FCC Does Media Ownership Redux

On June 28 the FCC voted to restart its project to revise its media ownership rules. The formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to begin this process was released last week. The agency last tried to do this in 2003, but most of its proposed changes were blocked by court order in 2004.

The last time around was a near-disaster. Then-chairman Mikey Powell tried to ram through a christmas-load of changes that would have let large media conglomerates get much larger. The FCC tried to use hopelessly biased “research” to justify industry moguls’ wet dreams. Millions of people cried foul on the scheme, and it still took the courts to stop it. Read More

Making Waves Update; FCC in MN

Michael Lahey’s been getting around: his killer microradio documentary will get more screenings around the country next year, one of which will be in April at the Anthology Film Archives in NYC. Also, a professor from the UK recently contacted Michael about using Making Waves as part of an exercise/discussion in a new textbook on alternative media.

Earlier this month Michael also was a special guest on The Power Hour, a talk show carried on the Genesis Communications Network. Not only did Michael get two hours to plug the film and talk about the issues behind it, but they also opened the phone lines. That’s where things got interesting: Read More

Translator Networks Mobilize Listeners

While rooting around in the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System today to examine recent submissions to a proceeding in the agency’s Localism Task Force effort, I made a typo. Instead of searching for filings under the FCC docket number 04-433 (the magic number to file/find comments filed on broadcast localism), I mistyped and got the results for FCC# 04-223, which deals with a pending change to the FCC’s regulation of junk faxes.

Many listeners to the Educational Media Foundation‘s two christian music radio networks, K-LOVE and AIR1, are butterfingers like me. In 04-223 there are ~30 new filings from this week alone. They’re all from K-LOVE/AIR-1 listeners moved to support the networks – networks who are apparently afraid of an expansion of true local LPFM and can’t get enough of translators.

They’re all only a paragraph or two and full of interesting talking points: Read More

WNFC Meets FCC, Throws Gauntlet

The demonstration of low-power civil disobedience hasn’t even begun yet, but the FCC is now well-warned of WNFC’s existence and plans. Last night organizer Stacie Trescott served on a panel with Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps at a town hall meeting on the future of media in Dearborn, Michigan.

Trescott’s place on the panel gave her five minutes to talk about the need for the expansion of LPFM – and how the pending proposal to do so won’t help her community.

She pulled no punches: Read More

Back In Action: Scene Report Summary (August)

A lot has happened during this latest hiatus.

Site-wise, the Enforcement Action Database is up to date. The Database includes FCC activity reported in August as well as some significant backfilling. If you check the yearly graph, 2003 now almost matches 1998 in the amount of FCC activity: significant because that was the year the NAB declared war on microradio, forcing the FCC to ramp up its pirate-busting. Draw your own conclusions (mine are still mostly unformed). Updates to Truthful Translations and the Schnazz to follow soon.

As for news, here’s the highlight breakdown: Read More