A Survey on Community Media

The folks over at Free Press are looking for perspectives and opinions on the state of community/independent media in the United States. It’s part of the organization’s “New Public Media” initiative, which is a long-term campaign to reform the existing public broadcasting structure in the U.S. and, in so doing, perhaps put some of the “public” into public media. Continue reading “A Survey on Community Media”

Striking Back At The Empire?

From the inestimable Jerry Del Colliano: a former employee of Cumulus Media is pursuing a class-action lawsuit against the company (common share stock price as of today: $2.55) alleging several violations of employment law. The suit is in the very preliminary stages now, but if any of Jerry’s other informants inside Cumulus (and other large radio conglomerates) can back up their “believe it or not” horror-stories, the company – and perhaps the entire industry – is in for some serious trouble.
A quick history recap: after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the radio industry went on a station-buying binge. This led to massively inflated prices for stations across the nation. Flush with cash from investment banks, radio companies bought other radio companies, leading to a situation where less ten major broadcast conglomerates controlled some two-thirds of the industry’s total revenue. Continue reading “Striking Back At The Empire?”

iBiquity Licensing: Now 50% Off!

So it has come to this: iBiquity Digital Corporation, the proprietors of HD Radio, have slashed their licensing fees in half.
According to iBiquity’s initial licensing agreement (circa 2005), early-adopters of the HD Radio technology paid a one-time licensing fee of $5,000 to utilize the software to run their transmitters. By 2008, that fee had increased to $25,000. Continue reading “iBiquity Licensing: Now 50% Off!”

Unlicensed Broadcasting OK in Oklahoma?

Not quite…but it’s an interesting sidebar nonetheless.
A bill called the “Communications Freedom Act” would restrict the FCC’s authority in the Sooner State to license and/or otherwise regulate broadcast stations whose signals do not leave the state, effective November first of this year. The bill was introduced late last month and referred to the Oklahoma House’s Economic Development and Financial Services Committee.
According to the bill’s sponsor, Republican State Rep. Charles Key, “The federal government is out of control. It’s violated it’s role in regards to the Constitution. The government has become a predator of sorts and it’s become a law until itself.” And thus, low-power radio should be allowed to flourish where stations’ signals do not cross state lines. Continue reading “Unlicensed Broadcasting OK in Oklahoma?”