Radio Wave Wars

The United States airwaves have done nothing but go up in value as private companies and religious organizations bid for frequencies. Phone companies, TV and others have a lustful eye on the air, too. In the aftermath of an October FM radio filing period, some local citizens called to say they are worried about some of the new applicants and their potential to blot out National Public Radio signals in Inyo and Mono.

Living Proof, a Bishop company located at Calgary Chapel on Main St., operates KWTW on Silver Peak above Bishop and has applied for 90.7 FM to serve Big Pine and the Eastern Sierra. Some citizens pointed to the close KUNR frequency of 90.9 and wondered if the public radio translator signal would survive a full power station at 90.7.

KUNR’s manager is looking into the situation. Daniel McClenaghan of Living Proof said that he doesn’t think his station should be a problem since 90.7 is what’s called a second adjacent channel to 90.9. Local resident, Stephen Kalish, has taken an interest in the protection of KUNR. He said that he verified with engineers at KUNR that 90.7 is a “first adjacent channel to 90.9 and likely to cause problems.”

Public radio officials say they do have problems with the more powerful full power stations blotting out their more modest translator signals.

Thousands of applications for FM radio licenses were filed during the October window. Many by religious organizations. While some locally have voiced concern that there is an effort to blot out public radio in many areas, attorneys versed in communication law say there’s no conspiracy. Radio waves are valuable and public radio has made no push to file for and own new FM stations.

Other filings locally include a Seventh Day Adventist application for a full power FM station in downtown Bishop and a religious station and Spanish Station in Mammoth Lakes.

Mr. Kalish said he has filed a petition to deny Living Proof’s 90.7 application. Kalish said he is available to talk to anyone interested in this local issue.

 
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