FCC allows Hundreds of New Low-Power FM stations
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a decision yesterday which paves the way for hundreds of new community radio stations to start broadcasting on low-power FM signals. This is excellent news. More stations, more competition, more jobs — right?
A few giant broadcasting conglomerates — e.g. Clear Channel — have been strangling the “public” airwaves for years, with the same five songs played over and over and over and the same talk radio inbreds spewing their bilge in every square inch of the country. In a lot of non-urban areas, radio listeners’ “choices” come down to just one or two mega-corporate stations. You can listen to either Rush Limbaugh OR Laura Ingraham — your cup runneth over.
And now, finally, listeners will have some REAL choices. The Prometheus Radio Project has been pushing for this FCC ruling, and now it’s a reality. The Prometheus Radio Project’s policy director said:
“These new, low power stations can only be licensed to non-profit organizations, and you can only have one per customer. That way we won’t have these big corporate chains and media networks that are taking over the rest of the media landscape moving in on low power FM service. These stations have to be local, and they have to be independent. This clears the way for a real transformation of the FM dial.”
Works for me.
And there’s more good news from the FCC: This isn’t a done deal yet, but the FCC is planning to create a website that will publicize TV stations’ records of which political groups purchased ads on each station and how much they paid. Rep. John Dingell said:
“We desperately need openness. We’ve got a bunch of billionaires and millionaires who are pouring millions of dollars into the elections of this country, and to these super-PACs, with nobody having the vaguest idea of who they are, what they’re up to, what they want or what would be the consequences of it.’’
A spokesperson for the Campaign Legal Center said providing this information online would “reveal the true interests behind the purchases.”