application would not be accepted if there is available in the community an FM channel which the applicant could use and achieve substantially the same coverage of unserved area.  This would include unoccupied FM channels assigned to the community in the FM Table of Assignments (Section 73.202 of the Rules), unoccupied and available for use in the community because of assignment at a nearby community (Section 73.203(b), the "10-mile" or "15-mile" rule), or susceptible of assignment in a reasonably simple rule-making proceeding involving no other changes in the Table.  n4

n3 The proposed rule itself would not have included in this criterion service from non-commercial educational stations, although comments on this were invited.  The 25% "unserved area" test would relate to daytime area where the AM application is for daytime facilities, either daytime or nighttime area where the application is for a new Class IV station, and otherwise to nighttime area.

n4 Thus, the criteria involving FM actually were two separate tests: the present existence of FM service, and the availability of an unoccupied FM channel.  Some commenting parties confused the two, as discussed below.

4.  It was recognized that these very restrictive tests would sharply curtail the flow of applications, and indeed, this was one of the express  [*647]  purposes of the proposal: to prevent the large-scale depletion of the limited AM spectrum space remaining until a more near optimum plan for utilizing it can be arrived at.  It was emphasized (Notice, para. 29) that the proposed rules "are not necessarily those which will govern the acceptance of applications for new and increased AM facilities for the indefinite future", but their adoption would give the Commission time to evaluate the over-all picture of aural development and to stimulate FM, with a further look at these developments in a few years.  Meantime, we would authorize only stations clearly designed to improve service substantially.

5.  The Notice also emphasized certain other considerations, including the importance of stimulating FM development.  In was stated that FM provides a superior service in a number of ways -- full-time as opposed to the daytime-only service contemplated by the great majority of AM applications, usually a wider and more reliable service than a nighttime AM operation will provide, a service otherwise technically superior, with stereo and SCA potential -- as well as being cheaper for the Commission to authorize and, except as compared to Class IV stations, cheaper for applicants to design and construct (AM directional antennas are expensive to design, evaluate, build and "prove out").  The Notice also referred to the same consideration mentioned in the "freeze" Report and Order as to the relatively small contribution which current AM grants appear to be making to the improvement of aural service generally, nearly all of them representing daytime facilities with their inherent limitations, providing first or second local outlets in many cases but often only to very small communities (with most places of substantial size already having them).  It was stated that while the provision of "first local outlets" is still of importance, "in our judgment it does not warrant, in itself, acceptance in the near future of applications providing no other substantial service benefit." (Notice, para. 31.) It was also pointed out that large-scale grant of applications for daytime-only facilities tends to preclude use of the channel and adjacent channels for full-time operations, which would bring service generally much more needed.  With respect to increases in nighttime facilities -- which have not up to now been subject to a "25% unserved area" test -- it was stated that while these are sought on the ground that they are needed to cover expanding urban areas at night, often this is an excuse to propose facilities serving areas well removed from the station's city.  (Notice, para. 19.)

6.  The Notice also discussed certain subjects which the Commission hopes to explore in the course of its evaluation of the total AM picture.  These included: (1) the possibility of requiring, in AM, a "preclusion showing", somewhat similar to that required with many petitions for additional FM assignments, showing what uses of the channel and adjacent channels would be precluded by the proposal, and what other assignment possibilities exist to meet such future needs and uses; and (2) the possible formulation of rules designed to cut down the tremendously burdensome and expensive work involved in the processing of AM applications, for example a rule to the effect that when one application providing certain service benefits has been accepted (e.g., one which would serve unserved area or provide a first  [*648]  local outlet), no other conflicting application would be accepted unless it would provide at least as great benefits.  The Notice also invited comments on some alternative approaches in various respects (Notice, para. 33(a) to (e): attaching more importance to providing a second service as well as a first; possibly requiring service to only a smaller percentage of "unserved area"; provision of first or second local outlets as well as a first or second primary service; ways of avoiding intentionally inefficient proposals designed to meet the "25%" test simply by serving an unduly limited area; and possible exclusion of "distant" signals in determining whether an area is presently served, on the theory that service from a distant source, while it may be technically good, is not equal to a closer service in being meaningful to listeners.

II.  A BRIEF HISTORY OF AM ALLOCATION RULES

7.  Historically, and at present, except to the extent the "freeze" prevails, AM applications have been accepted and considered on a "demand" basis: an applicant chooses and proposes a particular community, frequency, power and directional or non-directional mode of operation, and his application is evaluated on this basis.  Assuming he is qualified in non-technical respects, and his application does not involve objectionable interference to other stations or receive objectionable interference to an extent prohibited by the rules, it is granted.  In general, no consideration is given to other possible uses of the channel (or of adjacent channels) in the area, or to other possible frequencies, powers or directional modes which the applicant could employ and which might represent a more efficient allocation.  This contrasts sharply with the approach used in assigning "commercial" FM and all television stations.  In these services, channel assignments are listed in Tables of Assignments (Section 73.202 for FM and 73.606 for TV), one or more assignments being listed for these communities throughout the United States.  An applicant must apply for one of these assignments, either for a station in the listed community or for an unlisted community within a short distance.  n5 These assignments have been made, and must be used, on the basis of minimum mileage separations between stations on the same and adjacent channels (e.g., in "Zone I", the Northeast, 170 miles co-channel for VHF TV and 155 miles for UHF TV, 150 miles for Class B FM stations and 65 miles for Class A FM stations).  These separations are based on the assumption that all stations operate with maximum facilities and, on that assumption and given interference ratios, are designed to afford stations a reasonably large interference-free coverage area.  Directional antennas are not used in Tv/ and FM as an assignment tool, although they are used by a number of stations to increase signal strength in certain directions and avoid wasting coverage in others (e.g., over water).  The pre-engineered Tables of Assignments are designed  [*649]  both to provide for an adequate number of channels in each community and area, and a high degree of efficiency of channel usage. 

n5 In FM, a Class A channel may be used at an unlisted community within 10 miles of the listed community and a Class B/C channel at a community within 15 miles; the distance in television is 15 miles (Sections 73.203(b) and 73.607(b)).

8.  This planned approach has two great advantages over the "demand" system: it permits the reservation of channels to meet anticipated future needs and developments rather than allowing immediate demand to determine the disposition of spectrum space; and, by assuming maximum facilities, it permits stations to increase their facilities in an orderly fashion even where they start modestly.  In AM, by contrast, stations are often "squeezed in", the assignment being made possible only by a combination of minimum power and, sometimes, a rather elaborate directional antenna intended to minimize interference to other stations; this presents problems when the station later wishes to increase its facilities.  On the other hand, the AM approach obviously has a great deal more flexibility, and probably permits assignments in more places than are possible under the other system.

9.  Changes adopted in 1964 for AM assignments.  Prior to 1964, AM assignments were made on the basis of "normally protected" contours; an applicant's proposal would be accepted and considered even if it involved some "objectionable interference", as defined in the Rules, to existing stations, and if that was the case, a hearing was normally required in which the service gains and the interference detriment could be weighed (Section 73.24(b) which still applies to applications which were filed before the adoption of the new rules).  The rules (Section 73.28(d), adopted in 1954 to replace and modify the earlier engineering standards), n6 also provided a test to insure that an operation would either be a reasonably efficient one or one providing a significant service benefit: the so-called "10-percent rule", to the effect that a proposal must either provide interference-free service to at least 90% of the population within its normally protected contour, or, for nighttime operation, that the station must either be a first local nighttime AM outlet or provide a first primary service to 25% of the area within its interference-free contour. 

n6 This rule, also, still applies to applications on file before adoption of the 1964 rules.

10.  Following a "freeze" adopted in May 1962, the Commission in 1963 proposed tighter rules to govern the consideration of new and increased AM facilities (Docket 15084).  These were adopted pretty much as proposed, in July 1964.  The chief changes involved were three: (1) previous concept of a "normally protected contour", which could be invaded by a proposed new or increased operation if the gain would outweigh the loss, was replaced by a strict "go-no-go" principle, embodied in Section 73.37, making the application unacceptable if it would cause interference to other stations within their protected contours; (2) the test as to "interference received" was also made "go-no-go" and tightened somewhat as compared to the "10 percent rule" mentioned; a proposed station must not receive any interference within their protected contours, unless it was either a first local outlet (in a community outside an urbanized area, or of 25,000 or more population within an urbanized area), or would provide a first primary service to 25% of the area within the interference-free contour, in which case interference might be received up to the 1 mv/m  [*650]  contour; and (3) the 25% "unserved area" test was made an absolute condition to the acceptance of any application for new nighttime facilities (a new full-time station or a daytimer seeking full-time operation), though not for increases in such facilities.  n7

n7 In 1968 this 25% test was modified to permit acceptance where a first primary service would be provided to 25% of the area or population to be served.

11.  Probably the chief purpose of the 1964 rules was to prevent the deterioration of existing service through a series of grants of applications involving some interference to existing stations, each in itself small but cumulatively significant.  As noted in the 1968 "freeze" Report and Order mentioned above, in this respect the new rules have been successful, although in other respects perhaps less so.  The imposition of a "25% unserved area" requirement as an absolute criterion for new nighttime facilities was a recognition of the fact that any new nighttime operation is a source of interference to other co-channel stations over long distances, even though under the "R.S.S." method of computation, applying the "50% exclusion" rule, it may not be counted as objectionable interference.  n8 Therefore, it was believed, rather than tighten the interference-computation rules to a point where virtually no additional facilities could be sought, it would be better to leave the computation rules as they are, and, instead, provide that, to justify the small incremental interference, a really substantial benefit be provided by the new proposal. 

n8 See Section 73.182(o).

12.  The "clear channel freezes".  Another aspect of recent AM history, referred to by a number of commenting parties, is the "freeze" on the 25 I-A and some other channels, which has existed in one form or another since 1946.  Section 73.25(a) presently in effect imposes a "freeze" to these channels, which have the 25 dominant I-A stations, plus 12 authorized full-time stations in the conterminous 48 states (10 II-A stations plus one at San Diego and one at Albuquerque), and 57 daytime-only or limited-time secondary stations, all authorized before 1946 (there are also some secondary stations in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico on these channels).  Also partially "frozen", in order to protect future allocation possibilities on the I-A channels, are 26 other channels adjacent to I-A frequencies.  n9

n9 These frequencies are specified in Section 1.569, adopted in 1962 following the clear channel decision.  That section lists 33 frequencies, within 3 channels of a I-A channel.  However, 7 of these have in effect been unfrozen now that all of the II-A assignments except that on 890 kH/s have been authorized.  The extent to which the other 26 channels are "frozen" varies with the channel: on some the restraint is very small, but on some it is quite large (e.g. 630 kc/s, to protect the "higher power" potential of both the 640 and 650 kHz I-A stations).

13.  The "II-A" assignments mentioned in the last paragraph represent the one departure, in the AM field, from the "demand" principle.  They date from the Clear Channel decision of 1961 (in Docket 6741), in which the Commission "broke down" 13 of the I-A channels, to a limited extent, providing for one additional full-time assignment on each.  Two of these were existing stations in San Diego, Cal. and Anchorage, Alaska; 11 other were for new class II-A assignments specified in Section 73.21 of the Rules, to be used in a specified state or group of states (one in the Plains states and 10 in the West).  All but one of these, the 890 kHz assignment in Utah, have now been authorized.

 [*651]  14.  It should also be noted that liberal assignment principles for Alaska were adopted at the time of the Notice herein; these have apparently worked well and no comments of the subject were filed in this proceeding.  At the same time as the Notice, the "freeze" was also lifted to permit the filing of power increase applications by the few Class IV stations not now having maximum power; this is discussed below.

III.  COMMENTS FILED IN THIS PROCEEDING

15.  Some 94 parties filed formal comments herein (counting individually about a dozen parties joining in certain comments).  There were also some informal letters received.  (Commenting parties are listed in Appendix B hereto).  Of the parties filing formally, nearly all opposed the Notice proposal partly or entirely; the closest to total support came from Clear Channel Broadcasting Service (CCBS), a group of 12 Class I-A licensees, as discussed below.  There was particular opposition from licensees, engineers, and others, to the restrictions proposed on modifications of existing facilities (or "improvements").  n10 Some parties, such as Association on Broadcasting Standards, Inc. (ABS, a full time station group) took the position that the tight restrictions proposed for new stations are justified, but not those on increases in facilities.  More than half of the comments dealt entirely, or largely, with the proposed restrictions on improvements in facilities.  To a large extent, some of these parties' objections have been met by a subsequent (1970) Commission pronouncement clarifying the type of modification applications which are considered "major" and "minor" changes (i.e., applications proposing only changes in transmitter location, or directional or non-directional mode of operation, are normally considered "minor"); but their argument still must be considered in connection with other types of modification which are definitely "major": increases in power, changes in frequency, and applications by daytime-only stations for nighttime facilities.  n11 We do not attempt herein to discuss all of the comments individually; the following discussion will indicate the main lines of argument. 

n10 The term "improvement" in facilities is used herein, as it was by some of the commenting parties, to include all of the types of modification mentioned in the text, both "major" and "minor": changes in transmitter site, directional or non-directional mode of operation, power increases, changes in frequency, and new nighttime facilities for daytime stations.  Another type of "change" mentioned by a few parties -- change in station location (community of license) -- falls into a different category, being in a sense an application for a new facilities.

n11 See Policy Statement Concerning Standard Broadcast Applications for Major and Minor Changes, FCC 70-260, F.C.C. 2d, 18 R.R. 2d 1763 (April 14, 1970).

