LPFM: The Mess in Madison; Further Footnotes to FRSC Raid

When Congress initially eviscerated the FCC’s LPFM service four years ago, I was living in Madison, Wisconsin. There, with the stroke of President Clinton’s pen, the number of open frequencies available for new LPFM stations went from something like 16 to three.

Of the applicants to tender requests for an LPFM license in Madison: one individual applied for one open frequency; a church applied for another; and seven groups applied for the third channel.

The FCC has finally granted construction permits to those entities eligible to go on the air. However, as the seven groups essentially came to a draw in the FCC’s “points system” for determining the winner in competitive situations like theirs, the license will be divided up between each group. Read More

Freak Radio Update: Mobilization for Microradio?

This excerpt from FRSC’s “response to our supporters“:

The outpouring of support, donations, equipment and kind words has been overwhelming, but each e-mail, each letter, and each phone message from you, our listeners, is what keeps us going through these dark times. Please, keep it up!….

Perhaps the most important thing you can do is spread the word about this repression of dissent, and loss of free speech. Tell everyone you know; family, friends, lovers, teachers, doctors, politicians, etc… Write letters to the editor of your daily or weekly paper, call radio and cable access talk shows, spread the news on internet chat rooms, and listserves. Read More

Freak Radio: Rebound in Progress

Free Radio Santa Cruz may be down but they are definitely not out. The station’s webcast is back online and it is being relayed on-air by other microradio stations around the country in solidarity. Reaction to the raid is pouring in from around the globe (hopefully material support is, too). A local benefit for the station is already in the works early next month.

The Santa Cruz IMC continues to collect raid coverage, including more than 100 photos, audio/video coverage, and reaction from Freak Radio volunteers. Links to corporate media coverage (neutral-to-positive in tone) will be posted in this weekend’s Schnazz update.

Update #2 – Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided

A team of Federal Marshals – some in riot gear – arrived at the station’s home during the 9 o’clock hour this morning. Residents there were rousted with the barrels of guns (including automatic weapons); nobody was in the studio at the time, however. Five FCC agents arrived after the show of force and confiscated everything.

When word got out between 100-150 people showed up on the spot to protest the raid. This included slashing the tires of the FCC and Federal Marshals’ vehicles, which stranded them at the scene for a time. Nobody was arrested and no fine has been issued against anyone. Read More

FCC Gets Earful in Monterey; LPFM Bill Advances from Senate Committee

First the news from Washington: John McCain’s bill to expand the FCC’s LPFM service cleared the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday, but not without some last-minute chicanery – an amendment has been added that exempts the state of New Jersey from any expansion (if it occurs).

Now it must clear the full Senate and House of Representatives, where the odds are not as good. However, Prometheus reports that some of the religious LPFMers are leaning on GOP congresscritters pretty hard, so there’s still some hope. Read More