Comments on the recent LPFM article in the Tribune...

Posted by Mitchell - March 3, 2008 (entry 594)

We haven't had a radio-related post in a while, so why not now?

There was an article this past week in the Chicago Tribble which talked about the efforts regarding low-power FM and the recent initiatives to lobby Congress.

Recent legislation is afoot, which actually stands a chance to pass, to expand low-power FM to the cities. An effort which would have done in 2000 was effectively killed by the National Association of Bastards. There's hope that this legislation can help remedy that wound.

Interesting that the Tribble opted to cover this, and from a fairly decent perspective. Many of the folks have worked with CMA in the past (like CHIRP and Radio Arte), particularly during the recent FCC media ownership hearing in Chicago, were quoted in the article. But there were two points in the article that reeked:

(1) There's this quote: "If the legislation does not pass, CHIRP will donate funds it raises to Prometheus Radio Project, which sprung from an illegal pirate radio station and now advocates for low-power FM and helps build LPFMs nationwide."

Yes, that's right. Prometheus is a bunch of ex-cons who have nothing better to do than make responsive radio stations, then sue you in court and block media ownership rules that the Tribune had been aiming for. That seemed to have an impact on who now owns the Tribune, but never mind. (Ostensibly, the FCC recently passed those rules, but they could well get blocked again.)

(2) The NAB, whose special place in hell is already reserved, was given way more benefit of the doubt than they deserve. They have been throttiling LPFM with bullshit arguments since forever, then were quoted disputing the Mitre report which blew away their last purported figleaf they had.

There was no mention in the article of, for example, the recent high-power window for broadcast licenses. Hundreds of community groups filed broadcast licenses, and some may even get some licenses to help counteract the deluge of corporate "radio".

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