Big Surprise? For First Time, FCC Allows 100% Foreign Ownership of Radio Stations, Four of Five in Alaska

The FCC’s Media Bureau has granted a petition by a pair of Australian citizens to control 100% of several broadcast stations — four radio stations in Alaska and Texas . . .

But this is the first time it has allowed 100% foreign ownership of the parent of broadcast licensees, at least outside of one-off waivers — the FCC allowed NewsCorp., also Australian, to buy its (Fox) TV stations in the 1990s.

The FCC’s Media Bureau issued the declaratory ruling Feb. 23 allowing the ownership change. It said the petition had been unopposed and that it had consulted with the “relevant agencies” on law enforcement, national security, foreign policy and trade issues — and none of those agencies raised any objections or said any conditions should be put on the deal . . .

The stations at issue are KGTW(FM) Ketchikan and KINY(AM) Juneau, both Alaska, and KCMC(AM) Texarkana and KTOY(FM) Texarkana, both Texas.

The stations are owned by Frontier, an Alaska-based company controlled by Richard and Sharon Burns, who are Australian citizens. They each own 10% of the ownership interests in the stations and want to buy the other 80%. (For more from the author of “Big Surprise? For First Time, FCC Allow 100% Foreign Ownership of Radio Stations, Four of Five in Alaska” please click HERE)

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