Florida Broadcasters Change Tactics Against Pirates

An article in the business section of Sunday’s Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel newspaper highlights the “pirate problem” in southern Florida and features lots of quotes from irate broadcast industry-types. My favorite comes from David Ross, Clear Channel’s regional vice president for its 27 south Florida broadcast properties:

“They’re destroying the ability of listeners to hear what they choose and our ability to serve advertisers. It’s a form of squatting. They don’t pay any taxes, they’re breaking the law, they don’t need to meet any licensing requirements and they affect all of us, from the biggest to the smallest operator.” While there is a huge mass of pirate activity in Florida, making that state the most active by far, one gets the sense Ross would say the same thing in any situation where there’s “pirates.” Read More

Trading Shots

After thousands of people shook up the National Association of Broadcasters by protesting at its annual radio convention, held in San Francisco last month, spirits were riding high within the newly-created Media Democracy movement.

But after the first open attack on their business and egos, the American radio industry did not take long to counter. It has been a busy past couple of weeks.

On Capitol Hill, the forces of corporate largesse have convinced more than a majority of the Senate to back efforts to cripple the FCC’s new low power FM radio service. Read More

Propaganda

If you were holding out hope hope for seeing a legal and viable LPFM service, let go.

Regardless of the flaws in the plan, like the restrictive ownership qualifications and interference standards (which effectively cut out the majority of the American listening public from any new stations), the chances of actually seeing the service flourish are dimming quickly.

On top of a massive lobbying and legal campaign, the attack on LPFM is expanding. Legislation and lawsuits should not be our biggest concern anymore, because now broadcasters are preparing to use their stations – on our airwaves – to kill LPFM. Read More