Clinton, Anderson County (AP) -- Rural areas once served by "hometown" radio stations are losing ground to big companies, aided, in part by a licensing process that goes to the highest bidder.
The auction process, administered by the Federal Communications Commission, can last for weeks and sometimes ends with a final price tag in the millions.
According to the FCC, an auction ensures the license goes to the company that values it the most.
But those opposed to the method say it edges out small operators and forces others to reach out to bigger markets like Knoxville.
More than 100 FM frequencies nationwide, including one each in Oliver Springs and Pigeon Forge, will be up for grabs in March.
Early estimates indicate that the Oliver Springs license could go as high as $3 million to $5 million.
Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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