16.  Views of industry groups.  Six industry groups filed comments, including CCBS and ABS (mentioned above), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), National Association of FM Broadcasters (NAFMB), Community Broadcasters Association (a group of Class IV stations), and the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers (AFCCE).  As indicated above, CCBS was the closest of all parties to supporting the Notice proposal entirely.  It favored the proposed restrictions particularly as to new stations, as avoiding further over-crowding of the AM band and encouraging  [*652]  FM, which, now that FM set circulation is large, should definitely be included in any "unserved area" determination and should be relied on to fill the need for additional stations.  It is also urged that the Commission take steps to "clear" as many as 40 AM channels for higher-power Class I operations, or national and regional stations, by reallocating stations engaged primarily in local broadcasting to the FM band.  n12 CCBS also asserts that the "25%" standard should be tightened to require that 25% of the area and population be "unserved", citing in this connection the case of some of the II-A stations authorized, which serve large areas but small populations having no other nighttime primary service.  CCBS also opposed any idea that, in making "unserved area" determination, distant signals should be ignored; it asserted that any mileage test of this sort would be arbitrary and its Class I members feel obligated to, and do, render truly meaningful service to rural areas many miles away from their locations.  CCBS also renews its oft-made plea for "higher power" for the I-A stations, at least on an experimental basis, urging that skywave service is really the only way to provide good AM service to the present "unserved areas" in substantial amount, and that the present 50 kw level is not sufficient to do so, in view of increasing man-made noise, interference from Latin American stations, and the poor selectivity of present transistor radios. 

n12 CCBS cites, in this connection, the views expressed in the 1964 Report on Radio Spectrum Utilization issued by the Joint Technical Advisory Committee (JTAC), to the effect that in view of the crowded condition of the AM band in the U.S. and elsewhere, it would be in the long-range public interest to move local broadcasting (as opposed to national and regional) to the FM band, which is better suited for it because it offers superior technical characteristics, more consistent coverage, and better interference protection.

17.  ABS agreed with the Notice's view as to the desirability of restricting new facilities to those substantially serving "unserved area", saying that in this respect an "unrestricted demand" system is not justifiable, since it inevitably leads to a concentration of stations in and around large cities where there is is a high level of economic support (often in "suburban" communities because of the more or less automatic "307(b)" preference which such stations receive despite the many outside signals available, and even though such proposals often present problems as to whether they are really not for large-city stations in fact if not in name).  Thus, any AM stations to be permitted from now on should provide service where it is needed.  Thus, it supported generally, for new stations, the "25%" standard.  On the other hand, ABS vigorously opposed the restriction proposed on improvements in facilities, asserting that this would prevent stations making changes necessary to adequately serve their rapidly growing metropolitan areas, and thus improve the quality of existing service (this point is discussed separately below).  It is asserted that if such restrictions are adopted, AM broadcasting will sink into obsolescence.  n13 ABS also raised certain specific points: (1) where existing FM service is to be considered in relation to "unserved area", probably it should be on the basis of such service to 100% of the area instead of 75%; otherwise, some "unserved  [*653]  area" would still remain; (2) educational FM stations should be included in this determination, since they do render service; (3) including in the FM availability test "unassigned but assignable" channels may present serious administrative problems; (4) there should not be an exception for proposals competing with renewals, since (with other new facilities not available) this would simply encourage such activity and this is particularly bad since the new applicant could propose greater facilities whereas the existing station could not; n14 (5) any consideration of "across the board" power increases, urged by some other parties, is much too complex for consideration at this time (involving both international and domestic problems); and (6) any consideration of permitting assignments which would provide a second primary service, or a first or second local service, should be only on a waiver basis, or otherwise the whole purpose of the rule would be thwarted (it is pointed out that many, probably most, recent and pending new applications are for a first or second station in their communities.  It was urged that no such blanket restrictions are justifiable and that increases should simply be subject to the usual "no interference" tests. 

n13 This type of argument was urged also by several other parties, to the effect that with both other communications media and AM in other nations developing rapidly, it is not appropriate to restrict improvements in U.S. AM service.

n14 A number of existing licensees made one or both of these points in their comments, particularly the second.

18.  NAB's comments related entirely to the proposed restriction on facility improvements, which, it points out, in some parts of the country would completely "freeze" AM stations at their present levels (e.g., North Carolina, where all but a very small part of the state receives 1 mV/m or better FM service from existing FM stations).  NAFMB, n15 as might be expected, supported the proposed inclusion of FM in the determination of what is "unserved area" and the concept that a new applicant should look first to FM, and in general treating that service as an integral part of a total aural service.  It was asserted that both AM and FM are needed if the nation is to receive adequate radio service -- AM for its extensive groundwave and skywave coverage potential -- and that too many substandard AM operations have been authorized (because FM has lagged) and this has hurt the development of FM.  In sum, NAFMB supported the proposal so to new stations, and urged us to proceed with the type of reallocation recommended by JTAC (footnote 12, above).  On the other hand, in its reply comments it expressed opposition to the proposed restrictions on improvements in existing stations, urging that effective AM service is needed, to rapidly burgeoning urban areas.  This, it was said, should be looked at on a case-by-case basis. 

 

n15 The NAFMB is composed of FM broadcasters, some independent and some also licensees of companion AM stations.

19.  The AFCCE comments opposed the idea of an "unserved area" criterion, or, indeed, any restriction beyond the overlap standards (adopted in 1964) to prevent objectionable interference, which, it stated, have worked well.  It was stated that channel usage is going to be largely determined by presently existing stations in any event, so that no additional restrictions at this point are warranted.  It was asserted that demand should determine what is possible, and the real  [*654]  needs for radio service do not really relate to "unserved area." n16 It was also urged that FM should not be taken into account, for reasons discussed separately below; and AFCCE made some specific suggestions also mentioned below.  The comments of the Community Broadcasters Association related entirely to the one-year limitation adopted in 1969 on the filing of applications by Class IV stations for power increases (only a few had not previously applied), urging that such a deadline should not be set. 

 

n16 AFCCE used as an example Ventura County, California, which has had a tremendous growth in recent years, with new cities of large size, but where the availability of AM facilities is sharply limited by the numerous Los Angeles stations.  It was stated that, while these stations provide it with signals and thus it is not "unserved area", it is doubtful that they can do much to meet its particular needs, since the needs of that city itself are great enough.

20.  Other general comments.  A number of other comments generally opposing the proposal -- which is claimed to represent a near-total "freeze -- were filed, which advanced among them in various forms the following views and ideas (some of which have been indicated above).  n17

 

n17 The comments chiefly dealt with in these paragraphs are those of McKenna and Wilkinson and Robert L. Booth, Esq. communications attorneys, and the following communications engineering firms; Ralph J. Bitzer, Jules Cohen and Associates, Cohen & Dipell, Commercial Radio Equipment Co., Peter J. Gureckis (John Mullaney & Associates), Vir James, Jansky and Bailev, L. J. du Treil, Robert J. Jones, George Lohnes (Lohnes & Culver), E. Harold Munn, Silliman, Moffatt & Kowalski, Carl Smith, A. Earl Cullum & Associates, and J. G. Rountee.

21.  The great need for increased facilities.  It is urged that there is a tremendous general need to increase facilities (as noted, some of the arguments on this score, but not all, have been rendered moot by the 1970 pronouncement concerning major and minor changes).  This is said to be true because of: (1) the great and rapid increase in the size of urban areas, which make more power or changed transmitter locations necessary to serve them and which will continue for a long time; (2) the unsuitability or future unavailability of present transmitter sites, because of the building up of surrounding areas (with re-radiation problems), freeway construction or urban renewal, requiring relocation and, often, a power increase from the new location to continue to serve the whole urban area adequately; (3) increased man-made noise levels; (4) the need to correct antiquated directional arrays.  Many parties also urge the need for nighttime service by daytime-only stations, which is discussed below in connection with three particular comments by such licensees.

22.  Nighttime interference levels have not increased and will not increase if new nighttime facilities are permitted.  One of the key concepts in the restrictions adopted by the Commission in 1964 on new nighttime authorizations was that any new nighttime operation is a source of additional interference to co-channel stations, even though -- under the "50% exclusion" concept embodied in Section 73,182(0) -- it does not increase the nighttime limit of any station enough to be cognizable under the rules as "objectionable interference." Many parties, particularly engineering, argued with this idea.  It was asserted that while some interference is thus added, it is minuscule and insignificant.  In this connection reference was made to a study sponsored by the NAB in 1962 (prepared by George Davis), concerning interference levels on certain channels in 1960 as compared to 1940.  It was found  [*655]  in the study that, despite a tremendously increased number of stations and virtual elimination of "unserved" and "gray" daytime area in the Southeast, the nighttime limits of many stations on these channels had increased little or none, and in some cases had been reduced as stations directionalized their nighttime operations.  n18 Attention was also called to the KWK (St. Louis) situation, where, when that license was not renewed and multiple new applicants competed for the frequency, the result was a substantial improvement in the service areas of 9 co-channel stations.  Some of the parties urging this point claimed that the impression of increased nighttime interference is basically a subjective, psychological one resulting from two factors: (1) with the movement to the suburbs, a listener may well now live outside of his local station's interference-free nighttime contour, and thus experience interference, whereas if he had remained in his earlier in-city location he would find no more now than formerly; and (2) tuning across the band at night today, the listener may encounter many fairly new stations, with high interference limits, in places on the dial where 30 years ago there was only silence; but the stations which were there then can still be received just as well. 

 

n18 In the same inquiry, NBC made a study of the 1941 and 1962 limits of three Washington, D.C. stations, including its own WRC, computed by the 50 percent RSS exclusion method.  It showed two as declining (2.8 to 2.6 mV/m and 2.6 to 2.3 mV/m) and WRC increasing, 3.5 to 3.6 mV/m.  NBC also carried the analysis of WRC's limits out on the basis of 10% exclusion and found limits of 4.3 mV/m in 1941 and 4.7 mV/m in 1962.

23.  On this basis, a number of parties urged not only that no restrictions be imposed here on nighttime authorizations, but that the "25% unserved area" criterion adopted in 1964 for new nighttime operations be abandoned.  It was claimed that this, not any reluctance of parties to establish new nighttime facilities, is the reason why very few such proposals have been advanced in recent years; correspondingly, if the restriction were removed, needed expansion of nighttime service would result.  It was also asserted that this restriction is undesirable in presenting a choice of nighttime local services and attainment of competitive equality.

24.  Emphasizing "unserved area" at the expense of other needs.  Many parties urged that the emphasis on "unserved area" embodied in the Notice is both useless and wrong, pursuing an impossible objective at the expense of other needs for increased service.  It was urged that: (1) there simply is not and will not be economic support in these areas for stations in any number sufficient to make a substantial dent in the "unserved area" (day or night); (2) the granting of new or increased facilities in other parts of the country, at least daytime, will not generally have any significant preclusionary effect on later facilities serving "unserved area" if and when there is any demand for them (or, at least, that this could be handled on a case-by-case basis by way of a "preclusion study"); (3) the most likely way to serve some of this "unserved area" is permitting increased facilities for existing stations, which would also tremendously improve their coverage of their own urban areas; (4) this emphasis, which includes "service" from distant sources, ignores the tremendous need for and importance of local service, a key objective of the Commission for many years under Section 307(b) of the Communications Act; (5) it also ignores the importance  [*656]  of a choice of service -- at least two, and likely more -- and thus tends to preserve monopoly and diminish competition, for example, in a number of cities of over 25,000 population (outside of urban areas) having only one station; (6) there are other pressing needs much more likely of fulfillment, including that for adequate coverage of burgeoning urban areas and shifting populations, for local outlets in "new towns" such as Columbia, Maryland (projected to have a population of over 100,000 by 1980), outlets for minority groups, and greater service generally to fulfill the specialized, localized role of modern radio.  n19

 

n19 It was pointed out that rather recently (1968) the Commission found the city of Elizabeth, N.J. to be sufficiently needful of local service, despite the plethora of New York City signals, to warrant a local outlet as compared to a more distant community.

