FAQ: Can one sell or otherwise transfer control of an LPFM station to a different organization?

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An LPFM statation license or construction permit can be assigned to another organization if one of the following exist:

  • The station was never built and it has been at least 18 months since the original construction permit was granted (see additional §73.865 information below).
  • The station was built and has been on the air for less than 4 years (exclusive of silent periods) and the assignment meets the requirements of §73.865, below.
  • The station was built and has been on the air for at least 4 years (exclusive of silent periods).

Unbuilt construction permits and constructed stations that have been on the air for less than 4 years (exclusive of silent periods) can only be assigned pursuant to §73.865 if:

  • When the station was originally applied for, there were no competing applications in the filing window (singleton).
  • There were competing applications, but those applicants either were dismissed or they modified their facility to remove the competition (singleton).
  • During the remediation period after the filing window the station made a modification that cleared them from the competing application(s) (singleton).
  • The original application was in a group of competing applicants and the FCC had to use the point system to dismiss other lower scoring applicants for being "non tentative selectees" and the assignee (the new organization) must qualfy for the same number of points as the current licensee during the filing window.
  • The original application was granted in an involuntary time share group and that the assignee has qualified for the same number of points and has a local community presence date older than the "youngest" organization in the time share group.

LPFM stations must include in their assignment applications a statement of how the licensee qualifies for assignment pursuant to §73.865 of the rules.

LPFM stations can be "sold" for consideration of what was paid by the original licensee for any equipment and or construction costs that will be enjoyed by the assignee after the transaction. This means that if you paid $5,000 for a new BW transmitter from SCMS, then you can claim $5,000, regardless of the age the transmitter is now, however, if you received that transmitter as a donation, then you can't include it.  The transaction price also can't include periodic operating charges such as rent, leases, salaries, utilities, music licensing fees, etc.  Applications should include a schedule that details the name (including model number) of the item, where it was obtained from and the cost actually paid. 

LPFM stations may not be sold for a profit.

LPFM eligibility and ownership questions
LPFM program content/station operations/noncommercial nature
Answer Date: 
Saturday, November 14, 2020