FCC announces three new noncommercial FM licenses for Washington and Oregon

This week, the FCC tentatively resolved three conflicts over who will have the rare opportunity to launch new, full-power noncommercial radio stations in the Northwest. Once finalized, the decision will allow two existing community radio stations in Washington to expand their service, and bring a new religious station to coastal Oregon.

The FCC's media bureau has been slowly going through the last group of applications for new, full-power FM radio licenses. Nonprofits, schools, government agencies and churches had their last opportunity to apply for these licenses some four years ago; most of those applications have long since been accepted or denied. The remaining few mostly involve situations in which more than one would-be station operator are competing for the same frequency. Several batches of northwest applications were in that category, at least until this week, when the FCC tentatively settled the issue. Here are the lucky winners:

KSER, the great community radio station in Everett, may be able to launch a new station based on southern Whidbey Island. Other groups competing for that same FM channel included KEXP, KSVR, Seattle's Hollow Earth Radio* and several churches.

The Northwest Communities Education Association (organizational parent to the spanish-language public radio station KDNA in Granger, WA), have been tentatively selected to launch a new station in Prosser, WA. Also competing for that channel were Portland's KBOO, the Northwest Tejano Music Association, and, once again, several churches.

On the Oregon coast, the Community Presbyterian Church of Waldport edged out several competing applicants, including the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and the University of Oregon.

The FCC's Aug. 2 order begins a 30-day appeal period, after which the winners should be issued construction permits--bringing three new noncommercial radio stations to northwest airwaves. Congratulations to the tentative winners--we look forward to listening in!

* Reclaim the Media is a partner in the Serviceberry Institute/Hollow Earth Radio application.

The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey