Much in the spirit of Kantako, when the FCC paid a visit to Power 103.3 in Bettendorf, Iowa last week, the field agent was met at the door by a video camera. Two representatives of the station informed him that they were operating under the authority of 47 CFR 73.3542, which allows for emergency authorization of broadcasts in times of war or national emergency. The local paper’s article about the encounter does not note whether Power 103.3 has complied with the notification provision of the relevant Code.
As if that wasn’t enough, the station plans to preemptively strike in the courts, requesting its own injunction against the FCC to prevent a station raid. Not a lot of details on the grounds for this maneuver, but you have to admire the fight. Should things escalate, “we will probably move the station to buy more time. Then they have to start all over and come inspect that property and serve us another notice. We have back-up plans.” Continue reading “Quad Cities Pirate Takes FCC Head-On”
106.9FM, the on-air relay for RadioActive San Diego, is back on the air. The station went dark last year citing financial and FCC troubles (the host of its transmitter was hit with a $10,000 Notice of Apparent Liability). When it signed off it pledged to come back five times stronger. That pledge has been fulfilled: the old 30-watt transmitter’s been replaced with one that does 150.
Earlier this month, Free Radio San Diego went back up to full power, after hobbling along in a weaker configuration since being raided last summer. Station founder Bob Ugly reports the coverage area is “as good if not the best it’s ever been.”
According to the latest AMPB Report, Berkeley Liberation Radio returned to the East Bay airwaves at 6pm Sunday. The station has also vowed to start web streaming as well, but that seems like a stretch since its web site is perpetually under construction.
More press is available about Thursday’s raid on Free Radio San Diego, including another interview with Bob Ugly on Enemy Combatant Radio and some corporate media mentions. While FRSD is not pining for a fight in court (as it does not generally respect the FCC’s quasi-police function), it did send preemptive correspondence to the agency shortly after taking to the air, invoking the “perpetual war loophole” in FCC rules as justification to broadcast. So far the agency’s ignored that.
A morning raid brings a gaggle of Feds to Free Radio San Diego, who busted in the doors to take the most choice bits of the station away, including transmitter and antenna. Epithets were hurled and pictures taken by onlookers as agents dismantled stuff. A bounty is out for one of the FCC’s swanky cop-like polo shirts. The raid comes more than a month after the station got a standard-issue 10-day warning notice posted on its door – the third warning over nearly three years of operation.
Nobody was in the studio at the time, and FRSD’s warrant mentions no people, which means the FCC is still trying to figure out who’s behind the action. DJ Spike, in an interview on RadioActive San Diego, notes the station has a strong security culture, which is really helping set the wheels in motion for its return. Continue reading “Free Radio San Diego Raided, Won't Stay Down For Long”
The National Association of Broadcasters Radio Show kicks off in San Diego in less than two weeks and media activists of all stripes will be ready for their arrival. A coalition of groups has organized a counter-convergence: Media emergenC. Continue reading “Media EmergenC: Confronting the NAB in San Diego”
A lot has happened during this latest hiatus.
Site-wise, the Enforcement Action Database is up to date. The Database includes FCC activity reported in August as well as some significant backfilling. If you check the yearly graph, 2003 now almost matches 1998 in the amount of FCC activity: significant because that was the year the NAB declared war on microradio, forcing the FCC to ramp up its pirate-busting. Draw your own conclusions (mine are still mostly unformed). Updates to Truthful Translations and the Schnazz to follow soon.
As for news, here’s the highlight breakdown: Continue reading “Back In Action: Scene Report Summary (August)”
California: Freak Radio Santa Cruz will lose its current station location at the end of April. The hunt is on for new space. The landlord is apparently clearing out the entire building for some sort of redevelopment project, which is a shame because he’s otherwise been cool about the station (to the point of facing down the FCC twice). Freak Radio’s no stranger to moving – at one stage the station was “homeless” and operated out of a bicycle cart – but it is never a fun experience and this space had been the station’s single longest home.
Berkeley Liberation Radio continues to hum along and recently overhauled its schedule. The station’s adopted a dues format for fundraising and made out okay at their benefit show last month. BLR’s Cap’n Fred lays down the bassline on one of our recent additions to the pirate music MP3 collection (Countdown and the Blastoffs’ “We Want the Airwaves“). Continue reading “Scene Reports: California, Colorado, Oregon”
Time’s at a premium right now, hence the lack of regularity here. The transition and restoration of the collage galleries is in progress, which explains part of my absence. The rest you’ll just have to wait for, but there’s much more coming.
Free Radio San Diego reports the FCC made another courtesy call on Friday. Agent Bill Zears and an unidentified “younger kid” poked around and asked the landlord of the property about the antenna on the roof.
Her response: “Aren’t you guys the ones that are supposed to answer that question?” After being told not to return without something stronger than curiosity, the agents were gone within 30 minutes. Continue reading “FCC Back in San Diego; Mediageek Updates rfb Situation”
Skywave Radio in Florida went off the air today due to the occupation of its frequency by a Haitian pirate station. According to Skywave’s founder, broadcast range was cut from ~10 to less than two miles; there are as many as a dozen other pirates on the air in Broward County alone.
A similar circumstance exists in Seattle, where a recently-established microradio station devoted to the exploration of beats is scouting for a new frequency after finding a Christian pirate squatting on theirs.
Free Radio San Diego is also on hiatus as it moves to a new broadcast location. The station’s created a page explaining the deal so as to pre-empt rumor mongering.
A statement released by the station coupled with an excellent phone interview of Liberation Radio volunteer Karoline Hatch by Skidmark Bob clarifies things quite a bit.
Factual corrections: While the swarm of law enforcement involved in the raid numbered more than two dozen, only ~15 were federal officers. They were assisted by 10 San Francisco police officers (in contravention of the wishes of the city’s Board of Supervisors), although an IMC report cites Supervisor (and mayoral candidate) Tom Ammiano and SFPD chief Alex Fagan denying any city involvement. Continue reading “Liberation Radio Raid Update”