FCC Denies Informal Objection for Programming Issue

In a letter released today, the FCC Audio Bureau Chief Peter Doyle denies several informal objections over the grant of the license of KAPU-LP of Watsonville, CA. The objectors allege that the LPFM operated by Ohana de Watsonville "breached oral agreements" with the local community and is programming KAPU-LP only with Hawaiian music and contrary to the statement of purpose that Ohana provided in their original construction permit application. Watsonville is, according to the objectors, 80% Spanish speaking.

The FCC responded that because of the 1981 Radio Deregulation Order, as well as the First Amendment and other statutes, the FCC can not regulate a broadcaster's choice of entertainment format.

The FCC concluded that Ohana de Watsonville complies with all statuatory and regulatory requirements and the public interest would be served by this grant. Therefore the FCC has granted Ohana their full license (originally filed 8-10-2004).

This decision is yet another reason why we can not support the proposal in the original LPAM petition that applicants get a 'bonus point' for programming specific entertainment formats that may not be available in the community. The FCC can not regulate entertainment format. This decision is yet more presidence of that.