Syracuse Swap Revised Using Another Loophole
Family Life Ministries and Foxfur Communications have resubmitted their station swap to the FCC.
The only change to the original deal is that Foxfur will no longer be operating 92.1 WOLF-FM Baldwinsville NY via Time Brokerage Agreement until the deal closes. Instead they have exploited another FCC loophole by granting Family Life consent to rebroadcast their 1300 WOSW Oswego NY until the deal closes. While WOSW was running Sports simulcasting sister “Fox Sports 1490” WOLF, it is now technically the originating station for the Country programming of WOLF-FM until the swap with Family Life closes.
Original Report 6/15: The FCC has denied WOLF Radio/Foxfur Communications and Family Life Ministries swap of three Syracuse NY area stations and one translator and is fining Foxfur $20,000 for violating the multiple ownership rule.
On March 28, Family Life agreed to swap its just acquired 92.1 WSEN-FM Baldwinsville NY (now WOLF-FM) to Foxfur for 96.7 WWLF Oswego (now WCIO-FM), 105.1 WOLF-FM DeRuyter (now WCIS-FM), and 98.3 W252AC Fairmount. Both companies began immediate Time Brokerage Agreements with their new properties that moved Country “105.1 The Wolf” from WOLF-FM/WWLF to 92.1, while Family Life’s Christian programming debuted on 96.7 and 105.1.
The FCC states that the move gave Foxfur illegal control of eight licenses in the Syracuse market (where ownership limits are seven stations due to amount of signals in the market). Between the WOLF Radio, Foxfur Communications, Cram Communications and Renard Communications names, Craig Fox currently owns 1300 WOSW Fulton, 1490 WOLF Syracuse, 1540 WSIV East Syracuse, 100.3 WMVN-FM Sylvan Beach, 103.9 WSEN-FM Mexico, the to-be-sold 96.7 WCIO-FM and 105.1 WCIS-FM and operating 92.1 WOLF-FM under the TBA. Fox requested a waiver request while the FCC acted on the assignment application, but the agency claims it did not wait to give the FCC time to grant the waiver.
The FCC also denied the swap of the assets as being defective, but without prejudice meaning they could be refiled once Fox resolves the TBA issue. As of 5:30pm today, the Country “92.1 The Wolf” programming continues on 92.1, while Family Life is on 96.7 and 105.1.