This story dates back to September of 2019 when Saga asked The FCC to deny the license renewals of five LPFM stations in Charlottesville. Saga claimed they were operating as a cluster, which is against FCC rules for LPFM’s. And in February of this year The FCC agreed to look into the mattter and asked the stations to answer a long list of questions.
One of those stations WPVC-FM, which launched in 2016, is closing down. Back in October, station owner Jeff Lenert said he wasn’t concerened about losing his license. Times have changed and lenert now says the cost to defend the station against the Saga complaint, combined with the loss of revenue from the pandemic, has created an unsustainable financial situation.
Lenert tells CBS 19 that Saga’s allegations that it was not serving the public interest and operating illegally are false. He said the station gave a voice to marginalized groups. “Our entire idea was to pass the microphone to the people that had the stories and let them tell their story. Now, I don’t know what’s going to happen to these stories or where these people will go for an outlet to get their stories heard.”
Saga operates six stations as the Charlottesville Radio Group.