Low Powered FM Is a Joke

(Note: January 27th is my Media Solutions Lab)

If you’re a radio company and have been opposed to the creation of thousands of low powered FM competitors for the past ten years, you can thank the NAB for riding in on a white horse – in the middle of Congressional debate – to, you guessed it – support the bill.

And you thought Don’t Ask Don’t Tell took forever to pass.

I’m telling you, your NAB is a day late and a nickel short on all the issues radio supposedly cares about.

NAB CEO Senator Gordon Smith is turning out to be an appeaser like Neville Chamberlain, the World War II British Conservative politician who conceded the Sudetenland region of Czechoslovakia to the Nazis.

But not to worry.

This bill so cutely named the Local Community Radio Act is relatively meaningless for a number of reasons.

The legislation opens the radio spectrum to potentially thousands of local independent low powered radio stations (LPFMs) to bring new choices and voices to those poor suckers who can’t get dial-up, broadband, a signal of some kind or anything that conveys news and entertainment.

How can the advocates of this bill talk about choices and voices when American media is under attack from all sides when they actually use their voices? One of the hardest fought freedoms is freedom of expression and to me the era we are living in does not seem to value it.

My definition of freedom of expression is allowing others to say things that may be painful for the rest of us to hear, see or read. At this time in our world, I am concerned about free speech.

The creation of thousands of low powered FM stations is really a disappearing act.

Fight it, and you disappear.

Embrace it, and you disappear.

We’re forgetting the most important thing.