L.A. Broadcast Media Dodges Flames

As you may have heard, parts of the state of California are in the midst of its yearly fire season. A nasty blaze is burning near Mt. Wilson, which just happens to be the primary location where most Los Angeles-market radio and television stations site their transmission equipment. As of this afternoon, the “Station Fire” was just a half-mile from the broadcast facilities and closing. Continue reading “L.A. Broadcast Media Dodges Flames”

HD Radio Increasing Format Diversity?

Dissertation research, phase two: explore and catalog interesting information about HD Radio from all available electronic resources except the FCC’s actual, entire rulemaking (that’s phase three). Initially, this involved exploring HD Radio’s proponents and how they present themselves online. It’s quite an extensive presence, involving two corporate portals, one consumer-marketing site, and a (user-restricted) site involving broadcaster and retailer education.
I just finished scouring the consumer-portal, where I re-stumbled upon a news release from March in which the HD Radio Alliance touted 1,000 FM stations now multicasting, and 100 receiver-models in production. The release includes two graphs. Continue reading “HD Radio Increasing Format Diversity?”

Enforcement Action Update: Paper Still Beats Rock, Scissors

I caught up on the FCC’s enforcement actions against unlicensed broadcasters this weekend. The summer’s been kind of slow for field agents, though it doesn’t mean they’re not active: enforcement activity has been reported in 17 states this year, and stations both “new” and old are getting dimed.
eadbyactionAs you can see from the graph at right, the majority of enforcement actions continue to be administrative: of all the enforcement activity conducted by the FCC against pirate broadcasters since 1997, fully 82% have led to nothing stronger than a visit or warning-via-certified letter. Continue reading “Enforcement Action Update: Paper Still Beats Rock, Scissors”

HD Radio: Point/Counterpoint

Last month, the Prometheus Radio Project published a list of the “Top Ten Problems With HD Radio.” While it’s somewhat incomplete, it is probably the most coherent and concise plain-English critique published so far that best captures the deficiencies in the HD Radio protocol.
Apparently, this did not sit well with the radio industry which, in one of its trade publications, ran a feature “debunking” many of Prometheus’ HD Radio criticisms. Continue reading “HD Radio: Point/Counterpoint”

Serving the Public Disinterest, Inconvenience, and Depravity

The old adage that Clear Channel represents the “Evil Empire” in terms of media conglomerates was getting a little stale. The windfall profits reaped from industry consolidation following the Telecommunications Act of 1996 have collapsed; the company went from private to public and back again; and, has been well noted by others, just about every major radio conglomerate is now in the same dire straits.
Clear Channel’s ways of dissing the public interest to preserve a buck have been well-documented by Eric Klinenberg and Alec Foege, but lately the company’s gone above and beyond many of its past transgressions. Continue reading “Serving the Public Disinterest, Inconvenience, and Depravity”