One of the newest—and probably the last—full-power TV stations
in the country is moving—its community of license, that is. Western Pacific
Broadcast, owners of WDME-TV, asked the Federal Communications Commission to
move the license from Seaford to Dover, Del. The commission granted it
permission in a May 1 ruling, which was published in the Federal Register
“The commission, at the
request of Western Pacific Broadcast… amends the Post-Transition Table of DTV
Allotments to delete Ch. 5 at Seaford and substitute Ch. 5 at Dover, Del., and
to modify WMDE-TV’s construction permit to specify Dover as the station’s
community of license.”
The rule takes effect June 13.
The license for WDME was one of two auctioned off after the 2009 digital
transition, which left Delaware and New Jersey without at least one full-power
VHF TV station as required by law. Western, a holding company formed by Tampa,
Fla.-Richland Towers, paid $4.1 million for both licenses in 2011. The New
Jersey license was for Atlantic City, where Western launched WCAP-TV
in June of 2012.
WDME’s launch has been on hold pending the outcome of Western’s request to move
it to Dover, filed Oct. 9, 2012. The request was challenged by PMCM, a Wall,
N.J., company with stations in Wyoming and Nevada. PMCM had petitioned the FCC
to let it fill the VHF vacuum in New Jersey and Delaware by reassigning its
Wyoming and Nevada licenses.
The commission denied the request, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.
Circuit reversed the FCC in December of 2012.
PMCM moved its Wyoming station to Wilmington, Del., changed the calls
from KJWY to KJWP, and signed on the air in 720p in late 2013. The Nevada
station, KVNV, is being moved to New York under a license assignment for
Middletown Township, N.J. (See “PMCM
completes first of two cross-country TV moves,” at CommLawBlog, Nov. 19,
Western Broadcast originally had until May 4 of this year to build out the WMDE
facility in Seaford, but was granted “tolling,” essentially a postponement of
license revocation, pending the outcome of its request. Western will have six
months to fire up WMDE “after all challenges to the grant of construction
permit for Seaford, Del., have become final and non-appealable.”