25.  The significance of FM.  While NAFMB and a few other parties supported the Notice's treatment of FM, many parties vigorously opposed it.  Their arguments included the following: (1) it is essentially immoral to create an "artificial shortage" in AM just to stimulate FM; rather, the people of the area involved, and applicants proposing to serve them, should have a choice as to which they wish to use; (2) FM does not need any stimulation, shown by the great increase in stations between 1962 and 1969 (nearly 60%) and the occupancy of all or nearly all channels in much of the country including areas around large cities; (3) FM is still not the equivalent of AM in ability to serve the public, in view of limited set circulation and particularly the absence of FM sets in automobiles during highly important "drive time"; (4) terrain problems in rough or mountainous areas which seriously limit FM service range in some cases; (5) the very limited extent to which FM channels are in fact available, in much of the country, for a potential applicant to use; (6) the utter impossibility of establishing a viable FM station in some parts of the country where it has not developed at all outside of large centers (e.g., Wyoming, with the only stations those in Casper and Cheyenne, and northern Maine); (7) FM is not cheaper than AM as the Notice claimed, but in fact AM is less expensive even if it involves a simple directional array (parties gave various figures in this connection).  It was urged that -- with only 25% of assigned channels vacant as of the end of 1969, and only 13% east of the Mississippi -- telling potential applicants to "look to FM" is largely illusory, and, also, that any concept of using "unassigned but assignable" channels in this connection is an administrative impossibility and grossly unfair to applicants, in view of the delays and problems involved in FM rule making; (8) FM and AM are and should be treated as complementary, each being used where it best serves.

26.  Whether there is an "AM shortage".  Many parties argued with the concept that there is in fact any shortage of AM spectrum space, as the Notice indicated.  It was claimed that, in much of the country away from urban centers, this is not true even under present assignment policies, and it is certainly not true in view of the potential for further assignments if and when the various clear channel "freezes" are lifted.  For example, it is said, the 25 Class I-A channels represent nearly 25% of AM spectrum space, which could be made available  [*657]  for daytime, if not full time, stations; and the same is true of adjacent channels which are likewise partially "frozen" under Section 1.569, and to some extent other channels (I-B frequencies) which were unfrozen earlier only to have the general 1962 "freeze" quickly super-imposed on them.  In any event, it was urged, this reservoir makes it inappropriate to impose a freeze such as that involved in the Notice proposal.  Rather, it was said, AM is really as available as FM, if not more so, and therefore a concept of looking to FM in order to avoid depletion of AM is basically fallacious.

27.  The Commission's role and obligation.  A number of parties claimed that the Notice proposal, and sharp restrictions involved, really reflected the Commission's effort to further "administrative convenience" by simply choking off applications.  It was asserted that, while there are problems in AM processing and determination, they certainly do not warrant this approach, but, rather, efforts to deal with them as such.  Some suggestions made are set forth below.  It was also claimed (e.g., in the McKenna and Wilkinson comments) that these are largely of the Commission's own making, in the context of some Court decisions such as Ashbacker and KOA, which have imposed substantial requirements.  n20 For example, it was argued that the Commission for a long time made substandard, interference-causing AM grants as a matter of policy, and existing stations, realizing this, asserted their KOA hearing rights in every case even where the interference was minuscule, lest the grant become a precedent and also because the Commission's consideration did not take into account the cumulative effect of such impingements on a given existing station.  Also, some parties urged that the assertedly erratic treatment of AM over the years -- "freezes", thaws, and then "re-freezes" -- created uncertainty and a pent-up demand, which resulted in the filing of numerous applications involving "chain reaction" conflicts, particularly when certain frequencies were unfrozen.  In general, it was urged that the Commission cannot properly use these considerations as ground to support the near-total "freeze" contemplated by the Notice, but must do the best it can to improve its procedures and seek the necessary additional staff to handle applications which reflect a genuine demand and therefore, in general, applications which reflect a genuine demand and therefore, in general, a need.  In this connection, two other points were also urged: (1) while the Notice spoke generally of the proposal as an interim measure pending further in-depth study, there was nothing specific as to what would be studied or when, so that it must be assumed the near-total freeze would last indefinitely; (2) some parties accused the Commission of having in mind, without saying so, a form of "birth control", an idea that a given community or area simply does not need, or cannot well support, any more stations than it now has. 

 

n20 Ashbacker Radio Corp. v. FCC, 326 U.S. 327 (1945); FCC v. National Broadcasting Company (KOA), 319 U.S. 239 (1943). The former established the right of copending mutually exclusive applicants to a full hearing against each other; the latter established the right of a station, which would receive objectionable interference, to a hearing on that issue.

28.  "Foreign preemption".  A number of parties, particularly engineers, urged that any restrictions on U.S. AM assignments -- beyond  [*658]  those necessary to avoid interference -- are undesirable because foreign nations on the continent are not bound by such restrictions and will make use of the frequencies in places near the border, to the exclusion of any later U.S. use.  It was also claimed that when the foreign use is nighttime, as it often will be, this means additional interference to U.S. stations even though it is not cognizable under the international R.S.S. rules just as it would not be domestically.  This argument was one urged for repeal of the "25% unserved area" criterion of new nighttime assignments adopted in 1964.

29 Use of preclusion studies.  One of the matters mentioned in the Notice -- not as part of the present proposal but for possible ultimate use -- was a requirement of a "preclusion study", from which it could be determined what the impact from a given application proposal would be on other possible uses of the channel and adjacent channels in the general area, and what other assignment possibilities remain to meet the needs in the "preclusion area".  Such a study is now required in connection with many petitions for FM rule making.

30.  Some parties, e.g., Silliman, Moffat and Kowalski, supported this as a useful and feasible concept; as mentioned above, some parties suggested it as a method of "case by case" evaluation, for example showing whether or not a proposed use would preclude an assignment which would serve "unserved area".  On the other hand, at least one party (Booth) opposed it as unworkable, in view of the tremendous differences which exist in AM propagation (ground conductivity and frequency) and the many variables involved in possible directional operations.

31.  The "demand" system.  Many commenting parties praised the traditional "demand" system of AM assignments, as the basis of the country's unparalleled AM system (with its tremendous number of stations and local outlets), and urged that it be continued, although perhaps with some modifications to encourage service to "unserved areas".  On the other hand, others (e.g., McKenna and Wilkinson) urged that this system be considerably modified or abandoned, for example with a Table of Assignments containing initially existing stations, with additions thereto as a result of rule making, just as in the FM. and TV service.

32.  The concept of "waste".  It was said by some parties that the whole idea that AM spectrum is "wasted" by grants on a "demand" basis is basically wrong, for one reason because spectrum, while every much a valuable and scarce national asset, is not a "wasting" one in the sense that minerals or petroleum are.  It was asserted that later shifts in station location or facilities -- either voluntarily or through Commission "show cause" proceedings -- are always possible.  Therefore, it was said, the "waste" involved is in not permitting use of the frequencies now.

33.  Comments urging the importance of nighttime AM service.  A number of parties, many of them licensees of daytime-only stations, urged the importance of their being able to obtain nighttime facilities to better serve their communities and surrounding areas.  n21 Three comments  [*659]  illustrate some aspects of these suggestions and possible approaches.  Sea Broadcasting Corporation is the licensee of Station WVAB, the only station licensed to Virginia Beach, Virginia, a city which is one of the four large cities making up the Norfolk-Portsmouth Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA), and had a 1970 Census population of 172,106.  WVAB is daytime-only, and the licensee urged that there is a great need for a local nighttime facility to meet the substantial particular needs of Virginia Beach, including matters such as elections, weather and school closings, local emergencies, discussion of public issues, and provision of time for local advertisers and political candidates.  It was asserted that the only full-time station generally received throughout this city, WTAR, Norfolk, simply does not meet these needs because it has 16 major communities to serve and, for example, mentioned Virginia Beach material only four times in a week of evening news programs (three of them on one evening about the same item).  It was claimed that, while Virginia Beach is part of an SMSA with a larger city, the Commission should adhere to the policy applied in Monroeville Broadcasting Company, 12 FCC 2d 359 (1968), where it recognized the need of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, for an outlet despite a plethora of primary service from nearby Pittsburgh stations, finding that none of the latter showed "an above average sensitivity to the needs" of the city of Monroeville.  FM was claimed not to be the answer, at least as to present needs, in view of the still much greater circulation and universality of AM.  The suggestion was that the Commission adopt a rule to the effect that when a "major political unit" of over 50,000 lacks a local AM nighttime service, the "25% unserved area" and other technical rules should not apply if it is shown that the proposed facility would not cause interference to other stations (under the traditional nighttime standards) and that the proposed station would serve nighttime a substantial part of the population within the political unit.  n22

 

n21 At least one station whose licensee made this argument, WPVL, Painesville, Ohio, has since applied for and received grant of nighttime facilities.

n22 The latter part of the proposal apparently represents the fact that a nighttime facility would not include all of Virginia Beach -- which has a very large area -- within its interference-free contour.  Sea proposed that the Commission make this "substantial" determination on a case-by-case basis.

34.  Another aspect of such situations is presented in the comments filed by Gordon A. Regers, President of Radio KGAR, the licensee of daytime-only Station KGAR at Vancouver, Washington.  Vancouver, a city of about 43,000 in southwestern Washington, in the Portland, Oregon SMSA, has two other AM stations assigned, one full time (KISN), but, as Mr. Rogers pointed out, this station is actually located in Oregon (both studio and transmitter location) and has been the subject of Commission action because of improper identification as a Portland station (continuation of its operation is now the subject of a hearing proceeding, although not chiefly for this reason).  Mr. Rogers claimed that this station really is designed to serve Portland and Oregon, and, in fact, does not serve Vancouver at all as a local outlet; and, that city and its county therefore do not have local nighttime service (no FM channel is assigned to Vancouver, nor, in view of its proximity to Portland, is such an assignment likely).  Mr. Rogers vigorously opposed the Notice proposal, as stifling AM development, instead urging that daytimers should be permitted to "go nighttime" if they can  [*660]  meet the traditional non-interference tests.  It was pointed out that with Station KOIN-FM, Portland, having a very large 1 mV/m coverage area, if FM service is taken into account as a bar to AM improvement, this would preclude AM facilities in an extremely large area in Oregon and Washington.  If this is going to be the case, it was urged that KOIN should be required to give its AM facility to KGAR and take the present KGAR frequency, which has less coverage potential but would still leave KOIN with its wide-coverage FM and television facilities.  It was urged that no "unserved area" test is appropriate in such cases.

35.  The comments of Tri-State Broadcasting Company, licensee of of daytime Station WGTA, Summerville, Georgia, present another type of situation.  Summerville is the county seat of Chattooga County, with populations of about 5,000 and 20,000 respectively, and WGTA is the only station in the county.  No FM channel is assigned in the city or county, nor, in all probability, could an assignment be made.  The only nighttime AM service in the area is from Class I Station WSB, Atlanta, which puts a 0.5 mV/m signal, but not a 2 mV/v signal into Summerville and thus provides primary service to the surrounding area but not to the city itself.  Two Chattanooga FM stations provide predicted 1 mV/m signals to the city and area; but it is claimed that these do not in fact provide adequate service because of rough terrain (they are respectively 32 and 44 miles distant).  There is no local daily newspaper.  Tri-State urged the great need of this area for local nighttime service (particularly in view of the large "three shift" work force which travels to and from work during nighttime hours), and, also, and in particular, the economic impossibility of building a directional array which would enable it to meet interference protection requirements at night with the normally permissible power level of 500 watts (regional channels).  It was asserted that this (including the acquisition of a large enough site) would cost over $115,000, which is simply not justifiable in a community of this size.  Therefore, Tri-State's basic request is for a rule which would permit it to operate non-directionally with less than the minimum power, or 100.5 watts, which it could use and not raise the interference limit of co-channel stations.  So operating, with a 9.73 mV/m limit to it (a radius of about 4 miles), it would provide a primary service to some 8,221 persons, of whom 4,706 now receive no nighttime AM primary service and 3,472 receive only one, and would thus meet the "25% unserved area" test as modified in 1968 to include a 25% population criterion.  It asked for a rule which would permit non-directional operation with sub-minimum power at night if the applicant shows that a directional array necessary to meet protection requirements with the regular minimum power would be either impossibly complex or economically unfeasible.  It was urged that this approach would solve the problem of providing local nighttime service in many U.S. communities.

