Last week the FCC promulgated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would allow for more media consolidation. Among many changes contemplated, the most significant would actively encourage the merger of print and broadcast media companies. The proposal also leaves the door open to loosening restrictions on the number of radio and television stations a single company can own in any given market.
These propositions sound awfully familiar, as they contain ideas floated by Democratic Chairman Julius Genachowski‘s two Republican predecessors, Kevin Martin and Michael Powell. Continue reading “FCC Bipartisanly Bad on Media Ownership”
From the new-lows-in-translator-abuse-department: HHawaii Media, owner of nine stations throughout the island chain, has begun quadcasting in HD on its adult-contemporary station, KORL. The three additional subchannels are smooth jazz, Korean pop, and Japanese pop.
KORL owner George Hochman launched the multicasts exclusively for feeding analog FM translators, and each HD subchannel already has its own translator. Continue reading “HD Radio Scene Report: Hawaii”
This week, Clear Channel (#1 in national radio station ownership) and Cumulus (#2) inked an agreement intimately linking their online broadcast strategies.
Cumulus will integrate the webcasts from its ~560 radio stations under Clear Channel’s iHeartRadio streaming platform, and will actively promote it on-air. In exchange, Clear Channel will cross-promote Cumulus’ SweetJack service, a Groupon-style business the broadcaster is developing in markets where it has stations, both on-air and online. Continue reading “Broadcast Conglomerates Consolidate in Cyberspace”
The FCC’s put a proposal by iBiquity, NPR, and NAB out for public comment that would allow FM-HD broadcasters more flexibility to increase the power levels of their digital sidebands independently. Called asymmetrical transmission, this flexibility conceivably allows more HD-enabled stations to pump up the power of their digital signals to make them reliably receivable in a station’s primary coverage area.
All signs are that the comment/reply comment rigmarole in this instance is a formality. As at least one industry lawyer has noted, the fact that the FCC’s scheduled the comment period for a short three weeks before Christmas – and a week for reply-comments to be filed between Christmas and the new year – means there is little likelihood that a robust record of public debate will be assembled over this latest wrinkle in the HD Radio saga. Continue reading “Skids Greased for Further FM-HD Experimentation”