Despite allegations lodged by Marion Cole, partial owner of Mandatory Broadcasting, Inc., that her business partners attempted to pull off a back-door deal to transfer the license of translator signal 107.9 (call sign K300BD) into the name of radio station employee Tony Heady, Heady says he “did nothing wrong.”
K300BD rebroadcasts Ranger-based KCUB-FM 98.5 (Mandatory FM) into the Stephenville market and according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is currently owned by Heady.
“I do have a maintenance agreement with Mandatory Broadcasting and I do rebroadcast their programming,” Heady wrote in a prepared statement. “I like their format and believe the people of Stephenville deserve different formats of music.”
The commission approved the transfer of the license on Oct. 27, 2009, the same day Cole and her attorney Kim Pack Wilson filed a petition in the 266th Judicial District Court to stop actions that would further damage the business.
“Mrs. Cole is a very nice, generous woman and is just misinformed that Mandatory Broadcasting had any kind of ownership in 107.9,” Heady’s statement said. “I think that misconception has been resolved.”
Heady said he has been the sole owner of the translator since Cleve Cole, Marion’s late husband, and John and Pamela Hollinger signed a deal to purchase the radio station from Back to Roots, Inc. in March 2008. He said he purchased the translator for just $10 from the former license holder, Granbury Communications, Inc.
And the $10 deal was a steal. According to information filed on the Web site of the FCC, www.fcc.gov, former owners of KCUB listed the value of the frequency at $25,000.
According to the FCC rules and regulations, “commercial primary stations (such as KCUB) and anyone associated with a commercial primary station (such as employees or shareholders) may neither own nor provide direct or indirect support to non-fill-in translator stations, both before or after the translator commences operation.”
Just months ago, Heady was the general sales manager of the station and was listed as such on the station’s Web site, www.mandatoryfm.com. Heady said Tuesday he was not employed by the station until after March 2008 and was no longer employed by the station at the time the application for the license was signed.
Heady presented an agreement signed by himself, John Hollinger and Charles Beard, representative of Granbury Communications, dated February 2008 that transfers the license of 107.9 to Heady. The document was not signed by Cleve Cole or any other witness and was not notarized.
Although the agreement was allegedly signed before the sale was closed in March 2008, the application for the license was not filed with the FCC until September 2009. Heady ran a legal notice in the Empire-Tribune on Sept. 19, 2009 detailing the application which said the application was filed 10 days earlier.
“I obtained ownership of 107.9 in early 2008,” Heady said. “The license has been granted in my name within the past months.”
Also on file at ffc.gov is an agreement between Granbury Communications, Inc. and Heady that was only signed in the last few months. Beard dated his signature on the application Aug. 13, 2009. Heady’s signature was dated Oct. 23, just three days before the petition in the civil dispute was filed.
Heady refuted the allegation in the petition that the Hollingers entered into “a transaction” with Heady without Cole’s consent by facilitating the transfer of a radio frequency license, “an asset of the corporation and substantial part of the value of the business,” into Heady’s name. He said the allegation “is completely false.”
FCC rules state that if a non-fill-in translator is independently owned, the owner must secure the permission of the primary station to rebroadcast its programming before commencing operation.
Heady alleges that Cleve and Marion Cole were present when the agreement was singed in 2008.
While the future of the station remains uncertain, Heady said he doesn’t plan to take the translator frequency to another station.
“I have no intentions at this time to rebroadcast any other broadcast on 107.9,” Heady said. “But I do have that option.”
Heady and the Hollingers are represented by local attorney Heath Allen who said he would not comment on the case. Allen also said in providing details and statements about the case, Heady acted independently and not under the advice of legal counsel.