36.  The "minority group" problem: comments of Dr. Wendell Cox.  The comments of Dr. Wendell Cox, D.D.S., a principal in, and general manager of black-owned full-time AM Station WCHB, Inkster, Michigan, and FM Station WCHD, Detroit, related to the possible acquisition of broadcasting facilities by "minority groups" -- blacks  [*661]  in his case -- pointing out that while there are some 700 stations presenting at least some programming aimed at the black audience, there are very few black-owned stations (they include the stations mentioned, and assertedly only about seven other AM and fewer other FM stations; but the number has increased somewhat since these comments were filed in November 1969).  Dr. Cox urged that rules not be adopted which would restrict the opportunity for ethnic and racial minorities to compete for additional facilities in markets where they constitute large portions of the population.  He asserted that -- with the disadvantaged position of the black population during the period when facilities in large markets were available, and the present impossibility of adding any new ones in most large cities -- steps should be taken to make more frequencies available to such groups, rather than adopting further restrictions of the type contemplated by the Notice.  It was asserted that, while "militant" groups have approached this problem by renewal challenges, it should not be necessary to take something away from an existing licensee in order to achieve a minority voice, if there are other ways by which such groups can obtain new facilities.  A re-shuffle of frequencies in places such as New York, it was claimed, could provide an additional channel which minority groups could seek.  n23 Dr. Cox claimed that FM is not a substitute in this respect; Black taxi drivers, filling station workers, etc., are "transistor oriented" and FM sets are less available to poor black homes.  Therefore, as shown by his experience with the Detroit FM station, the potential black FM audience at this time is small, even if FM channels were available in large cities, which they usually are not (and existing FM licensees, it was asserted, put prices on their existing FM stations which make purchase out of the question even for a fairly successful black group).  Specifically, Dr. Cox opposed the Notice proposal, urged that the Commission take steps (by reshuffling channels) to provide at least one frequency in major markets where there is now not a black-owned or controlled station, and stated that he is not asking that channels be available only for black applicants, but that they be given an opportunity to compete for them.

37.  Suggestions advanced by the parties.  Besides general opposition to the restrictive aspects of the Notice proposal, a number of parties advanced affirmative suggestions which they claim will improve aural broadcast service and the assignment process.  Some of these -- including the general elimination of the "25% unserved area" requirement for new nighttime facilities, possible use of "preclusions studies" as a basic allocation tool, the specific suggestions of the Virginia Beach and Summerville, Georgia, applicants for getting nighttime facilities in their particular situations, and the suggestions of Dr. Cox concerning a voice for minority groups -- have been mentioned.  Others are discussed in the next few paragraphs.  Some of these ideas are clearly beyond the scope of this proceeding; others could conceivably be adopted herein but in our view should be the subject of more exploration  [*662]  if they are to be considered at all; and still others, such as those relating to processing and procedures, do not require rule making. 

 

n23 These comments were accompanied by an engineering statement of E. Harold Munn, Jr., to the same effect as part of his separate engineering comments, including data as to channel spacing and the date of authorization of stations in large cities.

38.  "Across the board" power increase.  The engineering firm of Cohen and Dippel -- supported by a number of parties, particularly Class IV licensees seeking increased nighttime power -- proposed an "across the board" power increase for all classes of stations.  The proposal was that: (1) Class I stations could increase from 50 to 250 kw, with I-A stations directionalizing (on the "broken down" I-A channels) to protect II-A stations; and I-B stations similarly protecting co-channel I-B stations where there are any; (2) Class II stations to be permitted 100 kw, with full-time Class II stations on I-B channels to protect the new 1 mV/m 50% contour of co-channel I-B stations (which is farther out than the present 0.5 mV/m 50% contour), and Class II-A stations protecting Class I-A stations on the present 0.5 mV/m 50% basis; (3) regional (Class III) stations to be permitted 25 kw (the Munn Engineering comments suggested consideration of an increase to 50 kw); and (4) Class IV stations to go to 500 watts at night with a 5/8 (0.625) wave length antenna.  The latter is designed to reduce high-angle radiation, the chief source of interference to other stations within 300 miles.  Studies on Class IV situations in Illinois and Tennessee, said to be typical, showed increases in interference limits of 35% and 12%, respectively, but increase in groundwave field intensity of 116% and 100%, resulting in a considerable net gain in service areas.  In connection with the Class I power increase also, it was asserted that this would result in over-all improvement, improving both groundwave and skywave coverage despite increased interference.  It was recognized that these changes might involve some adjacent problems in some cases, and also would often require modification of international agreements.  ABS, in reply comments, urged that such changes would be very complex and should not be undertaken at the present stage of this proceeding.

39.  Treatment of I-A and adjacent channels.  A number of engineering, and other parties, suggested that the Commission take steps to make additional assignments (daytime if not full-time) on I-A channels, and wholly, or partly, lift the "freeze" on use of adjacent channels presently contained in Section 1.569.  On the other hand, CCBS, urging the importance of skywave service from unduplicated I-A stations, asked that steps be taken to "clear" a number of additional channels for wide-coverage operation, by moving to the FM band stations designed primarily for local coverage.

40.  Use of a Table of AM Assignments.  Some parties, such as McKenna and Wilkinson and Ralph Bitzer, supported the idea of a Table of Assignments for AM, which would contain initially only existing stations, with additional assignments requiring amendment of the Table through rule making.

41.  Suggestions concerning procedures and processing.  Other suggestions related to the Commission's procedures and methods used in handling and consideration of applications, in an effort to deal with the problems mentioned in the Notice without the Draconian measure of a near-total "freeze".  These included:

 [*663]  (a) Relying on licensees to check for interference.  The AFCCE specifically, and other parties more generally, suggested that the Commission abandon the system whereby every AM application is carefully checked as to interference to existing stations, and instead, rely on the existing stations themselves for this, with the Commission staff initially only spot-checking and examining applications only where international considerations are involved.  The AFCCE's suggestion was that a system (using only clerical personnel and a computer) be worked out for notifying existing stations on a monthly basis of all applications for facilities on their channels or up to 30 kHz removed, with the licensee to have the burden of objecting if interference to it would be involved.  The licensee would have 60 days to file objections, with a complete engineering showing, and if objection is filed, the applicant and other parties would have 45 days to reply.  The staff and the Commission would then consider the matter.  If no objection is received and the application appears otherwise in order, it would automatically be granted.

(b) Filings only by professional engineers.  The AFCCE and other engineering parties urged that applications be required to be prepared by professional engineers, as a way of insuring engineering showings of good quality, accuracy and completeness.  It was said that this requirement -- under which persons of "proven ethics and expertise" would be putting their reputations "on the line" -- would go far to cut down the staff and Commission problems in dealing with inferior engineering submissions.  In this respect, these parties make the same arguments urged by the AFCCE in a pending petition to adopt this requirement for all of the Commission's processes which involve engineering.

(c) Furnishing an extract of material in the application.  McKenna and Wilkinson, noting that one of the time-consuming aspects of application processing is the preparation of memoranda setting forth the important facts as to an application -- not only engineering but finances, ownership, programming, etc. -- suggested that applicants be required to file with their applications an extract of key information in these categories, which would shorten the time involved in presenting items for consideration at higher staff level or by the Commission.

(d) Increased filing fees.  Silliman, Moffat and Kowalski suggested that application filing fees might well be raised, to cover the substantial costs of AM application processing if it is to be continued on its traditional basis (as the parties generally believe it should).  In 1970, of course, the Commission raised its fees, for AM and other applications, substantially compared to what they were when these comments were filed, and further increases are currently under consideration.

(e) Use of computers.  A number of parties suggested that the Commission should make more use of computers in AM processing.  The Silliman comments suggested the accumulation of information concerning AM stations in a "computer bank", which would be available to the public and also supported, at least in part, by public users.

42.  Suggested broadening of the proceeding.  Some parties, notably E.  Harold Munn, Jr., urged that the scope of the proceeding should be broadened by a Notice of Inquiry and Further Notice of Proposed Rule  [*664]  Making.  Munn suggested that such a document might well look toward the following, in addition to further breakdown of the I-A channels already discussed:

(a) "Show cause" orders to daytime-only licensees as to why they should not be required to install nighttime facilities, in cases where it appears that they feasibly could and particularly where FM channels are not available;

(b) Steps to meet the needs of minority groups for increased ownership of facilities.

(c) Moving I-A stations out of the large cities, where they are now located, to smaller places where they could do a much better job of serving "unserved area", replacing them in the large centers by Class II or III stations.

(d) "Show Cause" orders to full-time stations which cause high nighttime limits to stations in "unserved area" portions of the country, as to why they should not be required to improve their arrays so as to reduce interference to these stations.

(e) Setting a time limit for resolution of the Clear Channel proceeding.

43.  Other suggestions.  Other suggestions made included the formation of a Joint Government-Industry Committee to undertake a sweeping evaluation and reform of the aural broadcasting assignment structure; that the Commission urge adoption of "all channel" AM-FM receiver legislation as really the only effective way of bringing these two aural services to parity; and various fundamental changes in AM and FM technical rules (suggested in the Booth Comments).  n24

 

n24 These included, in FM, reducing both the bandwidth (to 100 kHz) and the adjacent-channel requirements, and, in AM, deleting the allegedly obsolete "blanketing" and second and third adjacent channel separation requirements, and liberalizing the rules concerning principal-city coverage; and exploration of "single sideband" AM operation.

We have not mentioned specifically herein the longest comments of all, those filed by Coastal Broadcasting Company, Inc., licensee of WBEA and WBEA-FM, Ellsworth, Maine.  These largely were related to that party's pending petition for breakdown of the Class I-A channel 820 kHz to provide a new Class II-A assignment in Maine.  They made the same point urged by others herein as to the inadequacy of FM as a substitute for additional FM development in places such as northern Maine, and of the alleged difficulty in getting coverage via FM comparable to that which a II-A station could provide.

IV.  THE DISTRIBUTION OF AM AND FM SERVICE AND FACILITIES IN THE CONTERMINOUS 48 STATES

44.  For reasons discussed below, rather than the "rules pending further study" contemplated by the Notice herein, we have decided to adopt, instead, rules which are expected, with minor modifications, to govern the assignment of new and increased AM facilities for some time to come.  Therefore, it is appropriate to examine the picture of aural broadcast service as it is today in the United States, both with respect to reception of the availability of a usable signal from a nearby or distant source, and as to transmission, the existence or absence of a local station, or full-time service or a choice of local service, in communities, or nearby communities.  It is of course well settled that under Section 307(b) of the Communications Act, the Commission's mandate to provide for a "fair, efficient and equitable distribution of radio  [*665]  service" includes both of these concepts, as do the various statements of Commission allocation principles such as the Sixth Report and Order (1952) in television, and the Notice of Proposed Rule Making in Docket 15084 (1963), the proceeding which led to the 1964 AM rules.  The discussion below relates to the 48 conterminous States; we discuss later herein the situation in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, which present different considerations because of their distance from the rest of the nation.

 

A.  AM and FM reception and service

45.  Daytime AM service.  With more than 4,200 stations in the 48 States, all operating daytime, daytime AM service in the nation is extremely widespread, and -- except in the West and certain limited areas elsewhere -- all but very small areas have at least one daytime primary service.  n25 Daytime "gray" areas, which receive only one primary service, appear to be somewhat larger (especially in view of the extent, discussed below, to which many counties in the U.S. have only one station); but even here there is relatively little absence of a choice of service.  As indicated in paragraph 22, above, the 1962 NAB-George Davis study showed that in the Southeast, by 1960, only 0.6% of that region's area had no primary service, and only 1.4% of the area was limited to one primary service. 

 

n25 There are extensive "unserved areas" in the Plains and Mountain States (and the interior portions of some of the Pacific States), and smaller areas farther east, including northern New England, northern New York, upper Michigan and northern Minnesota, and possibly north central Pennsylvania.  In the East and Southeast there are small interstitial unserved areas, particularly where ground conductivity is low.

46.  Nighttime primary service.  "Unserved areas", those without primary service, are substantially larger at night because of the high interference levels which prevail (limiting the service areas of those stations which operate at night).  The tool usually used in evaluating this situation is a map originally prepared by CCBS in the 1940's for the Clear Channel proceeding and updated in January 1962 to reflect 1961 conditions (it is generally agreed that in over-all terms, night-time "unserved area" has not been significantly changed since).  This shows some 1,726,000 square miles, or over half of the land area of the conterminous 48 states, as without nighttime "Type B" groundwave service.  n26 This area in 1961 contained some 25,106,000 people.  n27 The amount of "gray" area, receiving only one primary service at night, is also substantial.  The unserved area includes a considerable portion of the three Pacific Coast states, the bulk of the Mountain and western portion of the Plains states, and the bulk of the South and Southeast, Virginia and West Virginia, and northern New England as well as substantial portions of Michigan and Pennsylvania and parts of most other states.  An important factor in the provision of service, in overall  [*666]  area terms, is the wide primary services areas of the Class I clear channel stations, such as those at New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Des Moines, Minneapolis, New Orleans, Forth Worth, and elsewhere.  n28 One factor reinforcing this pattern, as elaborated below, is that the bulk of Class II and III full-time stations are also located in or near the large cities of the country (Class IV stations also operate full time and are much more widely distributed geographically, but they have very small nighttime coverage areas principally because of the very high interference levels which result from the great many co-channel stations). 

