The following is the text of a broadcast fax sent late last week to commercial stations nationwide. Radio Ink is one of the largest magazine publications in the broadcast industry.
AN URGENT ONE-TIME FAX FROM RADIO INK PUBLISHER ERIC RHOADS. APRIL 23, 1998
ATTENTION: Please forward to the highest ranking official in your station immediately.
Urgent! The FCC Is About To Screw Broadcasters
Remember Docket 80-90, when more broadcast frequencies were allowed? The effect on broadcasters was devastating. The FCC later admitted it was a serious blunder. Now the new FCC, which has no historical perspective, is about to allow something similar to pass. Read on...
Pirate radio stations, under the guise of the First Amendment, have the FCC believing that it is acceptable to allow thousands of new, low power stations. Their belief is that this will give everyone their chance to broadcast their agenda to their local community. Rome, Italy, has hundreds of neighborhood radio stations, so many you cannot drive across town on one frequency without encountering dozens of signals. *Your* market could be flooded with similar interference.
The filing deadline for opinions is Monday, April 27. This issue has been virtually ignored by broadcasters leaving the FCC with the opinion that we accept it. In spite of NAB efforts to stop it, broadcasters are turning their heads because business is so good, they think nothing can hurt us. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Today I need you to write a letter in your own words to the address at the right, and to your local Congressman. Your letter should contain your feelings about this serious threat, and should include the following points:
+ Any mentions of interference you are (or have been) experiencing in your market due to pirate stations.
+ At least five examples of service and programs you provide to help local minority, community or foreign groups (other than PSAs). The opposition is telling the FCC that due to consolidation, big groups have stopped solid community service. This is just not true.
+ Tell what other licensed stations in your market (non-coms) are serving those interests -- to show that local communities are being served.
We must stop the FCC from making a critical mistake that cannot be unwound. *Please do not ignore this request -- your letter will matter.* We must flood the FCC and Congress with demands to stop this damaging legislation and show that our stations do indeed serve the local community.
Deadline is Monday April 27, 1998. Late filings are ok if styled as "reply comments." References are FCC file nos. RM-9208 and RM-9242.
-Eric Rhoads, Publisher, Radio Ink