SCR board appoints new trustee
January 31, 2010 -- The Board of Trustees appointed Andrew Chertow to serve out the remainder of the term of Jonathen Bailey, Jr., until the Annual Meeting to be held in April 2010. The board thanks Jonathen for his valuable service and welcomes Andy, who many of you know as one of the original members and activists with SCR. In addition to Andy's many years of service with SCR, he is also a longtime local educator and reggae musician. We greatly appreciate him taking on this additional role at this point in time.
FCC continues to process applications from October 2007
June 18, 2008 -- The FCC has released a public notice identifying groups consisting of 13 or fewer mutually exclusive ("MX") applications for noncommercial educational (NCE) FM permits filed during the 10-day window in October 2007. Since our application did not appear on this list, we now know that our MX group actually consists of at least 14 parties. At this rate, the FCC is likely to process our MX group sometime this fall. In the meantime, we are continuing to explore several options with our consulting engineer and there have been preliminary discussions of a possible settlement between some of the parties in our MX group as well. We're narrowing down our options and hope to decide the best course of action going forward before the summer is over.
Two new board members elected
April 27, 2008 -- At the 2008 SCR Annual Meeting, we elected two new board members: Richard Vallejo and Jonathen Bailey, Jr. They replace outgoing board members Scott Shaw and Roy vanNorstrand, who have finished out their terms of office and whom we thank for their past valuable contributions. At the meeting there was also an extended discussion about our three current FCC applications still pending and quite a bit of discussion about the current bylaws and possible future revisions of them. thanks everyone that came out and participated and plans to get more information out soon about recent developments to all of those who were unable to attend.
2008 SCR Annual Meeting to be held Sunday, April 27th
March 9, 2008 -- The SCR Board of Trustees has announced that the 2008 SCR Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, April 27th at the Westcott Community Center at 3pm. All members and potential members are invited. We hope to vote on two new board members at the meeting, as well as review the current state of SCR finances and what may prove to be a lengthy discussion of the new 88.7 FM application and the two pending translator applications. This is also an opportune time to renew your membership dues. We hope to see many of you there!
Update on the status of our 88.7 FM application
March 7, 2008 -- The FCC has released a public notice identifying 263 groups, each consisting of four or fewer mutually exclusive ("MX") applications for noncommercial educational (NCE) FM permits filed during the 10-day window in October 2007. So the good news is that we are now -- five months after the close of the window -- finally starting to see some movement on those MX applications. The bad news is that the FCC reports that it received approximately 3,608 applications in all during the window, and only a fraction of those are included in the list released with the public notice. That means that the majority of MX applications (groups of five or more conflicting applications) still need to be processed -- including ours. But at least the process has started. The FCC indicated that the staff will be working its way through these remaining MX groups and will be periodically identifying more of these groups.
In fact, our MX application group has at least 10 parties: Cortland, Dolgeville, Fleming, Hamilton, Homer, Marcellus (our application), Milford, Sharon Springs, Skaneateles and Unadilla. Three of us in this MX group applied to use 88.7 FM in the Auburn area: Fleming, Marcellus and Skaneateles. The others in our MX group applied in other areas, on other frequencies, but are linked to us in a daisy chain. Our engineer informs us that, if the FCC performs a comparative analysis on our MX group as it exists right now, then Family Life Ministries will prevail with their Unadilla application on 88.9 FM. If this occurs, all other parties in our MX group will lose -- including all who applied in the Auburn area -- and 88.7 FM will become available again for future applications.
However, the FCC allows us right now to make technical changes and/or reach agreements with the other parties in our MX group to alter the eventual outcome. And since SCR is the critical link between the Auburn area applications and the rest of the daisy chain, neither of the other two Auburn area applicants can get 88.7 FM without our cooperation. The SCR Board of Trustees has been conferring with our lawyers and engineers to explore a variety of options that will allow 88.7 FM to be used in our area to bring community radio to the Syracuse NY metropolitan area and we'll be discussing some of those options at the upcoming 2008 SCR Annual Meeting on April 27th. More details as they come in!
FCC announces deadline for retroactive 10 translator application limit
March 4, 2008 -- The FCC announced that applicants from the March 2003 FM translator filing window (aka "FM translator Auction No. 83") now have 30 days to declare which 10 applications they wish to keep. Text of the official FCC announcement. While SCR only submitted 2 applications and is thus not directly affected, this expected move by the FCC should eliminate multiple EMF applications in conflict with both of those filed by SCR, basically leaving us only in conflict with Family Life Ministries. While their extensive radio network in NY and PA is impressive, because they are based in Bath, New York, they should also be eventually eliminated by the FCC in favor of the only local applicant, which happens to be SCR. This announcement demonstrates the continuing FCC committment to resolve these applications in 2008, thus finally enabling SCR to obtain an FM signal for the City of Syracuse. This will probably be our continuing Big Story for 2008, so stay tuned!
