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Tucson Move-In Hits Dead End In A Pickup Truck

104.9 KWCX-FM KWCX Tanque Verde Tucson KZLC LLC Todd Robinson Willcox Journal BroadcastingKZLZ, LLC’s long gestating plan to move 104.9 KWCX-FM Willcox, AZ appears to have come to a screeching halt as it has requested all of its pending applications be dismissed by the FCC.

KWCX-FM’s application to relocate to the Tucson suburb of Tanque Verde as a Class A operating with 3kW horizontal at -70 meters (Proposed Coverage Map) was set to expire on August 27, 2012. The station applied for its License To Cover on August 22 stating it had constructed the facility as permitted. In an August 28, 2012 Petition To Deny to a later application, Journal Broadcasting (now Scripps) owner of co-channel “ESPN Tucson” 104.9 K285DL Tucson, had its Chief Engineer travel “to the specified transmission site and found no evidence of any broadcast operation or construction activity” and submitted photographic evidence. In monitoring the audio signal of its translator, Journal specified that no interference from KWCX-FM was observed.

In their responses, KZLZ stated that the facility was built, but due to the inability to secure a lease with the United States Forest Service it only operated for one day on August 22 with temporarily built facilities. In an e-mail submitted with the response, KZLZ’s Jon Robinson confirms the temporary tower is a vehicle with a mobile tower attached and requests permission to operate from a parking lot for the one day for testing with videos attached.

On November 11, 2013 KZLZ applied for a modification for the station to operate from a new location with 1kW at -190 meters (Proposed Coverage Map). Journal quickly filed an opposition to that application on the grounds that since the original KWCX-FM site was not permanently built, KZLZ held no ground to file for the modification. Journal stated that since the Forest Service precluded construction of the first site and KZLZ verified it used a temporary tower the permanent facility had not been built within the allotted time rendering the CP expired and “no basis now to request authorization to modify facilities that were not constructed”.

January 2014 oppositions by KZLZ stated that the station had been operating from its auxiliary facility in the Tucson market which Journal later verifies in what it classified as unauthorized operation as an auxiliary antenna is only meant to be used for short periods and not meant to serve as the only permanent facility for a station without an STA.

After no correspondence between the two groups and the FCC for over a year, KZLZ submitted a brief note to the FCC on May 26 asking that its two pending license to covers from August 2012 for its permanent and auxiliary facilities and its modification from November 2013 be dismissed. The request was approved by the FCC on June 2.

Profile photo of Lance Venta
Lance Venta is the Owner and Publisher of RadioInsight.com and a consultant for RadioBB Networks specializing in integration of radio and the internet. Lance has two decades of experience tracking the audio industry and its use of digital platforms.

5 Comments

  1. Profile photo of Destructor


    I think that Journal should have tried to help the station, not gone up against it like that… They seem to have fallen on hard times.

  2. Profile photo of airplane777


    I’m surprised that the translator has precedence over the full powered station.

    • Profile photo of Neil Griffin


      It doesn’t. If KWCX was built at that location and operating, Journal would have to shut its translator off (or find another frequency). However, Journal isn’t obligated to protect an non-existent signal, and that’s what they documented in their FCC filing. KWCX can apply for a new CP if they like. Some stations will take out CPs to boost sale value without any intention by the current owner to build. Don’t know if that is the case here, but sometimes that works out and other times it doesn’t.

  3. Profile photo of Dr. Akbar


    That photo of the pickup truck and antenna is a little Loch Ness-ish to Nurse Jeff and me. Gotta give someone credit for creativity!

  4. Profile photo of John Unrath


    Seems a little weird to me as well. I would like to have seen the original.

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