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News Archive: November 2004

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11/28/04 - Revelation = Cyclical History [link to this story]

"Heyheyheyhey. Did you hear about the FCC wacking on a TV show with $1mil fine based on complaints from what basically boiled down to three people? It was all over the news like wildfire. I read about it in the New York Times. Freedom of speech is under attack, why aren't you all over this?"

Ah, the tyranny of the few? It isn't all that new:

The FCC, an appointed body, not elected, answerable only to the President, decided on its own that radio and television were the only two parts of American life not protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. Why did they decide that? Because they got a letter from a Minister in Mississippi.

That's George Carlin, speaking in reference to his tumult with the FCC and Supreme Court over "Filthy Words." That particular fracas began 31 years ago and took five years to play out. As it did, disco flourished, so it's not like indecency was on the run. WBAI and Pacifica weren't even fined.

It would be interesting to know how much advertising dough Married by America cleared for FOX, and how much of a bite $1.2 million takes out of that. As for George? Well, he's now a triple Grammy-winner and franchise on legs, selling a T-shirt and poster with a list of more than 2,000 "filthy words and phrases" printed on them.

Finally: this latest hype actually came as a surprise to Brent Bozell at the Parents Television Council, "[which], on its own, filed 4,073 complaints. He wants the way the FCC tallies these things changed."

The moral of this story is: we've got bigger problems now. Jello Biafra thought the same thing 23 years ago. Even my cynicism's not original.

11/23/04 - Religious Broadcast Executive: Good Work If You Can Get It [link to this story]

Someone who calls themselves "a former employee" of the Educational Media Foundation (corporate parent of the K-LOVE and AIR-1 radio networks) sent along some interesting information about the salaries of the heads of various religious broadcasting institutions.

The original message lamented the fact that EMF Broadcasting's president, Dick Jenkins, pulls down somewhere between $250-280,000 per year, apparently the highest in his peer group. Other chief executive numbers offered for comparison (can't vouch for their accuracy, they were reportedly pulled from
Name Organization Salary
Dick Jenkins Educational Media Foundation $286,928 (FYE 12/2002), $250,378 (FYE 12/2003)
Eugene B. Habecker American Bible Society $250,000 (FYE 7/2003)
Joseph M. Stowell Moody Bible Institute $214,686 (FYE 6/2003)
Andre Delgado Thru the Bible Radio Network $190,039 (FYE 12/2003)
Richard Roberts Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association $179,500 (FYE 7/2003)
Luis Palau Luis Palau Ministry $179,244 (FYE 12/2002)
Cynthia Swindoll Insight for Living $131,403 (FYE 6/2003)
Thomas S. Forston Promise Keepers $128,490 (FYE 12/2003)
David P. Jeremial Turning Point $126,000 (FYE 6/2003)
Charles Stanley In Touch Ministries $116,958 (FYE 9/2003)

Most religious broadcasters run at least two pledge drives per year, where listeners are urged to "get off their apathy" and support the Lord's work via radio. I admit the salaries of their executives pale in comparison to their secular conglomerate counterparts, but vows of poverty are apparently not in vogue.

11/12/04 - Scene Report: Colorado [link to this story]

Been tardy about this one: KCTSradio in Denver is now online and streaming; its on-air status, I think, is best described as "dormant." According to some recent press, its founder, Carl Nimbus, is "all about determination...They bust you fast to discourage you, but we're not going to get discouraged. We're going to keep coming back on the air."

In Boulder, Monk says "it's time to grow the station again." This time, they're soliciting applications from everywhere: "if they're tech savvy enough, they can be anywhere in the world. All they need is to be able to stream at 64kb have some music, a mic and an attitude." This is similar to a "public access pirate radio" concept explored a few years back, except live.

11/10/04 - New Jersey Moves to Criminalize Pirate Radio [link to this story]

First it was the New Jersey Broadcasters' Association is pushing a bill through the state legislature that would make unlicensed broadcasting in the state a fourth-degree felony. Whereas conviction in Florida could cost you $5k and/or five years behind bars, New Jersey's proposed law hits pirates for $10,000 and up to 18 months in jail.

In the state Senate, the bill's sitting in the Law, Public Safety, and Veteran's Affairs Committee [Sponsor: Peter Inverso (R)]; the Assembly's copy is awaiting a vote on the floor, having unanimously cleared the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee [Sponsors: Linda Greenstein (D) and Upendra Chivukula (D)]. The resemblance between Florida's new law and New Jersey's proposed law is pretty clear.

This is obviously a new tactic the broadcast industry's going to expand upon in the future. How to counter it? And what kind of legal can of worms does this open up if the FCC lets this law slide, too?

11/6/04 - LPFM Roundup [link to this story]

There's been a change of leadership within the Amherst Alliance. Don Schellhardt has left the post of president after several years of hard but not futile work, for which he deserves a boatload of thanks. The new Amherst honcho is Stacie Trescott.

REC Networks is again on the ball with "a special message for listeners of K-Love and Air-1" about Educational Media Foundation's misguided anti-LPFM public comment crusade.

Finally, Mediageek's got some prognostications on the shape and form of the FCC under the second coming of Bush II. It's agreeably cynical.

11/4/04 - Radio Re/Volt: Quickie Summary [link to this story]

Paul @ Mediageek has the complete rundown, with pics and the appropriate links to everywhere relevant to our adventure in Minneapolis. As conferences go, it was on the fun side: way too many people you want to get to know, way too little time. Tetsuo was certainly awe-inspiring, but so was Kyle Drake, Free Radio Twin Cities, free103point9, the audience reception to Making Waves, and the hardy contingent of midwest pirates who converged on the scene to represent. I got to drink with none of them. But still, a good time. If we manage to get hold of the recordings made of the conference sessions they will get online somehow, at the very least through Radio MCAD, the gracious host of it all.