FCC denies Florida CP reinstatement request

Confiscation has been reviewed several times since 2014

What appears to be a last-ditch effort by the Urban One Broadcasting Network to retrieve a building permit for a radio station in Florida has failed. The FCC this week rejected a petition for the broadcaster’s declaratory decision to reinstate Urban One’s lost license to build an FM radio station in Cross City, Florida.

Urban One’s efforts to resurrect CP for WURB (FM) date back to 2014 and its acquisition of an expiring building permit from Alex Media Inc., according to FCC documents. Urban One applied to change the building permit just months before the expiration and proposed a new site for the tower. However, Suncoast Radio filed an objection to the amendment saying it did not comply with the commission’s rules.

The FCC agreed and, in a subsequent notice sent on July 17, 2014, gave Urban One 30 days to amend its change request. At the same time, the Panel noted that CP’s license for the proposed station was due to expire a few days later, on July 21, 2014.

The FCC told Urban One: “This letter does not extend the expiration date of this building permit or give an additional time to build.”

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According to FCC documents, Urban One followed up by filing two reconsideration requests – one seeking special temporary authority to operate FM at the new site – which were filed after the CP expired. The FCC denied the two in early 2015, determining that “the building permit automatically expired and was forfeited.”

What followed were years of petitions and appeals filed by Urban One asking for the return of CP. The broadcaster’s most recent declaratory motion was filed in June 2021 and called for the reinstatement of CP with an additional 18 months to build the facility.

Albert Shuldiner, head of the FCC’s audio division, may have put an end to the round trips for good with a letter sent Wednesday to William Johnson, managing member of the Urban One Broadcasting Network, which said: “Anyway, so , there is no building permit left for us to reestablish, as it was confiscated by its own terms on July 21, 2014. The call sign WURB has been removed, and the Cross City FM unbuilt channel assignment has was deleted and marked as a vacant award in the allocation table, from which it was then added to the inventory of auction 109.

The FCC says channel 249C3 in Cross City, Florida was included in the inventory for the recently completed auction 109.

Cross City, Florida is a city of 1,689 people, according to the 2020 census, located about an hour west of Gainesville, Florida on the state’s Gulf Coast.

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