FCC Record, Volume 2, No. 12, Pages 3366 to 3682, June 8 - June 19, 1987 Page: 3,460
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Federal Communications Commission Record
2 FCC Red Vol. 12
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
BY DIRECTION LETTER
W. RUSSELL WITHERS. JR.
c /o William P. Bernton. Esq.
Released: June 10, 1987
Dear Mr. Withers:
This refers to the application (BAPCT-860828K1) which
you filed seeking Commission consent to the assignment
of the construction permit of silent Station KCWS(TV).
channel 3. Glenwood Springs. Colorado. from Western
Slope Communications. Ltd.. Debtor-in-Possession. to W.
Russell Withers. Jr. (Withers).' You are the licensee of
Station KREX-TV (CBS/NBC). Grand Junction. Colorado.
and the acquisition of KCWS(TV) will result in an
overlap of the Grade B contour of both stations. You
propose to operate KCWS(TV) "primarily as a satellite" of
KREX-TV and request that the assignment application be
granted pursuant to the "satellite exception" provision to
the Commission's duopoly rule for television stations.
Section 73.3555(a)(3).2 Section 73.3555(a)(3) of the Commission's
Rules provides that no license for a television
station shall be granted to any party if such party directly
or indirectly owns. operates. or controls one or more
television broadcast stations and the grant of such license
will result in overlap of the Grade B contours of the
existing and proposed stations. However. Note 5 to the
rule exempts television stations that are "primarily satellite
operations" from a strict application of the Grade B
overlap prohibition. Under Note 5. the Commission considers
satellite proposals on a case-by-case basis in order
to determine whether common ownership. operation. or
control of the stations in question would be in the public
In support of the proposal to operate KCWS(TV) as
primarily a satellite of KREX-TV. you have submitted an
engineering statement which indicates that the terrain
between the two stations consists of high mountains with
low lying valleys in which most of the population within
the region resides. You maintain that the overlap area
between KCWS(TV) and KREX-TV encompasses 155
square miles and a population of 1.809 persons. You state
that while the stations are only 68 miles apart. the signal
of each station is terrain-limited in the direction of the
other. due to the mountainous terrain between them.
Because of the terrain limitation of the KREX-TV signal.
you note that KREX-TV presently uses translators in
order to serve the communities between Grand Junction
and Glenwood Springs and that translators will also be
used by KCWS(TV). Due to the smallness of the
"market," you claim that KCWS(TV) cannot survive except
as a satellite. Glenwood Springs (population 5.325) is
the county seat and the largest community in Garfield
County. which has a population of 27.432. You argue that
those figures alone demonstrate the impossibility of operating
a full service station at Glenwood Springs. and
that is confirmed by the fact that KCWS(TV) went off the
air after less than six months of service.3
The KREX-TV signal. you state. will be relayed to the
KCWS(TV) transmitter by a translator or microwave relay.
You assert that you will maintain a local studio for
KCWS(TV) where local news (20 minutes per day. 5 days
per week) will originate. Since there are no other stations
in Garfield County. you contend that there is no competing
station which could be adversely affected by a grant of
In the past. we have authorized satellite stations in
situations where overlap would exist between the parent
and the satellite station as a means of providing television
service to small communities having an insufficient economic
base to support a full-service operation. One
means of carrying out the goal of bringing service to these
communities is reflected in Note 5 to Section
73.3555(a)(3) of the Rules. which relaxes the multiple
ownership rules for a station operating as satellite or
"primarily as a satellite." When satellites were first considered.
they were authorized only in communities having
no local television service. Multiple Ownership Rules. 45
FCC 1728. 1735 ( 1964).
We have generally required an economic studs, to demonstrate
that the market would not support a full-service
station. but that is not ordinarily required when "the
economic justification may be inferred from the [smallJ
size of the market." Capital Broadcasting Co.. 54 RR 2d
811. 814. N.9 (1983). Glenwood Springs is such a case.
Based on the above representations. we conclude that a
sufficient showing has been made to justify authorization
of a satellite operation in Glenwood Springs. The information
submitted supports the contention that it is
unlikely that the Glenwood Springs area will support a
service station. It is noted that KCWS(TV) had to
cease broadcasting after only six months of operation. The
terrain in the area limits the extent of the overlap with
KREX-TV. and the small overlap area is sparsely populated.
We believe that grant of the requested waiver represents
the only likely means by which the station can be
restored to the air. Withers has stated that he will establish
a studio in Glenwood Springs where local news will
be broadcast daily. anti he will originate less than 5
percent of the station's total weekly programming from
there. Further. a grant of the request will contribute to
the diversity of programming by providing the first television
service to a portion of Western Colorado. If this
proposal is not approved. Glenwood Springs would be
deprived of an off-the-air conventional television service.
In view of the above circumstances. and finding the
applicant fully qualified. we believe that the proposed
parent-satellite operation will serve the public interest.
convenience and necessity.
Accordingly. the application of Western Slope Communications,
Ltd., Debtor-in-Possession. to assign the construction
permit of Station KCWS(TV) (including the
translators stations). channel 3. Glenwood Springs. Colo-
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 2, No. 12, Pages 3366 to 3682, June 8 - June 19, 1987, book, June 1987; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1599/m1/100/: accessed January 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.