Grant in San Antonio, dismissal in Tucson, same alleged party-in-interest
Today, the FCC has granted the original construction permit application for Lighthouse Network, Inc. which applied to operate on 101.5 in the northern part of San Antonio, Texas and dismissed the application for Message Radio which was proposing to operate on 99.9 in northwest Tucson, Arizona.
Following the window, a Petition to Deny the Message Radio application was filed by Global Change Multi-Media, an applicant that was mutually exclusive at the time but was able to relocate to a different channel and was granted. In addition, an informal objection was filed by Tucson LPFM station Xerocraft, Inc.
In their Petition to Deny, Global Change considered Message Radio a "sham organization" that was created by Lighthouse Radio in order to establish multiple stations to get around the LPFM multiple ownership rules. Global Change notes similarities to the way that the Message and Lighthouse applications were prepared. Global claims that Ramon Martinez, the president of Lighthouse was offering advertising opportunities for the Message Radio station in Tucson on their website. Advertising on an LPFM station is a violation of §73.503(d) of the Commission's Rules.
Message Radio claimed that it had "learned about" the LPFM opportunity from Martinez and that like Lighthouse, used the same consultant. Message Radio's response included two invoices from the consultant. Lighthouse's response included two invoices billed to Lighthouse in the care of Martinez. One invoice was for Form 318 filings in San Antonio, Tucson and Bellingham, Washington. The second invoice was for MX related services for San Antonio and Tucson. The FCC further contacted the consultant for additional clarification of the invoices.
In the end, the Commission had found that prior to the opening of the 2013 LPFM filing window, the consultant billed Lighthouse for the preparation of the Message Radio application. Following the window, Lighthouse and Martinez were being billed for further consultant services for Message Radio. The Commission also makes reference to Facebook posts made by Martinez that would suggest that he had control of both Lighthouse and Message Radio. The Commision made a finding that Martinez was the real party in interest on both applications.
Consistent with the Commission's policy in regards to inconsistent applications, the latter-filed application would be dismissed, which in this case, was the Message Radio application.
Other than the LPFM applications filed through Cesar Guel/Hispanic Christian Community Network, the only remaining unresolved LPFM application is for Falcon Radio, which is proposing to operate on 97.7 in Colorado Springs, Colorado.