Radio permits go to mainland bidders
TWO new FM stations will be built in Hawaii eventually, now that the Federal Communications Commission has closed an auction for 171 construction permits.
A construction permit, which varies in price at an auction, is not the same thing as a broadcast license. Winning a permit enables a company to begin the process of receiving an FCC broadcast license.
Only one Hawaii-based broadcaster was among the 214 participating in the 13-day auction that began Jan. 12, but the company, Maui's Visionary Related Entertainment LLC, came away empty-handed.
The eighth-highest bid in the auction was placed for a station that will broadcast at 106.9, a frequency the FCC has allocated to Nanakuli. The provisional winning bidder is Big D Consulting Inc. It was unclear where the company is based.
A company named Shirk-Mays LLC that appears to be based in Indiana was, at $518,000, the provisional winning bidder for a station that will broadcast at 92.5 FM, assigned to Kahului, Maui.
The surname Shirk has been associated with radio and television broadcasting in Indiana since 1965. William G. Mays was a co-owner of Bill Shirk's Hoosier Broadcasting Corp., which was sold to broadcast behemoth Radio One for $40 million in 2000.
Mays owns Mays Chemical Co. and the Indianapolis Recorder, a weekly newspaper in Indianapolis, of which his wife, Carolene, is the president and publisher.
The FCC is confirming all the winning auction bids. The Hawaii construction permits were a bargain compared to the one for Indian Wells, Calif. The auction's top bid of nearly $6.7 million was placed for that piece of paper by A&J Media LLC, based in La Jolla, Calif.
The lowest winning bid was $19,000 for a construction permit in Manville, Wyo. Winning bidder Alma Corp. walked away with two other construction permits for a grand total of $92,000.
Just in case anybody's keeping track, Oahu already has 21 FM stations.
Add to those the eight construction permits snapped up in 2004's FCC Auction 37. None of those are on the air yet, but they have three years to sign on.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org