Sparked by an interview done for this story, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks conducting a much-needed audit of the Enforcement Action Database. The biggest changes involved harmonizing the counting methodology from year-to-year, and correcting scattered counting errors collected over a decade of compilation.
However, the revised figures show no significant change in the trends of late: more administrative penalties, less overall muscle, and the proliferation of stations continues. I will be the first to admit to sucking at math. Continue reading “Enforcement Action Database Revamp”
The FCC is soliciting comment on rules to govern an upcoming auction of 124 full-power FM station construction permits around the country. These channels are on the commercial portion of the FM dial; the action is set to commence on March 7.
It will be interesting to see if our translator-mongering friends will make a killing in this buying spree. Remember that it is part of their business plan to convert FM translator construction permits into cash, and use the cash to buy full-power FM stations (or station construction permits) from which to feed RAM/EB/WRL’s own network. This auction may very well usher in phase two of the ongoing invasion of godcasters onto the FM dial.
I had a nice long chat with Rayon Payne earlier this week. He’s been up to some interesting stuff.
Payne’s latest project is Myspace Radio. The plan involves establishing a database of music from which users will be able to access and assemble playlists for free. Said playlists can then be streamed from anywhere. Payne describes it as akin to Shoutcast, except you’re in complete control of the programming.
Users will be able to upload and request new audio files and share their playlists with others, but they will not be able to download files. The system will log everything that’s played, with the appropriate streaming royalty payments to follow. The entire service will be free; Payne hopes to generate revenue via advertising. Continue reading “N$X: Seeking Direction”
As if last week’s bombshell did not do enough to tarnish the legitimacy of the FCC, now comes word that a second media ownership study did not see the light of day back during the agency’s last go-round on the subject.
The funny thing is, this newly-unearthed report – “Review of the Radio Industry” – doesn’t tell us anything that we didn’t already know, which is how consolidation has decimated radio since the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. When regulators find themselves threatened to the point where they go out of their way to cover up the obvious, you know things are f*cked up to an insane degree. Continue reading “FCC Report-Spiking Redux”
During the FCC’s mostly-failed media ownership revision-quest of 2003, the agency cooked up a bunch of “research” to justify trying to let big media grow even bigger. However, one report with real integrity never made it out the door.
The agency’s Media Bureau studied local television news coverage, and tallied up the amount of actual local news stations produced, and correlated that to station ownership. It turns out that locally-owned stations produce as much as 33 hours more local news per year than stations owned by chains or networks. The study also concluded that cross-ownership – the ownership of a TV station and/or newspaper and/or radio by one company in a single market – did nothing to enhance a TV station’s local news coverage. In fact, cross-owned properties more often than not produce less local news. Continue reading “Mikey Powell, Document-Shredder”
Recently found two documents of interest related to the impact of translator station proliferation on the potential for LPFM station expansion. The first two are contained as appendices to late-filed reply comments tendered by the Prometheus Radio Project in the FCC’s still-open LPFM proceeding last September. Continue reading “Translator Tidbits of Note”
Ever since Congress bowed to pressure from commercial and public broadcasters six years ago and severely gutted the low-power FM radio service, its advocates have been working the Hill looking for a way to nullify the intervention. Several tries at passing bills to directly reverse the damage died quietly, which has directed attention toward using the amendment process as a vehicle for progress.
The “Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act” only became law because it was attached to a spending measure. This maneuver is one of the most sneakily abused ways of routing corrupt legislation through the system. LPFM advocates, led by the Prometheus Radio Project, are at least working with an existing bill that specifically involves important communications regulation. Continue reading “Congressional LPFM Expansion Play Afoot”
Fresh from a skirmish with an overzealous state lawmaker on a liberal media witch-hunt, the Workers Independent News (Service) got a surprising bit of good news recently. WIN(S) can now be heard in New York on 1010 WINS-AM.
This is quite a turn of events, for three years ago the owner of 1010 WINS, the CBS Corporation (née Infinity Broadcasting, formerly a subsidiary of Viacom) threatened to sue WIN(S) not once, but twice, on spurious claims of trademark infringement. Continue reading “The Karmic Circle of WIN(S)”