As far as the FCC is concerned, the licensee of WABC (AM) controls the calls. If there is a contrary agreement it's not an FCC issue. If WABC was called upon to give up the calls, and WABC refused, the parties would hash it out in court but the FCC wouldn't get involved
"Where an application is granted by the FCC for transfer or assignment of the construction permit or license of a station whose existing call sign conforms to that of a commonly-owned station not part of the transaction, the new licensee of the transferred or assigned station shall expeditiously request a different call sign, unless consent to retain the conforming call sign has been obtained from the primary holder and from the licensee of any other station that may be using such conforming call sign."
So the rule says WABC-AM would need to request a different call sign. What we're saying is consent was obtained.
The FCC loosened their call sign restrictions during their 1980s wave of deregulation.
A few examples of this are Channel 8 in Cleveland (WJKW-TV) allowed to revert back to a three-letter call–WJW-TV–after its former sister radio station dropped it in 1985, after an ownership change. And a few years later in Chicago, Group W was allowed to keep WMAQ (AM) at 670 AM after buying the station from NBC, who retained WMAQ-TV for Chicago's Channel 5.
And BTW, a reminder: there are now, and never have been radio stations with an "-AM" suffix. The FCC and the trades traditionally use (AM), albeit unofficially.
Last edited by Rollo-Smokes; 12-09-2016 at 11:43 AM.
FTR: WABC is not the station's original call sign. It's original call sign was WJZ, which was re-claimed by Westinghouse for its TV station in Baltimore (originally WAAM).
WABC is the original call sign of WCBS.
Well, when I lived in DC back in the 1980's, I remember two oddities.
One was a Baltimore station that all throughout the hour would brand themself (or themselves) as WMIX.
WMIX this, WMIX that, WMIX the other thing, but at the top of each hour they would softly remind everyone that
"WMIX is WWMX, Baltimore".
Could WWMX have done that if there were a real (and uncooperative) WMIX somewhere out there?
WRC this, WRC that, WRC the other thing.
Again, at the top of each hour, it was:
(big loud drumroll and fanfair)
Ladies and gentlemen, you're listening to the station of the stars, wWRC, Washington"
Well, in that case, the only station that could have complained would have been TV channel four in DC.
Last edited by ai4i; 12-09-2016 at 10:56 PM.
Ai4i has Always Been on the Trailing Edge of Technology!
Last edited by TheBigA; 12-09-2016 at 11:34 PM.
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