How many translators are operating within their licensed parameters?
Juan Alberto Ayala withdrew his application to modify 93.5 W228DF Four Corners FL last week following an Informal Objection by Manuel Arroyo in December. Arroyo, with letters from 88.3 WPOZ President James Hoge and CBS Radio Orlando Director of Engineering Matthew Agnesi, called out W228DF for neither of its filed applications having written permission from those companies to rebroadcast their stations as legally mandated. W228DF’s original application in 2003 and a later amendment in 2013 specified WPOZ, while the later applications specified CBS’ 105.9 WOCL.
Ayala has profited quite well already from his 2003 translator window applications. He sold 93.3 W227CU Cary NC in 2014 for $150,000 and last week agreed to transfer five translators in two separate deals for $460,000.
This isn’t his first run-in with operating a translator illegally. 100.3 K262BP Conner CA was fined $11,000 in 2011 for failing to file a timely license application, operation without authorization, and unauthorized program origination. Ayala later sold that one in 2013 for $50,000.
INSTANT INSIGHT: With the number of translators and LPFMs for that matter being licensed, the FCC more than ever needs other operators like Arroyo to provide a checks and balance system keeping licensees operating within their legal boundaries. With the amount of money coming to translator hoarders like Ayala in the AM Revitalization Waiver period, groups that play within the legal rules are going to be penalized by missing out on potential sales or falling into MX groups with translators not playing by the rules. The time and money going into filing an objection or petition to deny is the only way to keep these groups exploiting the rules in line.