Meanwhile on Channel 37

The FCC will not give you a construction permit for a television station on channel 37; that particular frequency band (608-614 MHz) is reserved for radioastronomy use, and has been since the early 1960s.

This is not to say that no one has ever applied for one:

[T]he only one who ever received a construction permit for channel 37 … was Eurith Dickenson “Dee” Rivers Jr., son of the former governor (1937-1941) of Georgia, hence the call letters for his WGOV/950. Rivers was one of the early filers when the FCC began accepting post-freeze applications in July, 1952, and received one of 19 CP grants (the most ever issued on a single day) on February 26, 1953. The senior Rivers was also interested in UHF broadcasting; he was 50% owner of the CP for WMIE-TV/27 Miami FL, which was used by George B. Storer to put WGBS-TV/23 on the air at the end of 1954.

Dee Rivers had enough of a commitment to television that he took co-owned WGOV-FM/92.5 off the air and surrendered its license one month after receiving the WGOV-TV permit, on March 23, and successfully petitioned the FCC in 1954 to change the channel 23 allocation at nearby Fitzgerald GA to channel 53 in order to eliminate spacing “taboos” that hindered his ability to find a usable transmitter site. Despite those efforts, he surrendered the WGOV-TV CP on November 9, 1954 after missing several announced start-up dates. At the time, Rivers told the Commission he was surrendering the permit “because it was not economically feasible to operate an independent non-network UHF station in Valdosta” (unfortunately, a not uncommon conclusion drawn by many early permittees).

There were applicants between the time of Rivers’ withdrawal and 1963, when the FCC issued a ten-year moratorium — later made permanent by treaty — on applications for channel 37, but none were granted construction permits.

Other channels have gone empty over the years. The FCC has never allocated channels 75, 76, 78 and 82 to anywhere at all, and following the reallocation of channels 52 and up to other broadcast services, they presumably never will.

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