FCC to expedite approval of 2003 translator applications
December 11, 2007 -- The FCC announced a series of measures to speed up the processing of backlogged FM translator applications from 2003 that should allow both pending proposals by Syracuse Community Radio to be approved sometime late in 2008 or early in 2009. The FCC specifically is retroactively imposing a 10 application limit, which should eliminate one of the major parties blocking the SCR applications. Furthermore, they are ordering the bureau in charge of the processing to "expeditiously process the applications" via a settlement window and other means, which should help SCR resolve all other outstanding issues holding up approval of these badly needed translators that will bring the existing WXXE 90.5 FM signal to Syracuse and Onondaga County.
In March 2003, SCR applied to the FCC for two translators that will rebroadcast the WXXE signal from Fenner to the FM dial in Syracuse. One of these translators is intended to cover primarily the City of Syracuse and the eastern suburbs, while the other will primarily cover the northern suburbs. Both have been held up from approval by the FCC because of conflicting applications filed by other parties in the same general areas. Given a recent decision of the FCC, we now expect these conflicts will be resolved and that SCR will get a construction permit for one or both of these new facilities sometime in 2008.
"What can I do to help?" Both of these new translators will require substantial new facilities and equipment to operate them. We will soon be discussing the particulars of this. In the meantime, please donate to our signal expansion campaign if you can, to help us pay for some of these costs.
In the one week filing window for these translators in March 2003, the FCC received 13,345 applications nationwide, which has led some to refer to it as the "Great Translator Invasion". It turns out that over 50% of the applicants were filed by 15 parties. One of these is Educational Media Foundation, a California based national contemporary Christian music radio network operating K-LOVE and Air 1. EMF filed 875 of these applications, including several against both of the SCR applications. Locally, "K-LOVE" operates on 101.3 FM from downtown Syracuse (formerly a translator for "K-Rock"), 101.7 FM from Pulaski (former country station WSCP) and 100.7 FM from Utica. "Air 1" operates locally with 50,000 watts on 107.3 WRCK (formerly a classic rock station) from Utica, but covering most of Syracuse as well. EMF will now be forced by the FCC to pick 10 of these 875 applications they wish to keep and the rest will be dismissed.
SCR one of 3,608 new FM station applications filed nationwide
November 13, 2007 -- Syracuse Community Radio was one of 3,608 new non-commercial full power FM station applications filed nationwide in October 2007 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). This was the first time since April 2000 that the FCC allowed such applications to be filed. Nationwide, only 310 of these so far have been "accepted" for filing, meaning they appear to be proper technical proposals that do not conflict with other filed applications. Only 7 new applications have been "accepted" so far in New York State and while the SCR proposal is not among that select few, we are indeed excited that our friends at Ithaca Community Radio were "accepted" for Watkins Glen -- congratulations!!
We are currently consulting with our engineer and attorney to get a comprehensive analysis of our situation in the complicated tangle of Central New York applications filed. Our initial impression is that we are in conflict with 4 other applicants: WRVO and Ithaca Community Radio in Cortland, WAER in Skaneateles and the Tyburn Academy in Auburn. While we know the first 3 applicants well, the last one was new to us, so we've done some research. The application for Tyburn Academy was filed by the president of the Catholic Radio Association, who also doubles as the Press Secretary for the Catholic Diocese of Charleston SC, as part of his stated goal of 200 new Catholic radio stations in the US. In the application, Tyburn Academy states clearly that it will be a full time outlet for the Eternal Word Television Network and have no local programming, at least not in the immediate future.
"What can I do to help?" Our initial engineering and legal expenses for the application process are already $5,000+ and growing, because while we are still determining our options, we are incurring additional legal and engineering bills. Please contribute if you can to help us offset these expenses!
SCR applies for new FM station for Syracuse and Onondaga County
October 22, 2007 -- Syracuse Community Radio submitted an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to broadcast on 88.7 FM with an effective radiated power of 6,000 watts for the Syracuse area. Though the "city of license" will be Marcellus, advanced engineering studies have indicated that this new station should reach most of the City of Syracuse, Onondaga County, Cayuga County and significant portions of Oswego and Cortland counties. This October was the first time since April 2000 that the FCC allowed such applications to be filed -- it's been a long wait.
The engineering portion of the application was prepared by Brown Broadcast Services, Inc., considered a national leader in non-commercial radio engineering services and the legal portion of the application was prepared by the Washington, DC office of Garvey Schubert Barer, considered the top law firm nationally in legal services for non-commercial radio stations. The SCR board is excited at the potential this new facility will provide for our efforts to bring community radio to Syracuse and Onondaga County and elated to work with such strong professionals to make this dream come true!