Mediageek Busts AP Nut

Paul Riismandel flails the Associated Press for manufacturing news about the state of the radio industry instead of devoting the time and energy to actually write about the real problems at hand.

It would be easy to claim that there’s some nefarious doings afoot to squelch criticism of the corporate media from other corporate media outlets, but this really is a case of a low-IQ reporter stringing together recent related events to construct a theme around which to write a story. Missing the real story completely, however, definitely consigns whoever wrote this turd to the short bus.

FCC Begins Manufacturing Consent for Ownership Rule Changes

There has been a lot of news since the last update; the Schnazz will get you up to speed on post-NAB conference coverage and the FCC’s latest moves to let the media industry get even more incestuous with itself. The Mosquito Fleet feature has also been properly fleshed out.

Lucky for us, the FCC now has a special section on its website devoted to the media ownership rule review now underway. There’s a lot of info there, but one area to examine further is a slew of “studies” the agency commissioned to examine the current media landscape. The studies look at everything from viewpoint diversity between media formats, to advertising rates, to radio formats, and loads more.

It should come as no surprise that the studies are heavily skewed toward economic analyses of the state of the media, with a few token perspectives thrown in from journalistic, cultural, and sociological perspectives. So much for the objective assessment of reality. Read More

ABCNN? Don’t Laugh

Well, spank my ass and call me Charlie, the L.A. Times reports today that AOL Time Warner has been in talks with Disney about possibly spinning off the ABC News division and merging it with CNN as a stand-alone company. Apparently this has been a morsel of discourse between the two for about 18 months now.

This isn’t the first time Time Warner has tried to spin off CNN; it apparently danced with CBS for a while before that deal fell through. Read More

Screwed LPFM Applicants to get Second Chance

This week, the FCC announced a remedial window for LPFM applicants who applied for a license before Congress gutted the plan and disqualified many who’d already applied. These applicants were shafted when the channels that they applied for, which were initially considered open by the FCC’s initial LPFM rule, were suddenly declared off-limits by Congressional fiat. For more than a year now, these applicants have been in a sort of limbo, unable to amend their applications to account for the lower number of open frequencies.

A five-day window for those applicants will open in late October – but many have been permanently disqualified from an LPFM license thanks to the NAB/NPR shenanigans in Congress. Some of those who had applied have gone on the air anyway, and don’t have much interest in trying to re-engage the FCC in the licensing process. Even so, it’s a nice gesture on the FCC’s part. Read More

Microradio: Moving Forward

As the government increases its police powers to root out “terrorists,” the microradio movement has been waiting quietly to see what changes there would be on the battlefield of the airwaves. If recent events are any indicator, it seems to be back to “business as usual.”

Enforcement agents with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been busy lately, making contact with stations in Virginia, California and Florida during the last three weeks. The terms of engagement do not seem drastically different than they did before 9/11 – visits and letters are still the primary weapons and the feared influx of SWAT-style raids has not materialized.

In fact, of the three most recent FCC actions, only one has resulted in a fine – the rest were seemingly just for intimidation purposes. Read More