Grassroots Media

Local Community Radio Act will increase local voices, choices

Jonathan Lawson

This fall, Congress has the opportunity to expand local radio choices for people in cities and towns across America by passing a single, bipartisan piece of legislation. The Local Community Radio Act will allow hundreds more small noncommercial stations to fill vacant spaces on the radio dial — increasing local voices and music choices.

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Lawmakers seek FCC action on AT&T trreatment of public cable channels

Source:
www.keepusconnected.org

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Financial worries lead public and community radio stationsto contemplate format changes

Karen Everhart, Current

It happened yesterday in Santa Cruz, Calif., and last month in St. Louis and Oxford, Ohio. Next week, it will happen again in Fort Myers, Fla., and, later this fall, in Portland, Ore.

In these and other cities, listeners of public radio and community radio stations will be surprised to find favorite programs missing and something else in their place — even though they’ve been told in advance that change is a-comin’.

Stations in these cities are revamping dual-format schedules in attempts to serve more listeners, and most are reducing music while adding hours of news, in line with a longstanding trend in public radio. Two mainstream NPR stations, WMUB in Oxford and WGCU in Fort Myers, are going all-news and moving music to less-used HD Radio channels and online streams.

For community stations such as KUSP in Santa Cruz, KDHX in St. Louis and KBOO in Portland, with long traditions of eclectic, volunteer-driven programming, format changes are potential powder kegs, but they’re feeling economic counter-forces to revise their formats.

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Pepperspray videographers arrested in St. Paul

The Revolution will be Twittered

Once again NPR opposes expansion of low-power FM

Karen Everhart, Current

Advocates for full-power pubradio stations and their low-power FM cousins are at odds again over FCC proposals to allocate more frequencies for LPFM, whose extent and prerogatives have been debated since the commission authorized the new class of noncommercial stations in 2000.

More than 800 low-power stations have signed on since then, but their low rank in the FCC’s pecking order has made them vulnerable to being bumped off the air by full-power stations.

The vast majority of LPFMs broadcast outside of the section of the FM band reserved for noncommercial use, and advocates on both sides know of no encroachment conflicts between public radio and LPFM stations. But pubcasters are concerned about the potential for disruption of services, including pubradio’s translators, that could result if the FCC adopts the more flexible rules it has proposed.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey