On Friday, the FCC released a Public Notice setting out several groups of applications for new noncommercial FM stations which are mutually exclusive with each other. These applications were filed in the October window for new noncommercial FM stations (information about which can be found here). According to the Public Notice, the identified groups are those where there are 4 or fewer applications which are mutually exclusive with each other. The list can be found here. The Commission is asking that applicants named on this list advise the Commission within 30 days whether the FCC's determination of mutual exclusivity is correct, and also whether the named applicants anticipate reaching a settlement or share time agreement. If nothing is filed within that 30 day period, the Commission's staff will start applying the point system to determine which of these applicants should be preferred and granted.
The Public Notice also makes clear that there are other applications which are part of larger mutually exclusive groups. These applications will be dealt with at a later date. The Commission has already processed over 800 other applications which were either granted as "singletons", not mutually-exclusive with other applications, or which were dismissed because the applicant exceeded the 5 station filing cap. Thus, the FCC is moving quickly to process these applications for new noncommercial stations. Applicants should carefully review their options in light of this new public notice.