A couple dozen folks filed comments in the FCC’s proposed rulemaking to allow FM translator stations to originate their own programming. Several of the commenters are long-time LPFM activists, and many of them support the proposal provided that a translator’s license status is not used to bump LPFM stations off the air, and that the FCC be diligent enough to prevent this type of abuse, especially in light of the speculation and trafficking in translator station construction permits that’s gone on in recent years. (Conspicuously missing from the initial comment round is LPFM’s largest institutional proponent, the Prometheus Radio Project.)
Other supporters of the proposal include local owners of single translator stations, who believe they could be used to replace full-power stations in smaller communities that have since been bought out by broadcast conglomerates and moved closer to larger markets (“rimshot” stations). Continue reading “Translator Petition Attracts Scant Comment”
The boss who oversaw the National Association of Broadcasters’ evisceration of the FCC’s low-power FM radio service, Eddie Fritts, stepped aside as president last year, and considers the squelching of LPFM one of his greatest accomplishments. The new NAB chieftain is David K. Rehr, former chairman of the National Beer Wholesalers Association.
NAB President David Rehr, GOP Palm-Greaser ExtraordinaireWhen Rehr was selected to replace Fritts, the NAB pointed to his significant and unabashed lobbying and fundraising skills – Rehr made the NBWA political action fund one of the ten biggest spenders in Washington and currently doles out more than twice as much cash as does the NAB. Rehr was also a “Bush Pioneer” in 2004, raising more than $100,000 for his second campaign, and has extremely close ties to Republican congressional leadership and the K Street Project. Continue reading “NAB Finesses Lobbying Strategy”
The consortium of major broadcasters pushing digital radio are wasting no time deploying what they believe to be its “killer app,” multicasting – the ability to split a single radio channel into multiple program streams. Earlier this month they announced the rollout of digital multicast signals in several dozen markets. The broadcasts introduce industry-coordinated secondary program channels featuring formats like “Classical Alternative,” “Coffee House,” “Female Talk,” and “Extreme Hip-Hop,” and some miscellaneous strangeness. For now, these channels will be offered without commercials.
My ongoing research into digital radio is dredging up lots of interesting information, much of which has a direct impact on the viability of multicasting. Continue reading “Digital Multicasting Rollout Begins”
REC Networks has collected and posted summaries of several “constituency comments” (those filed by groups representing communities of interest), doing the thankless job of weeding through the auto-file form-fill spam.
The National Association of Broadcasters, predictably, opposes any changes to the FCC’s LPFM rules that might expand the service, continuing to peddle fully-debunked claims that 100-watt stations have the potential to cause “harmful interference” to stations 10 to 1,000 times their size in terms of power.
The comments – which took three NAB executives, three staffers (including former high-level FCC staff), and two law clerks to write and sign off on – also rubs the agency’s nose in the fact that it is prohibited by congressional fiat from relaxing channel-spacing rules to create space for LPFM stations in urban areas. Continue reading “NAB/NPR on LPFM: Forked Tongues”
The campaign is called “Radio. You hear it here first,” features a curiously Napster-like logo, and contains two types of spots. The longer ones are basically rambling moments, where the National Association of Broadcasters gives the featured artists 40 seconds to act stupid. The shorter ones feature artists positioning radio’s influence in their career. Many of these are pretty silly, like Lynyrd Skynrd officially declaring “Freebird” to be one of “the greatest songs of all time” and The Bravery conducting a one-note meditation. Collage fodder is in the air…
The National Association of Broadcasters Radio Show kicks off in San Diego in less than two weeks and media activists of all stripes will be ready for their arrival. A coalition of groups has organized a counter-convergence: Media emergenC. Continue reading “Media EmergenC: Confronting the NAB in San Diego”
Four years ago, when the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio successfully convinced Congress to significantly scale back the FCC’s new LPFM service, grassroots media activists weren’t packing much heat on the Hill.
It’s been a productive four years: 400+ LPFM stations are now on the air with more in the pipeline and dedicated lobbyists in Washington willing to push for an LPFM revival. Continue reading “LPFM Rematch on Capitol Hill”
From the latest AMPB Report (site under construction):
The National Association of Broadcasters are holding their [annual radio] convention in San Diego the first part of October. A response and counter-convention is in the planning now. We are organizing a micro-power radio gathering on the world wide web for October 9. We hope to discuss all aspects of free radio, including technical, legal, creative and plan for the future. This will be presented in the form of streaming video, audio, chat rooms, phone calls and email with a live panel and participation from all interested parties. The website for this event will be: http://www.luver.com
Contact Paul Griffin for further details and how to get involved on the ground floor.
Today ABC/Disney resigned its membership in the National Association of Broadcasters, who now represent none of the major television networks: Fox and NBC bailed out in 2000 and CBS followed a year later.
This particular marriage dissolved over the NAB’s resistance to increasing the television ownership caps. On June 2 the FCC raised the cap allowing TV broadcast companies to own enough stations to reach 45% of the viewing audience, up 10% from the previous limit. The networks wanted the caps raised so they could buy more stations and bring them under direct network control; the companies that own most affiliates didn’t want increased pressure from the networks. Since the vast majority of U.S. TV stations are NOT network-owned and operated, it was easy to see how the NAB would come down in this fight. Continue reading “Disney/ABC Dumps NAB”
The major components to our coverage of the microradio activity that took place during the NAB radio convention in Seattle earlier this month are now in place. Please keep in mind that the operational analysis is only one man’s opinion, and I’d love to hear from others who want to share their experiences. If you recorded anything, please let me know and spread the love!
Looking back on all the action, I must say that it felt good to be part of something special, although I’m in awe of so many peoples’ dedication and resourcefulness. Hopefully the dialogue that started in Seattle continues and evolves. Continue reading “Mosquito Fleet Feature Complete”