The Carrot and the Stick

In any three-way war, the enemy of your enemy is your friend.
The Federal Communications Commission’s initiative to legalize low power FM radio was a something many unlicensed broadcasters had supported (and worked to demonstrate) and some formally petitioned the FCC to undertake the initiative.
During 1999, while the FCC fleshed out its plans for LPFM, agents in the field claimed to have closed down 154 “pirate” stations.
While the agency won’t publicly admit it, in the wording of its LPFM rules was buried a small caveat to currently active unlicensed broadcasters that they could qualify for a license if they desired, so long as they shut down immediately. Continue reading “The Carrot and the Stick”

Halfway Dead

It was an often-lively debate, but at the end you weren’t sure whether to laugh or seethe.
After nearly two and a half hours of argument, spin and even some outright lies, the full House of Representatives voted 274 to 110 to approve the “Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act” – spelling the first near-death knell for the FCC’s new low power FM radio service.
While the vote in favor of the bill was carried mostly by Republican votes, the sad truth of the matter is that if it weren’t for the Democrats who said “yea,” this bill would have died. Plus, another 50 Representatives didn’t even bother to vote on it! Continue reading “Halfway Dead”

Dueling Editorials, Round Two

It’s been about a year since the National Association of Broadcasters released its “Anti-LPFM lobbying kit” for its members to use as ammunition in a lobbying assault to overturn the FCC’s proposed low power radio service.
What a difference a year makes. The FCC has since approved a conservative LPFM plan, but the NAB is going full-out with a push on Capitol Hill to try and kill it. So far, the votes in support are racking up, and there’s a better-than-even chance the broadcast industry will succeed in its mission.
As part of last year’s “lobbying kit,” the NAB provided a “sample editorial” for its member stations to use in their local newspapers. It was a cheap attempt at furthering its propaganda; as an antidote, I prepared a pro-LPFM sample editorial directly based on the NAB’s original text. Continue reading “Dueling Editorials, Round Two”