Liberation Radio Loses Seizure Challenge, Plans Appeal

A somewhat skimpy story notes the ruling against SFLR‘s challenge came down on March 14. Alan Korn has graciously provided a copy. It’s grim reading: first and fourth amendment arguments are bounced, and District Court Judge Susan Ilston avoids the station’s direct challenge to FCC rules with the jurisdictional wiggle (“that issue belongs in D.C., not with me”).
The station’s attorney, Mark Vermeulen, hopes for better things at the Ninth Circuit: “Courts of Appeals have more leverage in establishing new precedents.” Yet the two most successful microbroadcast cases ever litigated, involving Free Radio Berkeley and Radio Free Brattleboro, scored their victories at the district court level. Continue reading “Liberation Radio Loses Seizure Challenge, Plans Appeal”

NAB Promoting Radio's Musical Wonderfulness

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…

HD Radio: Pay to Play

Ibiquity Digital Corp., patent-holders on the In-Band On-Channel (IBOC) digital audio broadcast standard adopted by the U.S., announced its license fee structure earlier this month. Ibiquity’s technology is proprietary – therefore, going forward, digital radio broadcasting requires two licenses to broadcast: one from the government and one from Ibiquity.
In hopes of enticing early adoption, the initial “one-time” general IBOC license fee to Ibiquity begins at $5,000 per station. If stations wait just three years to convert, however, they will find that fee to be five-fold.
Then, there are the residuals: stations that multicast (i.e. carry multiple program streams on one channel) must pay Ibiquity 3% of the revenues derived from the second DAB channel, or $1,000, whichever is greater. This fee will be assessed annually. This is somewhat ironic because National Public Radio led the effort to develop IBOC-compliant multicast capability (something commercial broadcasters initially rebuffed). Continue reading “HD Radio: Pay to Play”

LPFM Expansion Rulemaking Expected @ FCC

Reliable sources report the agency may be asking for restoration of the service to its pre-Congressional parameters, minus a few qualifications, the significance of which are undetermined.
Could it be true? The day after Mikey Powell leaves the building, LPFM takes a great leap forward? As they say, “developing…”
Update: Indeed, it is true. Also included is a six-month freeze on FM translator applications, which at least halts the RAM/EB/WRL triad for the moment. Nice to see the public interest get respect for a change.

Miscellaneous Link of Note Stew

Air Jesus: With The Evangelical Air Force – from Media Transparency. Forget not, most translator-mongers are christian soldiers. Also see Bush Picks New FCC Chairman, Conservatives Hail Decision.
Pop Defect Radio: 10 Years (A Pirate’s Life) – in celebration of Freak Radio’s 10th birthday this month. Also see Free Radio Berkeley 2005 workshop schedule. Continue reading “Miscellaneous Link of Note Stew”

Translator-Mongers Fire Back

Looks like the Edgewater/RAM cabal found out that they’ve been found out. Yesterday they filed an emergency motion to dismiss” the public petition calling for a freeze on the processing of FM translator applications due to allegations of spectrum speculation and trafficking. It’s an arrogant document wherein they mince no words:
The Petition cites no wrongdoing whatsoever by the Ministries. It resorts instead to wild speculation impugning the character, motives, and methods of the Ministries and their principals. Continue reading “Translator-Mongers Fire Back”

On Falling Close to the Tree

Mikey Powell and Media Bureau chief William (“Ken”) Ferree, until this week top dogs at the FCC, have new gigs to fall into. Powell is heading to the Aspen Institute, a common transitional stop for former Chairmen. Ferree lands a phatter job: Chief Operating Officer at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Ferree, architect of the (mostly failed) media ownership review, now making critical decisions on funding for public radio and TV. Sounds like a match made in heaven!

Rockin' the Boat Sails Again

After an eight-month hiatus, during which he produced plenty for Free Speech Radio News, the V-Man is back in the saddle at Free Radio Santa Cruz. Rockin’ the Boat returned to the air yesterday: unlike last time the show is a weekly affair.
This incarnation, says the V-Man, will be “a…mishmash of sounds. One week I might rant for two hours, the next could be all music. One week, I might pick a topic…and cover as much ground as possible about that, or I might just open up the phone lines another week. Expect the unexpected…”
Freak Radio recently celebrated its 10th birthday with choice cuts from the archives.

Liberation Radio Plans Appeal

Another strange day in court for the folks at San Francisco Liberation Radio. This morning they got another chance to argue their case in front of federal district judge Susan Illston: this time the station’s legal team emphasized that it has eight years’ worth of correspondence with the FCC, which should (at some level) make their case somehow different, and their argument against the station raid and seizure process somehow more compelling.
Karoline Hatch wrote in an update: Continue reading “Liberation Radio Plans Appeal”