WBSC (AM)

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WBSC
WBSC AM Bennettsville logo.png
City of license Bennettsville, South Carolina
Broadcast area Bennettsville, South Carolina
Marlboro County, South Carolina
Frequency 1550 kHz
First air date June 1947
Format Silent
Power 10,000 Watts daytime
5,000 Watts nighttime
Class B
Facility ID 5214
Transmitter coordinates 34°40′52.0″N 79°42′4.0″W / 34.681111°N 79.701111°W / 34.681111; -79.701111
Callsign meaning W Bennettsville, South Carolina
Owner D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc.

WBSC (1550 AM) was a commercial radio station licensed to serve the community of Bennettsville, South Carolina. The station broadcast to the Bennettsville and Marlboro County, South Carolina, area. WBSC was last owned and operated by D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc.[1] The station, established in June 1947, fell silent in October 2011 and had its broadcast license revoked by the Federal Communications Commission in November 2012.[1]

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

In June 1947, WBSC took to the airwaves for the first time under the ownership of Loys Marsden Hawley, with programming from the Mutual Broadcasting System.[2] Initially, WBSC broadcast on 1400 AM, but changed to 1550 AM sometime between 1951 and 1952.[3][4]

Changing hands[edit]

In 1949, Loys Marsden Hawley sold WBSC to Bennettsville Broadcasting Company for an unknown sum.[5] In 1956, WBSC was again sold, this time to the Atlantic Coast Life Insurance Company.[6] WBSC would change hands again on September 23, 1962, this time being sold to Big Bend Broadcasting.[7] At the time of the sale, WBSC was carrying a Country format.[7]

By 1970, WBSC was airing a mix of Gospel and country music, along with the normal fare from the Mutual Broadcasting System.[8] In 1973, the station dropped its Gospel and Country format for a contemporary one (what today would be considered Oldies).[9] By 1980, the station was airing a variety format, with contemporary, Gospel, and country music being heard.[10] The station would revert to a Gospel and country format in 1984.[11]

In 1990, WBSC would change formats again, this time to oldies and would drop Mutual Broadcasting System for the Satellite Music Network, the predecessor of the ABC Radio Network.[12][13][14] In April 1995, Big Bend Broadcasting sold WBSC to D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc.[15] At the time of the sale, WBSC was still airing an Oldies format.[15] In 1997, the new owners, D-Mitch Broadcasting, tweaked the station's format, adding Gospel music along with the oldies.[16]

Fines and Lawsuit[edit]

On June 27, 2008, the station was fined $12,000 for "failure to maintain operational Emergency Alert System ("EAS") equipment and failure to maintain and make available a complete public inspection file."[17][18]

A lawsuit was filed against D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc. on March 4, 2010 to collect the $12,000 fine from 2008.[19] On May 12, 2010, D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc. was ordered by the court, in default, to pay the $12,000 fine, plus $370.00 in court costs.[20][21] The defendants, D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc., "failed to appear, plead, or otherwise defend as provided in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure" according to the Default Judgement.[21]

Falling silent[edit]

In the station's November 29, 2011, License Renewal Application, the station had been off the air "due [to] lack of funds" since October 6, 2011.[22] It was also noted that the station's Emergency Alert System equipment was not working, but was to be replaced, while the public inspection file was updated.[22] In January 2012, the station's former engineer told the Huffington Post that he was let go when the station "went under" in October 2011.[23]

On May 9, 2012, D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc. was notified that they had neglected to file a "Special Temporary Authority" application declaring WBSC silent under FCC rules.[24] D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc. was given "until 12:01 a.m., on October 7, 2012" to return to the air or their license would "automatically expire as a matter of law".[24]

