The big day came and went Tuesday, much rhetoric was bandied about and even Mikey Powell said nice things about community radio (all of the other Commissioners, except Jonathan Adelstein, made appearances). The proceedings were webcast and the archive can be watched here (Real Player required).
Two panels were held: the first was basically made up of representatives of LPFM stations around the country who talked up the good work they do and diplomatically chastised the FCC for not expanding the service out to its full potential. Continue reading “LPFM Day Reviewed; KFAR Packs It In?”
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) plans to reintroduce a bill (which died of inaction last session) that would expand the FCC’s LPFM service back out to its original parameters as defined in 2000. She’s released a statement touting the initiative as a plus for media diversity (though she’s off by a week on LPFM’s fifth birthday, but that’s just nitpicking).
However, the more exciting legislative action seems to be taking place at the state level. Although state broadcast lobbies in Florida and New Jersey are criminalizing unlicensed broadcasting, there is a new push afoot in another state (which will remain nameless so as to keep the lobbyists at bay for as long as possible) to enact legislation that would put control of broadcast radio stations whose signals do not cross a state line under the control of that state’s regulator of public utilities. Continue reading “LPFM Legislation Redux; Taking Initiative at the State Level”
An update to a story earlier this week: the United Church of Christ’s documentary, LPFM: The People’s Choice, is most definitely an optional-carry program for NBC affiliates. This is evidenced by the fact that less than two dozen stations have agreed to broadcast it so far – some of whom won’t actually play it until next year. There is a link on the UCC site marked “click here to view the video (RealVideo)” but I can’t get it to work (after trying two different browsers).
While the LPFM service itself seems to be stuck in limbo (no new station application windows on the horizon, S. 2505 dead in the water), the FCC may be planning a publicity stunt of sorts. It seems that an “LPFM Day” is in the works, where LPFM advocates and people with stations will come to the FCC and show off some of their gear as well as tell stories of what LPFM stations have done for their communities. All well and good, but no substitute for actual service growth. Continue reading “LPFM Miscellany”
REC Networks has published a list of LPFM construction permits that have either expired or are set to expire within the next six months. The list includes several dozen stations that may/will not be. Many of those that have expired are CPs awarded to various state Departments of Transportation: these stations were to beef up existing AM-based travelers’ information networks. Most likely they were budget casualties as state governments across the nation struggle to stop hemorrhaging red ink.
First the news from Washington: John McCain’s bill to expand the FCC’s LPFM service cleared the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday, but not without some last-minute chicanery – an amendment has been added that exempts the state of New Jersey from any expansion (if it occurs).
Now it must clear the full Senate and House of Representatives, where the odds are not as good. However, Prometheus reports that some of the religious LPFMers are leaning on GOP congresscritters pretty hard, so there’s still some hope. Continue reading “FCC Gets Earful in Monterey; LPFM Bill Advances from Senate Committee”
S. 2505 – the bill to expand LPFM back out to its original parameters as defined in 2000 – is expected to clear the Senate Commerce Committee on Thursday. This is somewhat of a no-brainer as S. 2505’s sponsor, John McCain (R-AZ) also happens to be committee chairman.
At present the bill has just two co-sponsors. Remember that it must still clear both the House and Senate and survive a presidential veto (expected but not yet promised). There’s always a chance that S. 2505 could become a “rider” to other legislation, a common legislative shortcut used when Congress has a backlog (as is the case presently). Then again, it could always be scuttled in exchange for the support of other measures with more political capital. Continue reading “LPFM Expansion Bill to Clear Committee”
Outgoing Amherst Alliance president Don Schellhardt breaks things down micro-legislatively with regard to S.2505, the Low Power Radio Act. He also notes that Senator Maria Cantwell has introduced promised leigslation to protect certain “Class D” old-style LPFM stations from being bumped off the air. That bill, the “Educational Radio Protection Act,” currently has no sponsors. Continue reading “LPFM Tidbits of Note”
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”
On Friday Senator John McCain (R-AZ), along with Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a bill to restore the FCC’s original vision of LPFM. My favorite line from the text of the legislation (S. 2505) is, “After years and the expenditure of $2,193,343 in taxpayer dollars to conduct [a study on interference involving LPFM stations], the broadcasters’ concerns were demonstrated to be unsubstantiated.”
Now we shall see if it moves. Promises kept in word are one thing; deeds are quite different, especially in D.C.
It appears there may be some movement in D.C. on some sort of legislation involving low power FM radio stations. It’s a curious thing: Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) plans to sponsor a bill to upgrade several old “Class D” FM educational stations.
The move stems from a controversy involving a high school whose 25-year old station might be bumped off the air by a commercial station who wants to move its transmitter to reach a larger audience.
While the FCC phased out Class D educational FM licenses in 1980, several dozen stations are still on the air. As part of the phase-out, they had to move out of the educational band of the FM dial (88.1-91.9 MHz). They also were endowed with “secondary” status: post-1980, if a commercial station wanted their frequency, the Class D station had to either find a new frequency or go off the air. Mercer Island High School’s station will probably have to shut down unless Sen. Cantwell’s legislation becomes law. Continue reading “Low Power Radio Legislation Afoot?”