 

n26 The "Type B" groundwave nighttime service shown on the CCBS map is roughly equivalent to primary service, representing more sophisticated concepts evolved during the clear channel proceeding, whose validity the Commission recognized but whose complexity was held to make it unsuitable for ordinary application processing.

n27 The "unserved area" actually increased slightly from 1957 to 1961, but the population declined slightly.  In the portion of the pre-sunrise proceedings concerning the I-A channels (Dockets 17562 et al.), some of the Class II opponents of the I-A stations urged that the decline in population, despite an increase in area and the great population growth of the United States generally, meant that this largely rural "unserved area" was losing population so that providing it with nighttime service is a matter of smaller importance.  See the Report and Order in Dockets 17562 et al., 18 FCC 2d 705, 715 (1969).

n28 One of the oft-mentioned aspects of this situation is that the bulk of the nighttime "unserved area" is in the West; but the bulk of the "unserved population" is in the East and Southeast.

47.  Skywave (secondary) service from Class I stations.  In order to offset these limitations on nighttime primary service, reliance is placed on the skywave, or secondary, service rendered at night by Class I stations (25 I-A and 33 I-B) assigned to operate with high power and afforded a high degree of protection so that they can provide this service.  Skywave service is recognized as somewhat intermittent and subject to "fading"; but it is a useful way of providing at least a modicum of service to the large "unserved areas".  This service is regarded as generally useful out to about the station's 0.5 mVm/ 50% skywave contour, which for a non-directional operation is 700 to 750 miles from its transmitter.  All parts of the U.S. receive skywave service from these Class I stations, usually from several.

48.  FM service.  FM service, From more than 2,200 stations, is likewise widespread in most of the nation, generally excepting the areas mentioned above for daytime AM service.  The FM coverage map published periodically by the NAB shows the U.S. as completely covered, except for very small areas, about as far west as the 98th meridian in the Plains states, and then largely a coverage void until the Pacific states are reached.  However, this is based on coverage out to a station's 50 uV/m contour, which does not always represent reliable service and is not the basis of interference protection.  n29 As mentioned in para. 18, above, the NAB introduced a map herein showing almost complete coverage of the State of North Carolina by 1 mV/m signals from existing North Carolina facilities.  However, since North Carolina is and has long been a state of widespread FM development, this is not necessarily typical of all of the nation.  The engineering comments prepared by Peter V. Gureckis contained a similar map of all of the U.S. east of the Mississippi (1 mV/m coverage of all existing stations and assuming use of unoccupied channels); it shows only a small number of "unserved areas", of which the only ones of real size are northern Maine, northern New York, upper Michigan, central West Virginia and western Virginia, and southwestern Florida.  Nighttime FM is in general considerably more widespread than AM primary service.  Limited FM set circulation still remains a problem, although this is improving except possibly in the important auto radio market (see the Notice herein, para. 5). 

 

n29 Section 73.315(b) states that a signal as low as 50 uV/m may provide service in rural areas.  However, stations have never been protected against interference out to this contour; and in Commission proceedings the 1 mV/m contour is usually the signal-intensity contour considered.  Applicants are required to show the location of the 1 mV/m and the 3.16 mV/m (principal-city signal) contours.

 [*667]  DISCUSSION AND DECISION

49.  In deciding upon the nature of the rules to be adopted in this proceeding pursuant to our proposals herein, and in the light of the comments filed, we have explored in depth approaches which would be "fine-grained" -- would take into detailed account the actual distribution of aural broad cast service over the country, and result in rules aimed at remedying service deficiencies, if not on a case-to-case basis, in a manner approximating it.  However it soon appeared that the body of rules necessary to mount this kind of attack on the problem would be formidably complicated, and their implementation would impose a heavy administrative burden on the Commission and on licensees and applicants -- all without any firm assurance that the result, as evidenced by a more equitable and efficient distribution of broadcast facilities, would be sufficiently significant to justify the attendant effort and expense.

50.  Therefore, we have abandoned this approach, and are adopting comparatively simple rules in an attempt to accomplish our objective -- to control the expansion of standard broadcast service in such a manner that, in the future, grants of new standard broadcast stations or changes in existing stations will be limited largely to those situations in which improvements in the existing level of aural service are clearly needed, and cannot readily be achieved by alternative means.  In following this course of action, we are rejecting the suggestions of these parties who urge that we revert to an unrestricted "demand" system -- that we accept and process any standard broadcast application which meets the basic technical standards, and abandon rules tailored to limit the addition of new stations to communities which we deem to have sufficient aural service.  These parties tend to argue that the tremendous number of AM stations which have been assigned under this system is a demonstration of the excellence of the system, and that "demand" can be considered as a true indicator of the public need for additional broadcast service.  We do not believe that effectiveness of a system of broadcast allocations can be measured solely or even primarily by the fact that it provides an open-ended avenue for the apparently unlimited expansion in the number of stations.  As we have often observed, the unrestricted operation of such a system almost inevitably results in an inequitable distribution of facilities, with an undue concentration of stations in the larger communities.  Nor do we believe that "demand", as evidenced by the willingness of entrepreneurs to hazard funds for the establishment or purchase of stations is a true reflector of the public need for additional broadcast service.  Typically, any of the largest cities have a multitude of aural services, and it is difficult to conceive a substantial public requirement for any greater number, yet the "demand" remains, as demonstrated by the prices commanded by standard broadcast stations which change hands in those cities.  Accordingly, we find no justification for jettisoning rules designed to direct the future growth of the standard broadcast service into areas where there is inadequate existing service by any reasonable standard.

 [*668]  51.  The major rule amendments which we are adopting are embodied in a new paragraph, which, together with pertinent notes, would be added to present Section 73.37 of the rules.  This paragraph sets forth requirements bearing on the acceptability of applications in addition to the no overlap and non-interference showings presently required by the rule.  A discussion of the positions advanced by the parties to this proceeding, and our reasons for adopting these particular rules, can be conducted most fruitfully if we here set forth the new paragraph, and examine its provisions and their implications in the light of the considerations involved.

52.    73.37(e) in addition to a demonstration of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a), and, where appropriate, paragraphs (b), (c) and (d) of this section, an application for a new standard broadcast station, or for a major change (see   1.571(a)(1)) in an authorized standard broadcast station, as a condition for its acceptance shall make satisfactory showings as indicated below for the kind of application submitted.

(1) Application for a new daytime station, or for a change in the frequency of an existing daytime station.

(i) That at least 25 percent of the area or population which would receive interference-free primary service from the proposed station does not receive such service from an authorized standard broadcast station or receive service from an authorized FM broadcast station with a signal strength of 1 mv/m, or greater, or

(ii) That no FM channel is available for use in the community designated in the application and that at least 20 percent of the area or population of the community receives less than two daytime aural services.  For the purpose of this showing an aural service shall be deemed to be provided by an interference-free groundwave signal from an authorized standard broadcast station of a strength of 5 mv/m, or greater, or by an F (50, 50) signal from an authorized FM broadcast station of a strength of 70 dbu (3.16 mv/m), or greater.

(2) Application for a new unlimited time station, for a change in the frequency of an authorized unlimited time station, or for night-time facilities by an authorized daytime station, a satisfactory showing under (i) (except for a Class IV station), and under either (ii) or (iii):

(i) That objectionable interference at night will not result to any authorized station, as determined pursuant to   73.182(o).

(ii) That at least 25 percent of the area or population which would receive interference-free primary service at night from the proposed station does not receive such service from an authorized standard broadcast station, or service from an authorized FM broadcast station with a signal strength of 1 mv/m, or greater, or

(iii) That no FM channel is available for use in the community designated in the application, and at least 20 percent of the area or population of the community receives less than two nighttime aural services.  For the purpose of this showing, an aural service shall be deemed to be provided by an interference-free ground wave signal from an authorized standard broadcast station with a strength of 5 mv/m, or  [*669]  greater, or by an F (50, 50) signal from an authorized FM broadcast station with a strength of 70 dbu (3.16 mv/m), or greater.

(3) Application by an authorized station (other than a Class IV station) proposing changes in facilities, other than a change in frequency, must make a satisfactory showing, where appropriate, under (i), and under either (ii) or (iii).

(i) For a change in nighttime facilities, that the proposed change will not result in objectionable interference to other stations as determined pursuant to   73.182(o).

(ii) For an increase in power, either daytime or nighttime, that the authorized operation, during the portion of the broadcast day for which power increase is sought, includes less than 80 percent of the area or population of the community to which the station is assigned within its 5 mv/m ground wave contour (or within its interference-free groundwave contour, if of a higher value), or,

(iii) For an increase in power, that at least 25 percent of the area or population which, as a result of the power increase, for the first time would receive interference-free primary service from the station, is without primary service from any other standard broadcast station.

New notes appended to Section 73.37 define the circumstances controlling the availability of an FM channel, and, with respect to the determination of existing services, stipulate that signals from stations located more than 50 miles from the community for which the station is proposed will not be considered, and that co-owned FM and standard broadcast stations shall be considered as providing a single aural service.  A study of the provision of this paragraph will reveal the following additional criteria which will henceforth govern the acceptance of applications for standard broadcast stations:

(1) A showing, for a new daytime station that 25 percent of the area or population within its proposed service area is without primary service from any existing standard broadcast station, or comparable service from an FM broadcast station, and, for a new unlimited time station, that this condition exists during nighttime hours.

(2) An alternative showing that the community for which the new station is proposed receives from existing stations a degree of service which, for the purposes of this document will be referred to as "inadequate" -- that the community is not substantially covered by at least two independent (not commonly owned) aural (AM or FM) services with field strengths of a level normally required to be provided by a station assigned to that community -- and that an FM channel is not available to the community which might be utilized to rectify the service inadequacy.  In the determination of the adequacy of existing service to the community for which the application is designed, we have further provided that signals from distant stations -- that is, from stations whose transmitters are located more than fifty miles from the community -- are not to be considered.

(3) Subject to the overlap and interference restrictions of 73.37 we will accept applications from existing stations for increased power within the limits permitted the class of station involved on a showing either that at least 25 percent of the newly served population or area would receive a first primary service, or that, with existing facilities,  [*670]  the station does not adequately cover its community -- inadequate coverage being presumed if less than 80% of the population or area of the community receives an interference-free signal of 5 mv/m or greater.  For an unlimited time station, this test is applied separately nighttime and daytime, and an application for such a power increase based on inadequate community coverage is accepted only for the portion of the broadcast day during which inadequate coverage is shown.

53.  The Commission has found in numerous cases that coverage of a community approximating 90% of its area of population with a signal of required strength is in substantial compliance with the service requirements of its rules.  The 80% figure used herein as the minimum level for adequate coverage of its community by an existing station was chosen as a figure below which service can be deemed clearly inadequate, even in the light of existing Commission policy.  For a similar reason, we have used the complement of this figure, 20 percent, as the criterion to be employed by the applicant for a new station in a demonstration of the area or population of a community unserved by existing stations.

54.  It will be observed that, in the provision of aural service, we are treating FM as a full and viable partner of AM, in that we both accord existing FM service equal status with AM in the determination of whether a particular community is being "adequately" served, and, where service can be shown to be inadequate, that we point to FM as the favored means for correcting this deficiency.

55.  We have given full consideration to the arguments filed in opposition to our proposal to accord a major role to FM in future endeavors to improve aural broadcast service, and have concluded that it is in the overall public interest that existing and potential FM service be relied on to the extent feasible.  It is quite clear that, under the allocation practices prevailing heretofore, nighttime primary service from AM broadcast stations has not improved appreciably in areas where it is most needed, and, considering the nature of the problem, is unlikely to.  FM is virtually the only means by which admittedly inadequate nighttime primary service may be improved substantially; in contrast to daytime stations, which have constituted the bulk or new standard broadcast stations authorized in the recent past each new FM station provides a new and significant nighttime service.  The argument has been advanced that the typical FM station does not provide service over an area as extensive as that usually served during daytime hours by a standard broadcast station.  This is certainly true if the areas within the respective 1 mv/m and 0.5 mv/m protected service contours of such stations are compared.  However, we believe that this advantage of AM, as demonstrated in this manner, becomes of far less significance when service comparisons are made under actual operating conditions.  At locations where the extent of service provided by the FM or an AM station is effectively limited to its protected contour by interference from other stations, there is usually a plethora of service from such stations, and wide area coverage by either station, in all probability, contributes little to the revenues received by the station or service needed by the public.  In less densely populated areas, where stations are fewer  [*671]  in number and more widely separated, the effective service areas of the FM and standard broadcast stations may approach comparability, since, as is widely recognized, in the absence of interference from other stations, an FM station will provide service roughly equivalent in quality to the 0.5 mv/m service from a standard broadcast station, out to its 50 uv/m contour.

