Thursday, March 10, 2005

Obscure radio story

From an insider radio journal:
A group of organizations have asked the FCC for a complete freeze of all low power FM applications because they "have discovered evidence of a massive trafficking scheme" involving translator licenses to religious oraganizations. Included in the group asking for the freeze on granting licenses are the Prometheus Radio Project of Philadelphia, United Church Of Christ, National Federation Of Community Broadcasters, Future Of Music Coalition, Free Press, and National Lawyers Guild, among others.

In the filing, the groups accuse three individuals -- Clarke Parrish, Earl Williamson and Dana Atkin -- of using "two dummy corporations" to apply for over 4,000 translator licenses and then using loopholes to sell the licenses to religious broadcasters who, in turn, pipe in satellite programming, which is an obvious contradiction to the spirit of localism behind the granting of LPFM licenses.


The UCC is behind this because of a long-standing commitment to public ownership of the airwaves. More recently, in 1999 and 2000, it encouraged community groups to develop low-power radio as a form of alternative broadcasting, only to see the FCC kill the pilot program with a thousand pinpricks after corporate giants weighed in with their fears of competition. Not surprisingly, they feel a bit burned, especially in light of these developments.

This is a development worth watching.

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