LPFM Roundup

There’s been a change of leadership within the Amherst Alliance. Don Schellhardt has left the post of president after several years of hard but not futile work, for which he deserves a boatload of thanks. The new Amherst honcho is Stacie Trescott.
REC Networks is again on the ball with “a special message for listeners of K-Love and Air-1” about Educational Media Foundation’s misguided anti-LPFM public comment crusade.
Finally, Mediageek’s got some prognostications on the shape and form of the FCC under the second coming of Bush II. It’s agreeably cynical.

Making Contact With Your Congresscritter

The Amherst Alliance is circulating this friendly reminder that with Representatives and Senators ostensibly home for a week-long break it might not be a bad idea to refresh their memories about pending efforts to expand community radio (both FM and AM).
Four years ago it was election-year shenanigans which allowed the National Association of Broadcasters and National Public Radio to curtail LPFM by legislative fiat. With media issues generally enjoying a higher profile on Capitol Hill there may be an opportunity here – but LPFM/LPAM is now competing with other media interests and issues (like indecency) which have more political flair at the moment.

Amherst Alliance in Last-Minute Lobby Flurry

Congress is getting ready to wrap up business for the year; work left undone so far includes the rollback of the FCC’s changes to media ownership rules. There’s a quasi-insurrection brewing in the House of Representatives, where 190 congressfolk have signed onto a letter asking Republican leadership to allow a vote on the FCC rollback.
The Amherst Alliance’s Don Schellhardt put together another detailed analysis of where things stand now, and includes helpful boilerplate examples of what to say if you’re inclined to call your representative and urge some action.
The Amherst Alliance has also launched a petition drive to the FCC designed to immediately expand the LPFM service back to its original parameters and request that the FCC protect LPFM stations from digital radio interference. Visit the Amherst Alliance’s web site and sign on, if you can…

Partial Hiatus Ahoy & Miscellaneous Notes

Look for more sporadic news updates this month as I hunker down and pound out major portions of my master’s thesis. Regular refreshes (like the Schnazz) will continue, and news updates will occur if the story’s is big or unique, both of which could happen considering the FCC’s official implementation of its media ownership rule revisions takes place on September 4.
All of the coordinated grassroots media reform e-mail and call-in campaigns have worked so well to date that a big petition push is now on, and a national conference on media reform is slated for November 7-9 here in Madison. The Amherst Alliance has also ginned up a double-sided flyer for “LPFM Summer,” which is starting to hit full stride. Continue reading “Partial Hiatus Ahoy & Miscellaneous Notes”

Long-Overdue LPFM Interference Report Complete: No Third-Adjacent Channel Protections Necessary

When Congress gutted the low power FM service enacted by the FCC in 2000, it reduced the number of available LPFM frequencies around the country by more than two-thirds by implementing “third-adjacent channel spacing protections.” This forced LPFM stations to find a clear frequency with at least three channels separating it from existing local stations, which in urban areas is all but impossible. This single fact alone cut the number of potential LPFM stations from thousands to a few hundred at best, with most of those located in rural or suburban areas.
The passage of the “Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act,” however, did contain one caveat: the FCC was mandated to conduct an interference study to make sure the third-adjacent channel protections were necessary. The study was to be completed by February 21, 2001. It was actually finished in March, 2003, by the MITRE Corporation, who subcontracted the field testing of temporary LPFM stations in seven communities around the country. Continue reading “Long-Overdue LPFM Interference Report Complete: No Third-Adjacent Channel Protections Necessary”

Asking for More

It seemed like a huge victory for those fighting for access to the airwaves when the FCC decided on January 20 to re-legalize low power radio in the United States.
The celebration was short-lived, however, when the details of the plan were laid bare. In addition, those who fought the idea all along have redoubled their efforts to kill the new LPFM service with legal and legislative pressures and a burgeoning propaganda campaign.
In the midst of the largest firestorm low power radio’s ever experienced, the Amherst Alliance has petitioned the FCC to take a second look at LPFM – officially filing a Motion For Reconsideration over the newly-created regulations. Continue reading “Asking for More”