On November 29, 2012, the FCC had not received a reply to their May 9 letter to D-Mitch Broadcasting, Inc. and "based on the lack of a response to [the FCC's] status inquiry letter" the FCC declared that WBSC had been off the air for more than 12 months.[25] Under the terms of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, as a matter of law a radio station's broadcast license is subject to automatic forfeiture and cancellation if they fail to broadcast for one full year.[26] The FCC cancelled WBSC's license and deleted the WBSC call sign from the database.[25][26] Additionally, the station's November 29, 2011, License Renewal Application was dismissed. The November 29, 2012, letter was sent back to the FCC on January 22, 2013, with a "Return to Sender" label on the original envelope.[27]

In other media[edit]

In October 2008, WBSC was a focus of the South Carolina Educational Television documentary Losing Their Voices about the plight of local radio stations in an era of automation and group ownership.[28][29][30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "WBSC Facility Record". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. 
  2. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1948". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1948. p. 216. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1951". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1951. p. 276. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1952". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1952. p. 256. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1949". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1949. p. 234. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Broadcasting Telecasting 1956". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1956. p. 273. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Broadcasting Yearbook 1964". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1964. p. B-139. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  8. ^ "1970 Broadcasting Yearbook". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1970. p. B-179. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  9. ^ "1973 Broadcasting Yearbook". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1973. p. B-178. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Broadcasting Yearbook 1980". Sol Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1980. p. C-202. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Broadcasting/Cablecasting Yearbook 1984". Lawrence B. Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1984. p. B-226. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  12. ^ "The Broadcasting Yearbook 1990". Lawrence B. Taishoff/Broadcasting Publications, Inc. 1990. p. B-274. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Capital Cities' Satellite Stake". The New York Times (New York, New York: The New York Times Company). January 3, 1989. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ Cox, Jim (July 1, 2009). American Radio Networks: A History. McFarland & Company. p. 199. ISBN 0786441925. 
  15. ^ a b "Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook – 1996". Stanley Walker/Leigh C. Yuster-Freeman/Reed Reference Publishing Company. 1996. p. B-371. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Broadcasting & Cable Yearbook 1997". Leigh C. Yuster-Freeman/Reed Reference Publishing Company. 1997. p. B-396. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ "Forfeiture Order". Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau. July 1, 2008. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  18. ^ "FCC Fines Station $12,000 For EAS, Public File Violations". All Access Music Group. July 1, 2008. Retrieved August 2, 2013. 
  19. ^ United States of America v. D-Mitch Broadcasting Inc (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina March 4, 2010). Text
  20. ^ United States of America v. D-Mitch Broadcasting Inc - Bill of Costs (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina May 12, 2010).
  21. ^ a b United States of America v. D-Mitch Broadcasting Inc - Default Judgement (United States District Court for the District of South Carolina May 18, 2010).
  22. ^ a b "Application for Renewal of Broadcast Station License". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. November 30, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  23. ^ Jamieson, Dave (January 18, 2012). "South Carolina Primary 2012: In Rural County, Long Wait For Job Creators". The Huffington Post (TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.). Retrieved August 3, 2013. 
  24. ^ a b "WBSC(AM), Bennettsville, SC – Facility ID No. 5214". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. May 9, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  25. ^ a b "WBSC(AM), Bennettsville, SC – Facility ID No. 5214 – Notification of Cancellation of License and Deletion of Call Letters". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. November 29, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "Silent AM and FM Broadcast Station Lists". The FCC Encyclopedia. Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved December 13, 2011. 
  27. ^ "Return to Sender". Federal Communications Commission, audio division. January 22, 2013. Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  28. ^ "Will local radio's voice be silenced?". The State (Columbia, South Carolina: The McClatchy Company). October 9, 2008. p. D1. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  29. ^ "Hometown Radio Stations Focus of Series". The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina: The McClatchy Company). October 9, 2008. p. 6E. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  30. ^ Powell, Scott (September 29, 2008). "WAGI-FM featured in SCETV documentary". The Gaffney Ledger (Gaffney, South Carolina: The Gaffney Ledger Inc.). Retrieved July 30, 2013. 

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