FCC Enforcement in 2002

The Enforcement Action Database is all caught up now. In 2002 there were a total of 45 documented FCC enforcement actions against unlicensed broadcasters. All were operating on the FM band – yes, folks, microradio is alive and well in the post-LPFM world.
While the general statistics appear to show a slight increase in activity over previous years, it is due to the FCC’s increased tenacity with regard to pirate cases – not a heightened interest in finding new pirates to bust. It’s still pretty damn hard to get on the FCC’s radar, but once you’re there you could be in for a bumpy ride. Follow-up activity past the warning letter is almost guaranteed nowadays, whereas a few years ago it was pretty common for a station to get a warning notice then hear nothing else for months, if not longer. Continue reading “FCC Enforcement in 2002”

Freak Radio Airs Bust Preparedness PSAs

This is thinking ahead: Freak Radio Santa Cruz, in reaction to the recent raid on Berkeley Liberation Radio, is now airing a “Raid Alert PSA” preparing listeners to react if/when the FCC moves on the station – which has been on the air pretty much non-stop for seven and a half years now.
“In the event that we are raided, if we have the time, we will put out an address on the air, asking you – the listener – to come down to that address to observe, document, and protest in the event it does happen,” intones Skidmark Bob. The PSA is faintly reminiscent of the old Emergency Broadcast System tests, but much cooler.

Berkeley Liberation Radio Back on the Air

Good news from Stephen Dunifer: “BLR is back on the air. Transmissions resumed on late Sunday afternoon.” Less than a week of downtime is pretty damn impressive!
While the FCC has conducted at least three enforcement actions within the last three weeks, the good news is at least three new microradio stations have signed on around the country during the same time. With BLR back on the air, the net gain is one for the good guys….

Update #2 – More Details on BLR Raid

Looks like yesterday’s raid of Berkeley Liberation Radio was pretty severe; the government hard at work, making the world safer for us all. Cap’n Fred sent a note about the incident:
“The FCC had an arrest warrant for the equipment. They knocked on the door and slid the warrant under. The dj in the studio at the time looked at it and decided he’d better let them in. They then proceeded to tear down our antenna and confiscate all the electronic equipment in the room. They left our scratchy old records, tapes and cd’s.” Continue reading “Update #2 – More Details on BLR Raid”

FCC Washes Hands of LPFM?

The FCC removed its online LPFM Channel Finder program from the agency’s website on Monday, December 9. The Channel Finder was a tool prospective LPFM applicants could use to find out whether there were any open frequencies for LPFM stations in their area.
According to the FCC’s announcement:
“Rather than generate studies now that may not result in an acceptable application during the next application filing window (no application filing windows are expected in the near future), we have suspended use of the LPFM Channel Finder for an indefinite period.” Continue reading “FCC Washes Hands of LPFM?”

Berkeley Liberation Radio Busted

Word just crossed the email that Berkeley Liberation Radio was raided by Federal Marshals and the FCC this morning. Apparently almost everything connected to the station was taken, save for microphones and headphones. The FCC isn’t commenting….Cap’n Fred, are you out there?
BLR is the outgrowth of the old Free Radio Berkeley, founded by Stephen Dunifer. While Dunifer was enjoined from broadcasting ever again after losing a long battle in court with the feds, the rest of the station was free to move on. They did…until today. Continue reading “Berkeley Liberation Radio Busted”

WebHopper, Meet iBlast

WebHopper, Clear Channel’s foray into datacasting via digital television, is apparently not the only system under development by media companies pursuing the digital convergence gold rush.
iBlast, a DTV datacasting system cooperatively developed and funded by a consortium of several big media firms (including the Tribune Company, Gannett Company, Cox Broadcasting, The Washington Post Company, The McGraw-Hill Companies, The New York Times, Emmis Communications, Bonneville International, and Journal Broadcast Group, among many others), has been in the testing stage for the last 18 months in more than a half-dozen markets around the country. iBlast’s management boasts of extensive experience with other media conglomerates like News Corp., Viacom, Disney, and Sony being among the most notable. Continue reading “WebHopper, Meet iBlast”

Don Imus Ranch Gets Visit From FCC

Saw word circulating today that Don Imus’ ranch in New Mexico got a friendly visit from the FCC recently about some pirate broadcasting going on there.
Apparently Imus had installed a low-power FM transmitter so his ranch-hands could listen to his radio show, which originates in New York and is not carried locally in New Mexico. It’s not clear just how much wattage “Free Radio Imus” was running, but Don claims it couldn’t be heard off ranch property (his spread encompasses several square miles). Continue reading “Don Imus Ranch Gets Visit From FCC”