56.  Whether or not an FM station is less expensive to install than an AM station of comparable size (in our Notice, we asserted that this was the case, but several of the comments asserted this was not necessarily so, and offered typical cost data in support of this contention), the differential one way or another, does not appear so great as to influence our action in this matter.  While it has been urged that there is still an insufficient number of sets capable of receiving FM signals in the hands of the public to make the AM and FM services fully comparable, we find that this situation is one that is rather rapidly being alleviated.  For instance, EIA n30 shows for the year 1971 approximately 59 percent of all radios, other than those for automobiles, produced or imported, had FM capability.  Admittedly, automobile radios which include FM constituted only about 19% of such radios produced or imported in 1971, but this percentage has risen from a figure of around 11% for the year 1968.  Those opposing the adoption of rules according coequal status to FM have emphasized that an extremely important section of the aural market is the commuting public, and the small proportion of cars equipped to receive FM programs present a serious threat to the economic viability of FM stations.  However, it should be noted that the rules which we are adopting generally favor the growth of stations in the smaller, and more isolated markets when existing aural service can be demonstrated to be less than adequate.  In such markets extensive commuting to and from work may be expected to be relatively less important, both as to the number of persons involved and the average duration of the trip.  It is urged that, in such markets, FM has had little previous acceptance, and, accordingly, the percentage of FM receivers in the hands of the general public is considerably lower than the national verage.  This seems essentially a "chicken and egg" proposition.  Until FM service is available to those communities it is probably futile to expect that listeners will undertake to provide themselves with equipment for the reception of FM programs.  The most potent impetus to the growth of the number of such receivers, is the existence of satisfactory service from FM stations.  We do not believe, with the general availability of suitable receivers at reasonable prices, the fact that, in a particular instance, the radio audience has had no incentive to purchase such receivers is reason to refrain from supplying that incentive.  At the present time, in excess of 2,300 FM stations are on the air, more than half the number of AM stations.  This FM total, furthermore, does not include in excess of 500 non-commercial educational stations.  Taking all of these factors into consideration, we are convinced that FM is ready and able to assume its full share of the burden for improving aural service to the American  [*672]  public.  Our rules recognize this fact and assign to FM the role which it merits. 

 

n30 Consumer Electronics -- 1972 Annual Review -- published by Consumer Electronics Group of the Electronic Industries Association.

57.  However, the amended rules provide that the determination of the adequacy of aural service to a community from existing stations be made without the inclusion of service which may be provided by noncommercial educational standard broadcast and FM stations.  Our decision on this point has been arrived at with full recognition of the importance of the service rendered by such stations.  Nevertheless, we have endeavored to tailor our rules so as to make possible the provision to each community of two "competing voices".  These "competing voices" will be sources, not only of two program services, but, hopefully, will present two independent viewpoints on matters of community concern.  Over 60% of the FM educational stations in the United States are Class D 10-watt stations operated by educational institutions, both at the college and secondary school levels.  These stations are operated primarily for the benefit of the student body, their effective service area is very limited, and they very often are off the air during school vacation periods.  Further, many of this class of stations serve primarily as training facilities to teach students the art and science of broadcasting.  For these reasons, these stations are not truly voices in the community and should not be counted as such.  Although other classes of educational FM stations may actually provide adequate signals to the communities to which they are licensed, they, like the Class D station, are exempted from many of the operating requirements imposed upon commercial stations.  For example, educational stations have no minimum hours of operations; they are not required to provide their community of license with a minimum required field intensity; and they are not presently required to ascertain community needs and interests and provide programming to meet such ascertained needs and interests.  With respect to noncommercial educational AM stations, their numbers are so small -- less than 30 out of more than 4,000 AM stations -- that as a practical matter, we believe that they should also be excluded from consideration.  Accordingly, for the purposes herein, we will exclude such station from consideration in an assessment of existing aural service to the community.  We do this with no intention of diminishing the value of educational broadcast service, which, where it exists, provides a desirable and unique bonus in available programming.

58.  The rules provide that where a prospective applicant intends to rely on a demonstration that service to a community is inadequate, he must also show that no channel is available for a new FM station serving the community.  A channel assigned to the community is considered unavailable if occupied by an authorized station, whether or not the station is in actual operation.  If the channel is unoccupied, but applied for in that community, it is still "available", since, whatever applicant finally gains an authorization on the channel, the station will supply service to the community.  A channel is also available if it is unoccupied, and can be used in the community pursuant to 73.203(b) of the FM rules (the 10-15 mile rule).

 [*673]  59.  The FM Table is not "saturated" in the less populated areas, and we had considered the advisability, where no FM channel had been assigned to a community, or requiring, as a necessary condition for the acceptance of an application for an AM station in that community, a showing that it was not technically feasible to make such as assignment.  However, we have decided that the complications involved in such a negative showing are not warranted, and we, accordingly, have determined upon the simpler formulation.

60.  Also, it may be noted, we have not specified a preclusion showing in the acceptability criteria -- that a station assigned to the proposed community will not preclude a more needed or more efficient assignment elsewhere.  This kind of showing had been considered as particularly appropriate with respect to daytime stations, whose proliferation might limit opportunities for new unlimited time assignments, with their greater service potentiality.  When we invited comments concerning the possible adoption of rules requiring such showings, we indicated we had rather strong reservations about their practicability, when considered with respect to AM allocations.  While one or two of the parties who discussed this matter believed that preclusion studies might usefully be required, at least on a case-to-case basis, others opposed their employment under any circumstances.  Upon further consideration of all facets of this matter, not only the many variables which affect AM signal propagation, but the kinds of decisions, both economic and engineering, which must be made concerning the use of directional antennas, decisions particularly within the purview of each applicant proposing such an antenna, we have concluded that such studies, while inevitably being complicated and costly, would still be unlikely, in most instances, to provide definitive "yes" or "no" answers to the preclusion question.  Rather, the requirement for such showings would introduce a new element of uncertainty and complication in our application processing procedures which we can well do without.

61.  As we proposed in our Notice in this proceeding we are requiring a showing of service to twenty-five percent unserved area or population as an application acceptability criterion for daytime proposals, and are retaining this requirement where nighttime operation is contemplated.  This requirement represents an effort to channel new AM assignments to locations where each contributes materially toward the achievement of the first of the traditional service priorities -- the provision of service to all of the U.S. population.  While this remains a desirable aim, long experience has demonstrated that it cannot be fully achieved under a system of broadcasting where each station must be financially self-sustaining, and accordingly, must be located where population is sufficiently concentrated to provide the necessary support.  Accordingly, we have offered an alternative test, applicable to both daytime and nighttime operation, which reflects our aim toward attainment of two other important priorities, the provision of first and a second locally oriented service to each community.

62.  For present purposes, these priorities are observed in modified form, in that:

 [*674]  (1) The contributions of two aural services, AM and FM, are considered together in the satisfaction of these priorities.

(2) Existing aural services to a community, if they are of adequate strength and are provided by stations not too distant from the community, are considered to satisfy these priorities.  Traditionally, the priorities have been applied with respect to stations which are assigned to the community.

63.  We have already discussed our reasons for treating AM and FM as a single service in this context.  Insofar as the second point is concerned, we have remarked that while the assignment of first and second stations to each community traditionally has been an important allocations objective, that many communities are very small, and the full achievement of this objective in the limited spectrum space available is not feasible.  In recent years, we have placed considerable emphasis on the obligation of each station to tailor its programs to serve the needs of all substantial population segments in its service area.  Thus, if a community is served with a 5 mv/m signal from a nearby AM station (or 3.16 mv/m signal from an FM station) it obviously receives a technically adequate service from that station, and, we believe, could expect that station to give adequate attention, in its programs, to the purely local concerns of the community.

64.  In the determination of existing service to each community, however, we have provided that service from stations whose transmitter sites are more than fifty miles from the community be excluded, on the assumption that stations at such distances from the community could not reasonably be expected to devote a substantial part of their broadcasting time to the particular needs of the community.  The choice of this distance, of course, has been, to some extent, arbitrary, but we believe it is a good compromise.  As the distance of a station from a particular community increases, the likelihood that the station, as a practical matter, can give a substantial degree of attention to the specific needs of the community rapidly lessens.  For instance, a station delivering a mv/m signal at a distance of ten miles has a service area which is roughly 1/25 of the service area of a station delivering a signal of comparable strength at 50 miles.  The latter station obviously will have a very much greater number of separate communities within its service area, and would be much less able to concentrate on the needs of specific communities in that area, than would a station with more restricted service contours.

65.  We were also concerned, in our aim to provide each community with two adequate aural services, that these services be "competing voices".  Thus, for the purpose of the existing service determination, we have treated service rendered by commonly owned FM and AM stations as a single service.  This is the only kind of common ownership situation which will encountered in this connection, since in meeting the requirements of   73.35 and   73.240 of our rules, commonly owned AM stations or commonly owned FM stations would be so separated geographically that under no circumstances would the 5 mv/m contours (of AM stations) or the 70 dbu contours (of FM stations) encompass the same areas.

 [*675]  66.  While we are adopting rules with respect to new daytime stations which are substantially more restrictive than the present rules, the rules for nighttime AM service, even though making the presence of availability of FM service as a new consideration, have been somewhat liberalized, since we have provided alternative tests for application acceptability which are the same as we have prescribed for daytime applications -- rather than continuing to rely solely on a showing of proposed service to unserved area or population.  In situations where FM is not available to a particular community, we are ready to accept an application contemplating a nighttime operation when it is shown that the proposed station is necessary to ensure that the community receives two adequate aural services at night, and it offers protection for other stations which our rules require.  We believe a new nighttime assignment may be justified under such circumstances as an exception to a policy aimed at avoiding an undue proliferation of such assignments.

67.  Some of those commenting hold that we are unduly concerned with the effect an existing service of adding new stations for operation after nightfall, and dispute our claim that each new assignment, regardless of the degree of protection offered pursuant to existing rules, imposes its modicum of interference, with some effective limitation to the service provided by existing stations.  It is suggested that this, in fact, does not occur -- that an older station continues to provide interference-free service to as large areas as in former years, but many of the listeners to this station are now in suburban areas, more remote from the station than previously.  While they may find reception unsatisfactory, and ascribe this condition to a shrinkage in the interference-free service area of the stations, in reality their poorer reception results from the fact that they reside at more distant locations.  This opinion is offered without supporting evidence, which admittedly could be developed only by a great many observations of a number of stations over a long period of time.  Our own observation, offered similarly without technical support, has led us to a distinctly contrary conclusion -- we believe that regional stations, in particular, despite computations made under existing rules which may demonstrate that limitations remain unchanged, have suffered a progressive deterioration in the extent of the areas over which they can provide interference-free service.  If this conclusion is correct, there are at least two cause to which the effect might be ascribed -- (1) that our methods of predicting interference do not fully take into account the cumulative effect of interference from many sources and (2) that the directional antennas used by most regional stations for restricting radiation toward other co-channel stations do not, in many cases, limit interference produced by skywave transmission to a degree which might be predicted from consideration of the antenna design.  At least one study has been made tending to show that this can be the case -- that directional antennas designed for a high degree of suppression of radiation at angles above the horizontal produce interfering skywave signals substantially exceeding those which would be predicted under the Commission's  [*676]  rules.  n31 This last consideration is particularly important in considering the addition of new nighttime services to already overcrowded regional channels.  Stations "shoehorned" in under such conditions almost invariably require the use of directional antennas designed to radiate very little energy in various directions above the horizontal plane, so as to provide the degree of nominal protection for other stations required by the Commission's rules.  If this protection is not, in fact, achieved, as it well may not be, the result is a higher level of interference to these stations than was anticipated. 

 

n31 Suppression Performance of Directional Antenna Systems in the Standard Broadcast Band -- FCC Office of Chief Engineer -- TRR Report 1.2.7.  This Report analyzes the results of skywave measurements on directional arrays made in April, 1949, by NARBA Preparatory Committee IA.

68.  For these reasons, and because, in general, such new stations, subject to interference from many other stations, have very limited interference-free service areas and contribute little to overall nighttime service, we will continue to restrict new nighttime assignments to those cases where they can provide clearly needed new service and there is no available alternative means for providing this service.

69.  Because we recognize the problems faced by many existing stations in continuing to serve satisfactorily communities which, over the years, have expanded to geographic extent, the amended rules are framed so as to permit stations able to demonstrate that their existing community coverage is inadequate to increase power within the limits specified by our rules, subject to compliance with overlap and interference considerations.  However, permissible power increases are selective -- an unlimited time station will be permitted to increase power only during the portion of the broadcast day when existing community coverage is shown to be inadequate (or it can be shown that 25% of the area or population newly served as a result of the power increase would receive its first primary service).  Of course, power increases permitted on such a selective basis may result in cases where some unlimited time stations are authorized to operate with higher power at night than during the daytime.  While this result may be at variance to the usual situation, in which the station's daytime power is equal to or greater than its nighttime power, there appears little justification for permitting a power increase during a portion of the broadcast day for which the applicant is unable to make a satisfactory showing, pursuant to the rules, of service benefits resulting from the increase.

