FCC Strikes Again in Vermont, Florida

More reports of microradio enforcement activity stretch the FCC’s efforts this month from coast to coast. Radio Free Brattleboro, a Vermont microradio station that got its start in a teen center some five years ago, got a nasty visit from two FCC agents Tuesday. Video was recorded of the incident (which we hope to get) and although the agents had no search warrant a list containing contact information for many of RFB’s volunteers is missing from the station. Radio Free Brattleboro’s web site went down at approximately the same time as the visit.

From RFB’s official announcement: “It’s a real shame because in addition to providing entertainment and information to the community, we have trained hundreds of local citizens of all ages in the art of radio broadcasting.” DJ trainer Steven Twiss emailed with more pointed reaction: “The community here is building up a nice case of outrage.” Read More

Amendment One Gauges Senate Media Reform Stances

Don Schellhardt’s June installment of Amendment One summarizes the latest action on various legislative efforts to reform or repeal the FCC’s decision earlier this month to relax media ownership rules. It includes an excellent supplement that details each individual Senator’s position on the issue.

June has been a busy month for media reform forces in Washington, D.C. Don’s handling the beat for us, but another excellent news source for congressional news is the Free Press Media Reform Network’s Washington Watch, as they have people working Capitol Hill. Read More

Speculative Skinny: Inside the Development of “Progressive” Talk Radio

The announcement earlier this spring that “a group of wealthy Democrats” had assembled a $10 million endowment to launch a “progressive talk-radio network” caused a small flurry of mainstream media coverage; the quotes in this case come from a widely-syndicated column by author Thom Hartmann.

The “group of wealthy Democrats,” operating under the moniker AnShell Media, are currently deeply involved in the process of creating this “progressive” talk radio lineup. The new network will launch in late 2003 or early 2004. Once the talent list is ready, AnShell will still need to invest a significant sum to create the broadcast infrastructure to distribute its programming. Given the launch date, this will likely happen within the next few months.

AnShell has two options to create this infrastructure: construct its own broadcast network facilities or buy someone else’s. Read More

Irony on the Side of the Road

Mad props to Alan Freed of Beat Radio for sending this picture in. The billboard’s location – and whether this is a genuine or “jammed” message – are unknown.

Clear Channel’s Outdoor division is currently the fastest-growing in the conglomerate, recording more than $400 million in revenue during the first quarter of 2003.