Richland Tower-formed Company Wins New VHF TV Station Licenses for $4 Million

WASHINGTON: Western Pacific Broadcast LLC went from an incomplete early application to winning the federal auction of two full-power TV station licenses on the East Coast. The Tampa, Fla. company bid $3.8 million for Ch. 4 in Atlantic City, N.J., and $210,000 for Ch. 5 in Seaford, Del., according to The Press of Atlantic City.

Western Pacific Broadcast was formed by Richland Towers in Tampa., Fla., to participate in the auctions. The company holds no other TV stations and thus qualified for a credit by which its bid price could be reduced by 35 percent. Dave Denton of Richland confirmed that Western won the auction, but had not yet determined if it would be building a tower for the station. Richland’s closest towers appear to be in West Orange, N.J., and Washington, D.C.

“We are happy to have been the winning bidders and are in the early phase of deciding the best course of action,” he said.

Western Pacific and another of eight bidders did not properly complete the early short-form application process. Only three bidders ultimately qualified for the final round of bidding Feb. 15, which Western won.

The Federal Communications Commission held auctions for the licenses because those markets had no full-power VHF TV stations after the June 2009 digital television transition. Federal law requires that each state have at least one.

-- Deborah D. McAdams