This afternoon, the FCC approved the sale of WAMO-AM/FM (860/106.7) and WPGR-AM (1510).
In a report earlier today by Pat Cloonan (McKeesport Daily News; online for subscribers) some of the minor obstacles have been dealt with while some are still in the process of being worked out. None are fatal to the sale.
An objection to the sale, filed by a WAMO listener, was downplayed by the FCC. Originally called a “petition to deny” approval of the sale, it was reclassified as an “informal objection.” The listener, from the East Hills, sent a one-page letter objecting to the sale which would eliminate the black-oriented formats on the stations. An FCC staffer said that the commission does not regulate formats. Additionally neither the buyer (St. Joseph’s Missions) nor the seller (Sheridan Broadcasting) had received a copy of the objection which is a required action.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph’s Missions has filed an application to modify the WAMO-FM license, most specifically waiving the main studio requirement. The FCC regulates that a station’s studio can be located up to 25 miles from its city of license, but SJM wants to located its studio near its home base of Latrobe. WAMO-FM is licensed to Beaver Falls more than twice the regulated distance from the proposed new studio location. WAMO-AM was originally licensed as WHOD in Homestead but is now licenced to Millvale and WPGR is licensed to Monroeville. The new owners are hoping the FCC will approve the modification based on the fact that WPGR would still remain within that 25 mile limit.