Midland FM Translator Off-Air as of 3:30 p.m. (CDT) March 31, 2017
On March 31, 2017, our communication's attorney received a letter from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) denying our second appeal to allow us to feed our Midland FM translator by satellite. You can read the letter here.
We had to start feeding that translator by satellite in 2010 when a full-powered non-commercial station (NCE) came on the air using the same frequency that our Andrews translator was using to bring our signal to Midland. At the time, we felt the fastest solution was to feed our signal to Midland via satellite. We were doing this at some other translator sites in New Mexico. When we did this, we did not know that the FCC only allowed satellite delivery to translators owned by non-commercial educational stations operating in the NCE FM band from 88.1 MHz to 91.9 MHz. Our Midland translator is (was) at 99.5 MHz so it was not eligible for satellite delivery.
We did not know this for some years. In fact, it was only a few years ago that FCC rules changed to allow us to move our translator closer to town. We applied and were successful in getting a construction permit (CP) from the FCC that would allow us to move our translator closer to town which would give us much better coverage of Midland. However, the CP clearly indicated that we could only use off-air reception to feed the translator. It was only then we realized that that our satellite delivery system to Midland was against the FCC rules. We immediately admitted our mistake to the FCC and requested a waiver of the rules. The appeal process has been going on for the past four years.
Now that the FCC has denied our second appeal, we will try other ways to return our signal to the Midland area. The FCC does have a process for giving relief to translators that are "displaced" by other NCE stations. Since that happened in 2010 to our Andrews translator, we will ask the FCC permission under displacement rules to find another frequency in or around the Andrews area that would allow us to again feed our signal to Midland over-the-air . We did not try that approach in 2010 since satellite delivery was a more immediate solution and we did not know it was not permissible under FCC rules.
In the meantime, in order to keep our Midland translator license active, we are allowing a Midland AM radio station to rebroadcast its signal on the FM band. This is legal under FCC rules and will allow us to maintain our license until we can find a way to get our own signal back to Midland over-the-air. We regret losing our service to the Midland area and hope to be back soon! We will miss you.
If you would like to read more about the history of our service to Midland, please click here.
However, there is a little bit of good news. If you have internet connectivity, you can still receive our station. From this web site, on our Home Page, you can click on the “Listen Now” button at the top of our home page. In addition, a free app from either Google or Apple is available for your smart phone.