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FCC Approves WTMI Sale… “With Condition”

AUBURN — A private middle school has been granted FCC approval to sell its construction permit for a new radio station to a religious broadcaster from the Buffalo area. But federal regulators say the OK comes with some conditions. Among them, the CP’s new owner won’t get any extra time to get the new station at 88.7FM on the air.

As reported here last month, the FCC “accepted for filing” a request from Tyburn Academy to sell its construction permit for a new station identified as WTMI at 88.7FM, licensed to Fleming. The buyer is Holy Family Communications, based out of Williamsville, near Buffalo. Documents filed with the FCC last month indicate the CP would be sold for $1,000. The contract didn’t make any mention of studio space, a tower or any equipment.

In today’s FCC Daily Digest, the Commission says the sale has been approved, “with condition.” Among the conditions set forth in the FCC’s approval letter:

  • No Extra Time: Holy Family will face the same deadline Tyburn was given when the CP was first granted. Construction must be complete and Holy Family must apply for a “license to cover” before May 7, 2012, or the CP will be automatically forfeited.
  • Completion of Sale: The original application for permission to sell the construction permit indicated that the sale would not be closed until the FCC granted approval. Now that such approval has been granted, the sale should close within five business days. The FCC says either the seller or buyer must notify the Commission in writing that the sale has indeed closed.

As we reported previously, the permit for WTMI authorizes an ERP of 1,300 watts at nearly 185 meters above average terrain. The station’s proposed 60 dBu service contour stretches east-west from Cayuga Lake almost to Interstate 81, and north-south from the NYS Thruway almost to Ithaca. No word yet if the sale will result in a new transmission location and/or service contour.

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