In response to the FCC's January 24 to January 28 window for applications for new AM stations and major changes to existing AM stations, the FCC received, and has identified approximately 150 proposals that are not mutually exclusive with other window applications. These applications will be granted upon completion of the following additional processing steps:
- On or before October 23, 2000, all applicants listed as eligible for grants had to file a complete Form 301 with the appropriate filing fee;
- After acceptance for filing by the FCC's staff, a public notice that affords interested parties an opportunity to file a petition to deny within 10 days will be issued;
- Unopposed "clean" applications will then be granted, and those subject to petitions or other problems will be approved when all issues are resolved.
It is unlikely any of these AM proposals will be approved until next year.
Auctions Set for 359 FM Channels
The FCC has swept into a single auction, scheduled for February 21, 2001, the 359 new commercial channels it has allotted to various communities since the implementation of the FM new application processing freeze. The FCC's public notice, which appears at fcc.gov/wtb/auctions/auc37, lists the channels, communities and reference coordinates for each vacant allotment. In its auction notice the FCC sought comments on the proposed structure of the auction, the minimum required bids proposed in the notice for each facility and on planned bidding procedures.
The FCC will make final decisions regarding procedures and minimum bids later in the year. At the same time, the Commission will set a filing window for short-form auction applications (Form 175), which requires ownership and broadcast interests disclosures, but no engineering showings. A subsequent public notice will announce the identities of the auction applicants for each allotment and will set a deadline for filing minimum up-front payments.
The auction will begin February 21 and will not end until winning bids are received for all 359 allotments. After the winning bidders are identified, each will be required to file a complete Form 301, with the requisite application fee. If no oppositions are received in response to a subsequent acceptance-for-filing notice, the balances of the winning bid amounts will be submitted, and finally, the applications will be granted.
Porn Star Interviewers Fined $6,000
The FCC fined an FM station $6,000 for airing an interview with an adult video actress who uttered "indecent phrases." The radio station dispatched personnel to an adult video store where the actress was making an appearance. The station said its personnel advised the actress of the indecency restrictions and then provided her with a microphone. The actress initially began speaking about her films but then began to use profanity. The station's employees attempted to take back the microphone, but they were restrained by bystanders. The broadcast was eventually terminated at the studio, but not before the actress had uttered her vulgarities. The FCC noted that the station should have taken better precautions to prevent the airing of any indecent material, particularly in light of the interviewee's notoriety.
Can Insurance Cover a Virus?
A recent decision by a federal trial court, now on appeal, has caused a debate regarding whether or not policyholders require additional coverage for virus-related losses. The court held that a power outage that temporarily erased the custom contents of a computer memory chip, thereby disrupting company operations in several cities, should be considered sufficiently "physical" to trigger coverage under a traditional property policy covering risks of "direct physical loss or damage from any cause."
Traditional property policies were not written with computer losses in mind. Even though one court has ruled on the side of policyholders, do not assume that the same policy that covers your station for fire, flood, and other damage also covers lost data, time and revenue due to computer damage caused by viruses.