LPFM vs. HD Radio: The Curious Case of KGIG

At the turn of the twenty-first century, proponents of HD Radio sold the technology to the FCC by claiming that it used “no new spectrum.” Advocates of low-power FM (LPFM) radio made a spirited but ultimately unsuccessful challenge to this claim. They worried that the digital sidebands of FM-HD signals would interfere with the new wave of community stations the FCC was preparing to unleash. HD supporters dismissed these concerns.
Ten years after both HD and LPFM took to the air, the conflict between the two services is crystal clear.
Brad Johnson is a lot like me: a former participant in the corporate media who made the decision to step away from it following the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. One of the careers decimated by post-Telecom radio consolidation was broadcast engineering – Brad was the chief engineer at several Citadel and Clear Channel-owned stations in central California until he was let go in the repeated rounds of downsizing the companies conducted during their station-buying frenzy. Continue reading “LPFM vs. HD Radio: The Curious Case of KGIG”

Hiatus Ahoy: Notes While Away

My work online here will significantly slow down over the next couple of months, as I enter the most critical phase of my graduate studies to-date. Once I hopefully become ABD (“all but dissertation”) in early May, some of the pressure ease. But then I’m immediately leaving the country for an exploratory workshop hosted by the European Science Foundation on the impact of digitalization with regard to community media. As one a handful of non-EU “experts” invited to the event, I expect my role will primarily be to warn other countries in the midst of formulating, adopting, or modifying digital radio standards to stay as far away from iBiquity’s HD protocol as they possibly can.
Expect “regular” content-generation to resume sometime in late May or so. I made updates to the Schnazz, Truthful Translations, and Enforcement Action Database over the weekend, so those are up to date, at least in the near term.
In the meantime, keep an eye on these stories: Continue reading “Hiatus Ahoy: Notes While Away”

Partytown Mediajammers At It Again

Back in January, the one-man media-busting army that is Brad Johnson confronted a pack of journalists who’d camped themselves out in front of the home of a man whose pregnant wife has been missing since the winter holiday season. Brad and his wife Sandy live in Modesto, California, which for some ungodly reason seems to attract packs of journalists to tabloid-style stories unlike any other community in America.
The Johnsons also run the Partytown Streaming Network, which provides several free channels of music and news online, including one feed completely dedicated to independent journalism and special IMC protest coverage. Brad was once the broadcast engineer for Clear Channel’s Modesto cluster.
After watching throngs of cameras hover around the scandal of a former congressman a couple of years ago the Johnsons decided they’d seen enough. When this new salacious story broke involving the mystery disappearance of a pregnant woman, the Johnsons were ready for the hordes of cameras. Continue reading “Partytown Mediajammers At It Again”