70.  We have not adopted any rule provisions, as suggested by some of the parties, directed specifically toward making easier the acquisition of nighttime facilities by daytime stations.  Indirectly, we believe we have done this, however, by upgrading the requirements for adequate service to each community from existing stations.  Thus, if the licensee of a daytime station can demonstrate that no unused FM channel is available to his community, and that other stations fail to provide at least two "adequate" nighttime aural services to that community, he is eligible, if his proposal will meet the nighttime protection requirements for other stations, to apply for full time operation.  However, he would not be permitted to tailor the proposed nighttime power, as Tri-State requests, to whatever level might be necessary to provide  [*677]  protection, with non-directional operation, for other stations.  An appealing case might be made for this kind of operation in an individual instance.  However, the net effect of a rule relaxation permitting such operation would be a proliferation of many low cost, but substandard nighttime facilities, generally providing inadequate service to their communities, and contributing to a level of actual (as distinguished from computed) interference far outweighing the service benefits which they might provide.

71.  As indicated in our earlier discussion of these matters, proposals for an across-the-bank power increase, and involving changes in the rules governing the use of the clear channels are beyond the scope of this proceeding.  Any broadening of its coverage to include such questions could result in an extension of the "freeze" on the acceptance of applications into the distant future, a result which we believe is undesired by any of the parties.  We have given full consideration to those suggestions aimed at mitigating the Commission's workload in the processing applications for standard broadcast stations, and may eventually test the feasibility of certain of the ideas presented.  At the present, since we are unable to forecast accurately the degree to which application filings pursuant to the amended rules will present a major problem, we intend to proceed in this area as described in paragraph 77 of this Report and Order.

72.  A petition for special consideration of minority groups presents not a requirement for more stations serving the special interests of these groups (on the contrary, it is claimed that approximately 700 stations carry at least some programming directed especially to the black audience), but seeks an opportunity for new stations which are black owned.  This need is seen as especially great in the larger markets, where the greatest concentrations of minority groups are found; it is also in these markets, however, where new facilities are less likely to be available, both because the plethora of existing stations diminishes the possibility of technically feasible new assignments, and because the Commission's policies are generally aimed toward precluding further additions to the many broadcast services already provided such cities.  It is urged, however, that, it is only recently that the blacks' financial and social position has advanced to a degree that broadcast station ownership has become possible -- meanwhile, the available assignments in these population centers have been utilized.  It is further stated that the purchase of existing facilities in these markets by black groups is either not possible, or involves prices so monumentally high as to be prohibitive.  Accordingly, the only practical avenue through which black ownership of broadcast facilities can be accomplished is through allocation policies which make additional assignments possible.

73.  Conceding the truth of all of these allegations, and that the promotion of minority group ownership of broadcast facilities is a socially desirable end, we are unable to see how this objective may be furthered effectively in a proceeding, such as this, and within the framework of the statutory scheme which circumscribes our actions.  Obviously, should we modify and relax all non-technical rules which tend to restrict additional assignments, the opportunities in general for minority controlled applicants to seek new facilities may be increased,  [*678]  but at the expense of basic allocation objectives, and without any real assurance that these opportunities can or will be effectively exercised.  In any event, the availability of new assignment opportunities in the larger cities, in which the largest minority groups reside, is not controlled by rules such as we now adopt, but by the basic technical standards.  The petitioner demonstrates this in a study appended to his filing which shows in the "top ten" markets, nearly all of the existing standard broadcast stations were assigned in these markets prior to 1950, long before the Commission became actively concerned with the undue concentration of stations in the larger population centers, and adopted rules designed to directed the future growth of stations to areas where additional service is more greatly needed.  Thus, absent a revision of the standards which now define the limits of service and interference, a revision which is clearly beyond the ambit of this proceeding, there is no action the Commission could appropriately take which would further the particular objectives of the petitioner.

74.  The new showings as to the extent of existing AM and FM service, and the availability of FM channels will not be required in applications for new AM broadcast facilities in Alaska, which will continue to be governed by the more liberal policies which are presently set forth in paragraph (5) of Note 2 in Section 1.571.  These policies, which were adopted on an interim basis at the time of the freeze, will be made permanent.  Accordingly, the substance of aforementioned paragraph (5) is being added as a new paragraph (f) to Section 73.37.  Moreover, we have decided to apply these policies with respect to applications submitted for new facilities in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Hawaii, Guam and American Samoa as indicated in paragraph (f).  While the aural broadcast coverage of Alaska is, of course, inadequate on an area basis, this limitation is presently imposed by economic considerations (the sparseness of population with respect to the area of the State), rather than by any scarcity in available standard broadcast spectrum space, and the restrictions which accordingly are imposed are only those intended to limit interstation interference and insure that each new assignment will contribute efficiently to the improvement in broadcast service.  Hawaii and Guam are both limited in geographical extent, and so isolated from other populated areas that standard broadcast stations can be assigned with only a limited need to consider interference effects external to the particular state or territory.  We see no need to apply any more restrictive rules in these cases than with respect to Alaska.  While the availability of standard broadcast service in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands is limited primarily by their proximity to Cuba, where many stations operate, and to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, this limitation is not sufficient to preclude adequate coverage of these comparatively small islands by standard broadcast facilities assigned to the communities therein, and we do not feel justified in imposing the more restrictive standards of the new rules to these territories.  While the distances of these outlying states and territories from the conterminous states vary greatly, all are sufficiently far away that assignment policies which place relatively few obstacles in the way of new daytime and unlimited time standard  [*679]  broadcast assignments in these areas can have little preclusionary effect on assignments in the conterminous states.

75.  Having extracted the useful substance of Note 2 to   1.571, as above described, we are deleting this Note, thereby, in effect, lifting the "freeze" on the filing of certain categories of applications.

76.  When an applicant relies on a demonstration that the existing aural service to the community which he serves or proposes to serve is inadequate as a basis for the acceptance of his application, it should be evident that his application, to be eligible for a grant without hearing, must propose an operation that itself will provide an adequate service to the community.  As is well known, the Commission consistently requires that a new standard broadcast station provide an interference-free signal of 5 mv/m or greater over the entire community to which it is assigned.  This long standing requirement is presently not stated directly in the rules, but may be derived from   73.188(b)(2), which requires that the transmitter site for a proposed station be so selected that a signal of 5 mv/m minimum strength will be delivered over the most distant residential section of the designated community, read in connection with the textual material of   73.182(f) which makes it clear that service is considered to be provided only when the signal is interference-free, which, at night, may require a signal in excess of the 5 mv/m minimum.  Since this requirement bears an important relationship to the application of the new rules, we consider it desirable that it be stated clearly and directly, and we have included it, together with the concomitant requirement for a 25 mv/m signal over business areas of the community in a new paragraph added to   73.24, a section of the rules which specifies the showings which must be made prerequisite to the authorization of a new station or an increase in the facilities of an existing station.  It is recognized that, in the individual case, an existing station proposing an increase in power within the power ceiling imposed on the class of station involved, or because of interference considerations, may be unable to meet fully the service requirements discussed above.  In such an instance, if the proposed operation would provide service to the community substantially superior to that provided by the existing operation, and is otherwise in compliance with the rules, the Commission will give favorable consideration to a request for waiver of the community service requirement.

77.  During the year following adoption of the current AM rules in 1964, over 400 major applications were filed.  This total was due in part to pent-up demand created by the "freeze" period preceding adoption of the rules.  Due to this large influx and the complex nature of the studies required under the "go-no go" system, a large backlog soon developed.  As the average length of time to dispose of applications grew, so did the necessity to amend and update them.  Consequently, the backlog tended to become self-perpetuating.  Because of a reduction in personnel available to process AM applications, the filing of new proposals in numbers even approaching the total filed subsequent to the lifting of the last "freeze" will result inevitably in another large backlog.  Thus steps may be necessary to control the influx of applications.  Considerable thought has been given to the design of an acceptable  [*680]  method to accomplish this result.  We have concluded, however, that it would be premature to institute control measures at the outset, when we are unable to predict accurately the rate of incoming applications.  Accordingly, at this time, no restrictions will be placed on the potential number of proposals which may be filed.  If the number submitted, however, becomes administratively burdensome, we will give further consideration to the imposition of control measures.  These measures will probably involve the declaration of periodic "open" and "closed" seasons for the filing of applications.  If it becomes necessary to institute such measures, they will be temporary in nature, and advance notice will be given, so that all parties will have ample time to complete and submit any applications which are in preparation.

78.  The amendments to the rules, as discussed herein, are set forth in the attached Appendix.  The additional requirements will apply to all applications filed after the effective date of these rules.

79.  Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, That, effective April 10, 1973, Part 73 of the Rules and Regulations IS AMENDED as set forth in the Appendix hereto.  Authority for this action is found in Sections 4(i) and 303(r) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

80.  IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that this proceeding IS TERMINATED.

 

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, BEN F. WAPLE, Secretary.


CONCURBY: WILEY

 

CONCUR:

 

SEPARATE STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER RICHARD E. WILEY

The Commission announces today what I regard as a carefully structured plan designed to improve aural service, both daytime and nighttime, in communities where service is presently absent or inadequate.

Contrary to Commissioner Johnson's view, I do not believe that the creation of a limited opportunity for new nighttime AM service in underserved areas, or the improvement of existing facilities which are no longer adequate because of burgeoning population growth and urban expansion, will lead to increased and unacceptable disruptions to our present broadcast service.  In this connection, it should be noted initially that, in every circumstance where new or improved aural service is proposed, we will continue to consider the availability of FM as the primary means of remedying service deficiencies.  Moreover, the clear import of our Report and Order is that the introduction of new standard broadcast transmission stations, as well as the upgrading of existing facilities, will be permitted only after a satisfactory showing that objectionable interference will not result (see Sections 73.87(e) (2)(i), 73.87(e)(3)(i) and 73.87(f)(2)).  Let us be very clear on this point: the Commission's action effects absolutely no relaxation of our present rules controlling the level of interference between stations.

Accordingly, our partial lifting of the AM freeze seems to me to be an intelligent, carefully measured and altogether salutary administrative response to legitimate and pressing needs for broadcast service in areas presently unserved or inadequately served, while in no way diminishing the Commission's long-standing requirement that new or expanded service shall not result in objectionable interference.  Thus, it seems to me that the Commission's action clearly serves the public interest.


DISSENTBY: JOHNSON

 

DISSENT:

 [*684]  DISSENTING OPINION OF COMMISSIONER NICHOLAS JOHNSON

The Commission majority today ends its four year "freeze" on new or increased AM services.  In doing so, and agreeing to accept new applications once again, they insure that the current garbled reception experienced by most of us on our AM band will soon be suitable only for the uses of John Cage and our other electronic musicians.

We must assume from the language of the majority's document that they contemplate additional night-time AM service in many regions of this country.  If that is the case, then the more rigid "tests" or "requirements" they announce of "no locally available service," "expanding suburbs" or "FM channel availability" are little more than illusory means to a continued destruction of the "public convenience, interests of necessity."

To agree to accept new AM applications or applications for increased service from existing standard stations on theories of "need" for first or second local service, when it is acknowledged that, even absent "short space" violations, existing ground and skywave patterns will be disrupted by each new signal, is to do an extreme disservice to a great many listeners for the momentary convenience of a few.  I say "momentary" because even the benefits of a new low power AM service to a relatively sparsely populated region would disappear as still more stations are added or services increased in other parts of the country.

I would much prefer to see a vigorous effort to increase FM usage and penetration in those less populous or rapidly growing regions where the majority today announces its willingness to reopen the AM band.  The majority claims its new rules (which are admittedly even less severe than those we originally suggested might one day replace the freeze) will give an added fillip to FM broadcasting.  But if this Commission is truly committed to the full utilization of FM and the prevention of any further interference in the clear-channel dominated night-time AM band, it would not countenance the least backsliding from its admirable 1968 position to channel all new services into the FM band.

Surely it would not be difficult to write legislation, similar to that which has so aided UHF penetration, which would require all newly  [*685]  manufactured radios to contain FM as well as AM tuners.  And that is just one way of putting the full weight of this Commission behind a full-service AM-FM radio commitment.  Glowing language to the contrary, however, reopening the AM band once again to additional applications unfortunately does not evince a sufficient commitment to FM to elevate it from its current status as a second class citizen in many parts of this country.

I have consistently opposed the increases in interference in aural reception that have been caused, first in AM and more recently even in FM, by waivers of our various technical rules and by the inadequacies of the rules themselves.  See my numerous shortspacing dissents, e.g., WHLN,     F.C.C. 2d     (decided December 1, 1972); Storer Broadcasting Co., 12 P & F Radio Reg. 2d 815 (1968). The AM freeze was a fresh breath of reason and sanity amidst the normal regulation-by-deterioration that constitutes the traditional approach of this Commission to the radio frequencies -- but before we have time to breathe clearly long enough to assess its effect, we find it is being eliminated.  I dissent.


