FCC Punts on HD Rulemaking

Thursday’s Commission meeting was delayed by five hours; during the delay the agency revised the meeting agenda, announcing that the digital radio item had been pulled. No reason given, except, “it isn’t done.” One could say the same about the HD Radio protocol itself, but that’s not stopping radio’s major players from shoving it onto the air.
In related news: how much fresh content does digital radio multicasting really offer? Most HD-R side-channels run what is called a “hard clock,” meaning a set playlist with few or no updates. According to Mark Lapidus, “When they [reviewers of HD radio receivers] don’t discover the repetition, I figure that they just really haven’t listened very much. However, real listeners will catch on quickly as they hear the same song at the same time every day.” What kind of content diversity does one expect when the largest provider of HD multicast programming is Clear Channel?