UTICA/ROME -- Looks like Hank Brown won't be returning to the radio as "your host for coffee and toast," at least not on WKAJ 1120 as he announced last month. Given the fact the station's construction permit expired before Brown made the announcement, it's no surprise the permit has been officially cancelled by the FCC.
In late December, the Utica Observer-Dispatch reported Brown's plans to launch a morning show on WKAJ right after New Year's. The only problem: the article ran on December 27, but WKAJ's construction permit expired on December 15.
The FCC website had no records of WKAJ's owners requesting a "license to cover" (typically required prior to the CP expiration), nor any pleas to get the deadline extended -- which left us scratching our heads, wondering why Brown would be paying to lease time on a station which, based on FCC records, would not be legally allowed to broadcast.
On New Year's Day, the day before the show was expected to debut, the O-D ran an update, with Brown explaining his show would be postponed one week, "due to a technical problem with the station's new transmitter." By that point, a full two weeks had passed since WKAJ's construction permit had expired.
Some CNYRadio.com readers wrote in to report that they've never heard any audio on 1120AM within WKAJ's expected coverage area, and there were some reports that tower construction was never finished. CNYRadio.com attempted to verify these reports, but neither the engineer nor the attorneys listed in FCC filings as representing WKAJ responded.
The FCC's website now says the CP is cancelled, effective today. In a nutshell, WKAJ no longer exists, at least not in the capacity which had been proposed.
The December 15 expiration date already represented a two-month extension granted earlier in 2011, "to account for flooding and limited access at the tower site during the final two months of the permit due to Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, and a tornado."