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:
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.
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.
In the world of LPFM radio, the use of the term ‘owner’ to describe an individual closely associated with the station can be misleading due to the specific regulatory framework governing these stations. While there may be no intention to deceive, it’s essential to maintain transparency and accuracy in describing one’s role in the station’s operation. Alternative terminology, such as ‘founder’ or ‘community steward,’ can better reflect the unique nature of LPFM stations and their dedication to community service. Ultimately, how individuals choose to describe their involvement should align with the principles of openness and community-focused broadcasting that LPFM stations embody.