Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Educational Radio Station Planned For Cookeville

It may be a few years before they get on the air, but a group of local residents this week won a victory in their efforts to establish a new educational radio station in Cookeville.  The Catholic Social Club of Putnam County was the winner of a contested FM allotment, which had also been sought by two other groupls. Both Roane State Community College and a group called  Cookeville Christian Broadcasting had sought to block the application, but in the end, the FCC granted the Catholic group the go-ahead to build the station. According to the FCC, they won out because their proposal would reach 5,000 more residents than any of the others. The group is looking to build what's called a non-profit Class C2 radio station on 89.9 MHz with a power output of 25,000 watts.  It was charged that CSC had not established that it was incorporated, but the FCC said its organizational credentials were in order. Opponents had also claimed that the Catholic Social Club was a front group for the real party in interest, the Knights of Columbus. But the club countered that the relationship between it and the local Kinghts' council was openly acknowledged. In fact, the Knights of Columbus are not allowed to incorporate in order to own property, so the leadership of the local council deliberately formed CSC in order to apply to own and operate the radio station. CSC said, and the FCC agreed, that there was nothing shady or improper about the arrangement. The group did have to make some technical adjustments to its Construction Permit in order to avoid interference with other stations, but having done that, it is now cleared as the licensee of the station.