APPENDIX:

APPENDIX A

1.  Section 1.571 is amended by redesignating Note 1 As Note and amending the text, and deleting Note 2 to read as follows:

  1.571 Processing of standard broadcast applications.

* * *

NOTE: No application for broadcast facilities in the conterminous United States tendered for filing after July 13, 1964, will be accepted for filing unless it complies fully with the provisions of   73.24(b) and   73.37(a) through (d) of this chapter, and no application for broadcast facilities in the conterminous United States tendered for filing after July 18, 1968, will be accepted for filing unless it complies fully with the provisions of   73.24(b) and the provisions of   73.37(a) through (e).  No application for new or changed broadcast facilities in the states of Alaska, and Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the territories of the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa, tendered for filing after July 18, 1968 will be accepted for filing unless it complies fully with the provisions of   73.24(b) and 73.37(a) through (f).

2.  In   73.24, par (b) & Note are amended, present par (j) becomes par (k) and a new par (j) is added to read as follows:

  73.24 Broadcast facilities, showings required.

* * *

(b) That a proposed new station (or a proposed change in the facilities of an authorized station) complies with the pertinent requirements of   73.37.

NOTE: The provisions of   73.37 shall not be applicable to new Class II-A stations or to stations for which applications were accepted for filing before July 1o, 1964.  With respect to such stations, the provisions of   73.28(d), and the provisions of NOTE 1 of   73.37 shall apply.  Special provisions concerning interference from Class II-A to stations of other classes authorized after October 30, 1961 are contained in   73.22(d) and NOTE 3 to   73.21.  The level of interference shall be computed pursuant to   73.182 and 73.186.

* * *

(j) That the 25 mv/m contour encompasses the business district of the community to which the station is assigned, and that the 5 mv/m contour (or, at night, the interference-free contour, if of a higher value) encompasses all residential areas of such community.

(k) That the public interest, convenience and necessity will be served through the operation under the proposed assignment.

[  73.30 Amended]

3.  Section 73.30 is amended by deleting paragraph (c).

4.  In Section 73.37, amend the headnote & and new paragraphs (e), (f), and Notes 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, to read as follows:

  73.37 Applications for broadcast facilities, showing required.

* * *

(e) In addition to a demonstration of compliance with the requirements of paragraph (a), and, where appropriate, paragraphs (b), (c), and (d) of this section, an application for a new standard broadcast station, or for a major change (see   1.571(a)(1)) in an authorized standard broadcast station, as a condition for its acceptance, shall make satisfactory showings as indicated below for the kind of application submitted:

(1) Application for a new daytime station, or for a change in the frequency of an existing daytime station:

(i) That at least 25 percent of the area or population which would receive interference-free primary service from the proposed station does not receive such service from an authorized standard broadcast station, or receive service from an authorized FM broadcast station with a signal strength of 1 mv/m, or greater, or

(ii) That no FM channel is available for use in the community designated in the application and that at least 20 percent of the area or population of the community receives less than two daytime aural services.  For the purpose of this showing an aural service shall be deemed to be provided by an interference-free groundwave signal from an authorized standard broadcast station of a strength of 5 mv/m, or greater, or by an F (50, 50) signal from an authorized FM broadcast station of a strength of 70 dbu (3.16 mv/m), or greater.

(2) Application for a new unlimited time station, for a change in the frequency of an authorized unlimited time station, or for nighttime facilities by an authorized daytime station, a satisfactory showing under (i) (except for a Class IV station), and under either (ii) or (iii):

(i) That objectionable interference at night will not result to any authorized station, as determined pursuant to   73.182(o).

(ii) That at least 25 percent of the area or population which would receive interference-free primary service at night from the proposed station does not receive such service from an authorized standard broadcast station, or service from an authorized FM broadcast station with a signal strength of 1 mv/m, or greater, or

(iii) That no FM channel is available for use in the community designated in the application, and at least 20 percent of the area or population of the community receives less than two nighttime aural services.  For the purpose of this showing, an aural service shall be deemed to be provided by an interference-free groundwave signal from an authorized standard broadcast station with a strength of 5 mv/m, or greater, or by an F (50, 50) signal from an authorized FM broadcast station with a strength of 70 dbu (3.16 mv/m), or greater.

(3) Application by an authorized station (other than a Class IV station) proposing changes in facilities, other than a change in frequency, must make a satisfactory showing, where appropriate, under (i), and under either (ii) or (iii).

(i) For a change in nighttime facilities, that the proposed change will not result in objectionable interference to other stations as determined pursuant to   73.182 (0).

(ii) For an increase in power, either daytime or nighttime, that the authorized operation, during the portion of the broadcast day for which the power increase is sought, includes less than 80 percent of the area or population of the community to which the station is assigned within its 5 mv/m groundwave contour (or within its interference-free groundwave contour, if of a higher value), or,

(iii) For an increase in power, that at least 25 percent of the area or population which, as a result of the power increase, for the first time would receive interference-free primary service from the station is without primary service from any other standard broadcast station.

(f) Applications for new or changed facilities in the states of Alaska and Hawaii, in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and in the territories of the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa will be accepted for filing only if satisfactory showings are submitted with respect to the following:

(1) The proposed operation complies with the requirements of paragraphs (a), (b), (c) and (d) of this section.

(2) Unlimited time operation, by other than a Class IV facility, will not cause objectionable skywave interference at night to an existing station, pursuant to   73.182(o).  In addition, each proposal for unlimited time operation (including Class IV proposals) shall meet at least one of the following conditions:

(i) Not more than 10 percent of the population included within the normally protected nighttime contour would receive objectionable interference.

(ii) The proposed operation would be the first standard broadcast facility assigned to the community which would provide nighttime service.

(iii) For a proposed new station, that at least 25 percent of the area or population included within the nighttime interference-free primary service contour is without nighttime primary standard broadcast service, or, for a proposed change in the nighttime facilities of an authorized station, that at least 25 percent of the area or population which would receive interference-free nighttime primary service from the station for the first time as a result of the change in facilities is without nighttime primary standard broadcast service.

* * *

NOTE 4: All applications for new stations, or for major changes in existing stations tendered for filing after July 18, 1968, for facilities in the conterminous United States, shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (e) of this section, or, for facilities in the states of Alaka and Hawaii, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the territories of the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa, shall be subject to the provisions of paragraph (f) of this section.

NOTE 5: In making determinations of "aural service" to the community from standard broadcast or FM broadcast stations in showings pursuant to (e)(1)(ii) and (e)(2)(iii), service provided by any standard broadcast station or FM broadcast station whose transmitter site is located more than 50 miles from the nearest boundary of the community designated in the application shall be excluded from consideration.

NOTE 6: No FM channel is available for use in the community (see (e)(1)(ii) and (e)(2)(iii), if no channel is assigned to the community for commercial use in the FM Table of Assignments (  73.202(b)), as amended by Commission action as of the date the application is tendered, or, if assigned, is occupied by an authorized facility, and no unoccupied channel can be utilized to serve the community pursuant to   73.203(b).

NOTE 7: In the determination of the extent of existing aural service to a community, areas and populations of the community receiving service from a standard broadcast station and an FM broadcast station which are commonly owned shall be considered as receiving a single aural service from these stations.  Service provided by noncommercial educational FM stations and standard broadcast stations shall not be included in the determination of existing aural service.

NOTE 8: An application for a new unlimited time station, other than a Class IV station, even though including a satisfactory showing pursuant to paragraph (e)(2) of this section will not be accepted for filing if the proposed daytime power is greater than the proposed nighttime power, unless it contains an additional satisfactory showing pursuant to (e)(1) of this section for daytime hours of operation.

APPENDIX B

Parties filing comments:

 

Robert D. Zellmer

National Association of FM Broadcast-

Oil Shale Broadcasting Co. (KWSR)

ers

Carl Como

The Outlet Co. (WJAR, WDBO,

Heart O'Wisconsin Broadcasters, Inc.

WDBO-FM)

Ralph J. Bitzer, Consulting Engineer

Ben F. Dawson (KAYO)

Waldron Broadcasting Co. (WCIR)

 

 

Clear Channel Broadcasting Service

WPVL, Inc.

Association on Broadcasting Standards,

WMRR Broadcasting Co.

Inc.

Ashdown Broadcasters, Inc.

James S. Rivers, Inc. (WJAZ)

Dr. Wendell Cox

Douglas Properties Corp. (WOIO)

Vir James, Consulting Radio Engineers

Storer Broadcasting Co.

E. Harold Munn, Jr., Consulting Engi-

Triangle Publications,

 

Inc. (KFRE,

neer

WFBG, WFIL, WNHC, WNBF)

Gordon A. Rogers (KGAR)

Mark/Way, Inc. (KAKC, KAKC-FM)

Willam O. Barry

Broadcast-Plaza, Inc. (WTIC)

Community Service Broadcasters

Southwestern Broadcasting Co.

(WTCA/WTCA-FM)

(WAPF)

L. J. duTreil and Associates, Inc., Con-

Hudson Horizons,

 

Inc./Jersey Hori-

sulting Radio Engineers

zons, Inc. (WGNY, WRAN)

Angel M. Rivera

Silliman, Moffet, and Kowalski, Con-

James R. Coursolle (KKIN)

sulting Engineers

Lloyd E. Kolbe (KVLG)

McKenna and Wilkinson

Frederick Eckardt (WCLW)

Coastal Broadcasting Co., Inc. (WDEA,

Robert Z. Morrison (KCLN)

WDEA-FM)

Clearwater Radio, Inc. (WTAN)

WFLI, Inc.

Scott McQueen (Sconnix Radio Enter-

Rober M. Booth, Jr.

prises)

Wycom Corp. (KODI)

Bradley University

Kingsley H. Murphy, Jr. (WISS)

Hugh J. Williams

Plough Broadcasting Co., Inc.

WMLP, Inc.

(WMPS, WCAO, WPLO, WJJD,

Tri-State Broadcasting Co. (WGTA)

WCOP)

Golden West Broadcasters, et al.

KULA Broadcasting Corp, et al.

Cohen and Dippell, Consulting Engi-

Commercial Radio Equipment

 

Co.,

neers

Consulting Engineers

Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc.

KBAR-AM

Mid America Audio-Video, Inc.

John H. Mullaney and Associates,

 

Con-

(WKAN)

sulting Engineers

Jansky and Bailey, Consulting Engi-

Fetzer Broadcasting Co.

 

(WKZO)

neers

Cedar Valley Radio

Kona Koast Broadcasting Co. (KKON)

Midwest Television, Inc.

 

(KFMB)

Jules Cohen and Associates, Consultin

WAAM

Electronic Engineers

Owen G. Shinn, et al.

National Association of Broadcasters

Gates Radio Co.

Association of Federal Communications

KIKX Radio

Consulting Engineers

KDHN Radio

Carl E. Smith, Consulting Radio Engi-

KVRH-AM

neers

Star Broadcasting Co. (KSXX)

Capital Broadcasting Co., Inc. (KDXE)

Norman A. Thomas

 

(WDNT, WJSO,

Sea Broadcasting Corp. (WVAB)

WENR)

Westchester Cop. (WIXZ)hWPBC AM-FM Radio

 

KITN Radio

Gunnison Broadcasting Co.

Robert A. Jones, Consulting Engineer

KTRT Radio

Community Broadcasters Association

KFJB and KFJB-FM

Progressive Broadcasting Corp.

Korral Radio, Inc. (KRAL)

(WINU)

Southern Broadcasting Co. (KOY,

Hubbard Broadcasting, Inc. (Further

KTHT, WKIX, WKIX-FM, WRVA,

Comments)

WRVA-FM, WSGN, WTOB)

Jet Broadcasting Co., Inc. and WHOT,

Dairyland Broadcasters,

 

Inc. (KEYL)

Inc. (WJET, WHOT)

Jerome Orr

KWCO Radio

Midwest Television, Inc. (KFMB)

Charles Smithgall (WRGA, WAAX,

Association on Broadcasting

 

Standards,

WRNG)

Inc.

KDBM Radio

National Association of FM Broadcast-

Prairie States Broadcasting Co., Inc.

ers

(KAWL)

Cohen & Dippell, Consulting Engineers

National Broadcasting Co., Inc.

Coastal Broadcasting Co., Inc.

Parties filing reply comments:

Westchester Corp. (WIXZ)

Welcome Radio, Inc. (WSLR, WOKO,

KAIR -- Number One Radio, Inc.

KTLK)

A.  Earl Cullum, Jr. and Associates,

KLCB

Consulting Engineers

Robert A. Jones, Consulting Engineer

KPOP Radio

National Enterprises, Inc. (KDRY)

 


Back to Top                             Back to Index