Washington - Feb 28, 2007 - On Jan. 31, 2007, the FCC issued special temporary authority to Our Three Sons Broadcasting, the licensee of WRHI-AM, licensed to Rock Hill, SC. The STA permits the AM station to rebroadcast it signal on FM translator W232AX.
The STA notes that it was granted as a result of the applicant's statement that WRHI is "no longer able to serve its community of license due to rapid expansion of the community and the technical restraints imposed on its AM operation.
According to the FCC's database, WRHI is a Class C station licensed for 1kW at 1340kHz. W232AX is licensed for 180W at 74m HAAT at 94.3MHz.
The waiver was assisted by actions of House Budget Committee Chairman John Spratt of South Carolina.
Radio magazine observation: Once again, the FCC is sidestepping its own processes. Congressman Spratt's involvement in securing the authorization is another case of a politician using his authority to bypass the established FCC rules. The topic of FM translator use for AM stations is currently under review without a definite resolution in sight. Now that this STA has been issued, the push to allow FM translators for use by AM stations will undoubtedly gain momentum.
It's interesting to note that while WRHI states that it cannot serve its community of license, the station has still been chosen Radio Station of the Year by the South Carolina Broadcasters Association. Not bad for a station that no one can apparently hear.
The STA is posted at this link.