When Sandton Capital acquired the assets of the Free-Lance Star Publishing Company out of bankruptcy in May, the group lost its grandfathered ability to hold both newspaper and broadcast properties in the same market.
The company owns the epnomynous Free-Lance Star newspaper in Fredericksburg along with a radio group including Country 93.3 WFLS, Classic Rock “96.9 The Rock” WWUZ, Rhythmic CHR “99.3 The Vibe” WVBX, and Talk/Sports 1350 WNTX/96.5 W243BS. Sandton applied for a waiver to continue the cross-ownership until the FCC acts on a proposal
in the pending 2014 Quadrennial Review to eliminate the newspaper/radio cross-ownership ban permanently. The FCC rejected the waiver request’s three primary arguments on preceding grounds.
Instead the FCC has given Sandton a one-year extension of their waiver through November 26, 2015 to come into compliance. By that time they will need to divest of either the newspaper, radio stations, or hope that the FCC has removed the cross-ownership ban by that date.