Next month, the FCC will open a long-awaited filing window for applicants for new non-commercial FM radio stations. The FCC is currently considering placing certain parameters/limitations on how many stations a single entity can apply for – possibly in hopes of avoiding the flood of mass-applications for FM translator stations filed by greedy godcasters in 2003.
At present, the FCC is considering capping the number of full-power FM stations a single entity can apply for at 10, but it’s waffling under pressure from some incumbent broadcasters, like the aforementioned godcasters and some public broadcast outfits.
So far, thousands of people have filed comments in this proceeding, urging the FCC to maximize diversity and minimize spectrum-hoarding. Individuals can file comments through a helpful web-form set up by Free Press. While comments are officially due tomorrow, late-filed comments will still become part of the record.
Groups interested in signing onto a more detailed, formal comment about why application limits are necessary for the upcoming full-power FM filing window should contact Pete TriDish at the Prometheus Radio Project for additional information.
At this point, if you haven’t already started the planning process to apply for a radio station, you’re pretty much behind the curve and on your own. However, hundreds of secular, social justice-based groups are gearing up for this event, which may very well be the largest (and last) substantial expansion of licensed, noncommercial radio the FCC may ever undertake. GetRadio (and especially its news section) is watching developments closely.
In other FCC news, the agency’s announced it will hold its fifth public hearing on potential revisions to its media ownership rules on Thursday, September 20 in Chicago. Midwest media reform activists are mobilizing hardcore for this event; the Commissioners will be greated by a large and feisty crowd. Let’s hope they listen.