Category Archives: National

FCC to Allow Some TV Channel 6 FM Stations

The FCC on July 23, 2023 issued a Report and Order allowing a limited number of analog FM stations on TV channel 6 to continue to operate.

Photo by Robert Gonsett

Stations such as Venture Technology’s KRPE San Diego have been operating with Special Temporary Authorities to operate with a digital TV signal and analog FM on 87.7 or 87.75 MHz. These stations have proven capable of delivering an ATSC 3.0 signal compatible with the existing standards and yet continue to provide audio service compatible with most FM radio tuners.

The FCC also specifically stated that, at least for the time being, they would not allow the entire channel 6 spectrum from 82–88 MHz to be open to analog FM service, nor would they allow new stations to adopt the 87.7 analog carrier configuration.

FCC Announces LPFM New Station Filing Window

The FCC in late June announced a week-long filing window for new Low Power FM station licenses for the entire band in early November 2023. This will be the first filing window since 2013. Interested parties are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the application process. You can monitor the FCC’s LPFM web page for more information. San Diego applicants should know that there’s no open spectrum and that power limitations that apply near the Mexican border make interference-free operations unlikely.

Verify 13 GHz ENG Licenses in FCC ULS Now

The FCC has established GN Docket 22-352, titled Expanding Use of the 12.7-13.25 GHz Band for Mobile Broadband or Other Expanded Use. In this proceeding, the FCC has proposed repack and/or relocation of broadcast (and other) existing authorizations in the 12.7-13.25 GHz band. A forthcoming certification deadline for existing, incumbent 12.7-13.25 GHz broadcast licenses operating under Part 74 is outlined as part of this proceeding, but the FCC has not yet set the actual deadline by which such certifications must be filed. Accordingly, the SBE does not yet know when the FCC will require licensees to file such certifications or how well that date—as well as the requirements for making such certifications—will be communicated to licensees.

It is imperative that you verify all license data in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS) related to your 13GHz broadcast auxiliary services licenses as soon as possible. In addition, if you are currently using 13GHz for ENG, not fixed links, please notify SBE Frequency Coordination Manager RJ Russell at rjrussell@sbe.org of the licensee callsign and designated market area.

More information is available at https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-23-36A1.pdf, paragraphs 83-84 and 143-147 of which further explain the need to confirm the accuracy of ULS data for your 13GHz licenses and prepare to certify as accurate all information on such licenses that fall under Part 74.

TEGNA-Standard General Merger Collapses

The proposed merger between TEGNA and Standard General has collapsed, according to a statement from TEGNA. The merger would have seen Standard General acquire TEGNA for $5.4 billion, including the company’s San Diego-based television station, KFMB TV.

The collapse of the merger comes after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) raised concerns about the deal and called for a hearing on the matter. The delay caused the deal to pass a finance deadline.  The FCC said that the merger would have given Standard General too much control over local news and could have led to higher prices for cable and satellite TV subscribers.