FCC Deletes Pair Of Billings AMs After Their Disappearance
Rich Solberg’s Sun Mountain Inc. has had the licenses for 1450 KYLW Lockwood and 1490 KBSR Laurel MT cancelled by the FCC.
Connoisseur Media filed a Petition for Reconsideration to the station’s license renewals in August 2017 alleging with photographic evidence that there has not been a tower at the licensed site of KYLW since March 2016 nor at KBSR’s licensed site since October 2013. While Sun Mountain disputed Connoisseur’s standing to file a petition it never argued against their claims. The FCC then requested Sun Mountain provide evidence to the station’s operational status which was met with a request for an extension of time until October 8 to reply, but then never did.
The FCC did conclude that Connoisseur did lack the standing to seek reconsideration, however they was enough evidence to consider the arguments made through their own motion. The agency concluded that KYLW was operating from locations different than its STA or licensed facility since June 15, 2017 with photographs and airchecks from September 22, 2017 showing no facilities or audio signal. KBSR had operated from unlicensed locations between 10/2013 and 6/2017 with no antenna at the licensed site since October 2013. With neither station operating from an FCC licensed facility for over 365 days both licenses were considered expired.
This was not the first issue with facilities connected to those AMs. Edgewater Broadcasting had applied for and was granted a CP in 2016 to move 96.3 K242CI Casper WY to Billings rebroadcasting Sun Mountain Inc.’s 1340 KBSR Laurel MT where it was operating as AC “Magic 102.5“. Connoisseur claimsed then that K242CI and 104.5 K283CP (licensed to rebroadcast KYLW) had been operating illegally. Amongst Connoisseur’s claims were that K242CI began operating in late 2016 but did not file for a license to cover until March, that the AMs had not operated for multiple years now and no tower constructed at the licensed site for either station, both translators were built at facilities not specified in their Construction Permit.
In its response Edgewater admitted that their contracted engineer Joshua Eversole built the translators on the wrong tower adjacent to its licensed one, but was unaware that the originating AMs were dark and immediately filed for Silent STA’s for the translators. Eversole had been operating the translators with K283CP as “Wild 104” since at least November 2016. Since earlier this year the station had been part of “UpStream Media” which also included the three stations owned by Radio Billings and a local online portal. As of this morning, the station’s web stream (which also included leased stations in Missoula, Great Falls and Kalispell MT) included KYLW in its top of the hour ID.