The ability to serve on the board of an LPFM (Low-Power FM) station while also owning or being a part owner of an AM or FM radio station can be subject to certain restrictions and considerations. It’s important to be aware of potential conflicts of interest and FCC regulations that govern such situations:
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) generally does not have the authority to grant a waiver of the Local Community Radio Act (LCRA) itself because the LCRA is a federal law. The LCRA established certain rules and regulations regarding the licensing and operation of low-power FM (LPFM) radio stations. The Local Community Radio Act (LCRA) is a congressional statute, and any rules established by the FCC to implement the LCRA cannot be waived if such a waiver would contradict the LCRA.
Yes, a school district that does not possess any AM, FM, or TV broadcast holdings but has Educational Broadband Service (formerly ITFS) can typically apply for and obtain an LPFM (Low-Power FM) station license. The ownership and licensing rules for LPFM stations do not typically take into account the possession of Educational Broadband Service. LPFM stations are generally considered separate entities with their own set of regulations and eligibility criteria.
Yes, a local Catholic church can have an LPFM (Low-Power FM) station even if the Archdiocese has full-power broadcast holdings. LPFM stations are typically considered separate entities from full-power stations and are subject to their own set of regulations and licensing requirements.
The specific requirement for the distance between your board members and headquarters in relation to the transmitter location can vary depending on the type of station you are operating. For LPFM (Low-Power FM) stations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) typically requires that at least 75% of your board members reside within 10 miles of the transmitter site.
While unincorporated associations can hold these licenses, it’s advisable to consult with legal experts or FCC specialists to ensure full compliance with all relevant regulations and requirements for the specific type of station you intend to operate.
The Communications Act, specifically 47 USC §397(6), states that a noncommercial educational broadcast station must be owned and operated by a public agency or a nonprofit private foundation, corporation, or association. Furthermore, 47 USC §397(8) defines “nonprofit” as an entity where none of the net earnings benefit any private shareholder or individual.
With all that aside, because Social Purpose Corporations have the capacity to generate profits and distribute them to shareholders or individuals, they do not meet the definition of “nonprofit” as outlined in paragraph 8 of section 397.
The ownership of an FCC-licensed international broadcast station on the shortwave band would generally not be considered an attributable interest that would prevent LPFM ownership. LPFM (Low-Power FM) stations are subject to specific ownership and eligibility rules set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These rules typically focus on ownership interests in full-power commercial or non-commercial stations.
An AM Traveler’s Information Station (TIS) is typically not considered an attributable interest that would prevent LPFM ownership. TIS stations are designated for providing non-commercial, traffic, and traveler-related information, primarily to serve the interests of the traveling public. These stations are subject to specific regulations and are generally not considered as part of the ownership or attribution rules that apply to full-power commercial or non-commercial radio stations.
Yes, it is possible for a school district that operates a PBS or NPR station in the United States to also possess an LPFM (Low-Power FM) station. LPFM stations are low-power community radio stations that are typically non-commercial and serve local communities. While PBS and NPR stations are often associated with television and larger public radio networks, they can still apply for and operate LPFM stations as long as they meet the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and licensing requirements for LPFM stations. This allows them to provide hyper-local content and community engagement in addition to their broader programming.