Minority advocacy hails FCC advancement of LPFM


The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council has been striving to push media ownership in the US closer to the level of diversity that exists in the census of the US. It hailed the FCC’s actions to move the ball forward on execution of the Local Community Radio Act, saying LPFM will be a great entry point for would-be broadcasters lacking access to the kind of capital needed for a full-power broadcast outlet.

MMTC President/Executive Director David Honig wrote a letter to all four sitting FCC commissioners. He said, “We write today to express our support for the Commission’s recent action to implement the Local Community Radio Act and thus bring, for the first time, widespread availability of low power radio stations to urban communities. The civil rights community has long championed the expansion of radio in the public interest and the democratization of media access. Indeed, many civil rights organizations were among the first to call for the creation of a LPFM service.”

Honig touted the fact that the LPFM service is more financially viable for many, and added, “The loss of EEO and the tax certificate policy, and the deregulation and consolidation of commercial radio ownership, have all raised barriers to minority ownership. For many communities, low power radio is a way to access vital programming otherwise unavailable.”

Honig was particularly pleased with the FCC’s market-based approach, with the stated goal of creating a significant number of LPFM stations in each of the top 150 markets if possible. “This market-by market approach will not only ensure sufficient spectrum for LPFM stations in more congested radio markets, this mechanism also provides for the rapid licensing of new translators in markets where such licensing would not unduly preclude new LPFM stations. Plentiful licensing opportunities in urban areas are essential if LPFM is to meet its in potential as a means to diversify the airwaves.”

Honig concluded, “We urge the Commission to ensure that the maximum number of LPFM stations are available in every community, including the largest urban markets. We thank the Commission for this step forward, and eagerly await the opportunity for all our communities to share in the benefits of low power radio.”