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.
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.
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.