I was tracking down some information on the Federal Communications Commission's Web site regarding an unrelated matter, then figured while I was there I'd check in to see how the KVTT-to-KERA transfer was going. Because every few days, someone will ask me when KERA's going to launch its all-music station on 91.7 FM -- like I'd know.
Turns out, at the end of July, the FCC signed off on the swap: North Texas Public Broadcasting will indeed assume control of the frequency from Covenant Educational Media. According to the official document, processed on July 30, "The actual consummation of voluntary transactions shall be completed within 90 days from the date hereof." Which means the station will debut by when, exactly? A few minutes ago, I posed this question to Deborah Johnson, senior vice president of marketing at KERA.
"We're going through the process, and the process is the process," she tells Unfair Park. "Everything's going fine, as far as we know. They've got a schedule -- that is, the FCC has a schedule -- and it's the process." I told her she sounds like a David Mamet character. Then I asked her if the station had a launch date in mind.
"We are hoping that as soon as we can complete the process with the FCC, or as we near the competion of the process, we can set a launch date," she says. "We have some tentative dates, but till we get through this, we can't confirm anything." Same goes for the name.
But this much is certain, Johnson says: If the process remains on schedule, the station's a go "before the end of the year." Needless to say, she remains enthusiastic about the venture: "We're excited. We're thrilled. And as soon as I have information, I'll let you know."