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[LAAMN-ANN] Don't Let Special Interests Control Radio

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  • Flash Action Network
    *********************************** FLASH ACTIVIST NETWORK ACTION ALERT *********************************** Don t Let Special Interests Control Radio The
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 29, 2000
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      ***********************************
      FLASH ACTIVIST NETWORK ACTION ALERT
      ***********************************

      Don't Let Special Interests Control Radio

      The Senate will soon vote on S.2068 -- the "Radio
      Broadcasting Preservation Act" -- a bill that will severely
      undermine a modest plan to open up FM radio airwaves to
      local communities and people traditionally underrepresented
      on the FM dial.

      Since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996,
      radio stations have become increasingly consolidated with
      very few companies controlling the majority of the airwaves.
      The Telecom Act removed many of the restrictions that
      governed ownership of radio stations and relaxed the rules
      on how many stations could be owned by a single company.
      Since 1996, one third of all radio stations have changed
      hands and the number of radio station owners decreased by
      one fifth. There are at least 1000 fewer radio station
      owners today than there were in 1995. Last year, Clear
      Channel and AMFM, the number one and number three radio
      conglomerations, proposed a merger that will bring another
      830 radio stations under common control. In response to the
      dramatic consolidation of the airwaves, the FCC voted to
      create a class of very low power FM radio stations (LPFM)
      designed to serve areas that have not had a voice on the FM
      dial. The FCC will offer 1,000 licenses that will enable
      "micro-radio broadcasters" to use inexpensive equipment and
      small antennas for 10 or 100 watt stations that will serve
      areas as large as a 3.5 mile radius. The new stations will
      be entirely noncommercial and will most likely attract
      non-profit organizations, schools and churches. LPFM will
      provide much needed diversity by creating an outlet for
      community, consumer and minority activists.

      However, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) -- a
      powerful lobby of commercial broadcasters and a principal
      opponent of campaign finance reform (where do you think
      those hundreds of millions of campaign contributions are
      spent?) -- sees LPFM as a major threat to the airwaves and
      has launched an aggressive campaign to stop LPFM from
      becoming a reality. NAB states that LPFM would create excess
      interference on the FM dial but this is simply not the case.
      The FCC has drafted strict rules to ensure minimal
      interference. For example, the FCC regulations require that
      there be at least two frequency intervals on the radio dial
      between a low-power station and any other station. In
      response to intense lobbying efforts of NAB, the House of
      Representatives recently passed the "Radio Broadcasting
      Preservation Act." This bill will effectively kill low
      power FM radio broadcasting by reducing the number of
      possible radio stations by 80%, delaying implementation of
      the plan until next year and requiring the agency to perform
      an expensive new technical test but without providing any
      financing for it. The Senate companion bill S.2068 will soon
      be voted on.


      ACTION:

      Urge Senator Dianne Feinstein to save low power FM Radio by
      voting against S.2068. The "Radio Broadcasting Preservation
      Act" will severely restrict public access to FM radio and
      will only preserve radio broadcasting for the corporations
      who currently control the airwaves.

      For more information about low power FM Radio, contact the
      Media Access Project at 202/232-4300 or visit their Web site
      at http://www.mediaaccess.org/. Or, you can visit the FCC
      Web site at http://www.fcc.gov/.


      WAYS TO TAKE ACTION:

      YOU CAN LET US MAKE IT EASY FOR YOU:

      Call 1-800-995-7575. Listen to the menu and instructions. At
      the press of a button, you can request us to send a fax for
      you at NO EXTRA COST. Or we can connect you directly by
      phone to Senator Feinstein (9am-5pm EST only).

      YOU CAN FAX OR E-MAIL:

      Attached is a sample letter. You may modify the attached
      letter or print it as is, sign and send it off. The fax
      number for Senator Feinstein is 2022283954. The e-mail
      address for Senator Feinstein is senator@....
      Please note, many Senators do not reply to e-mail. To
      maximize political effectiveness, we encourage you to call
      or fax your Senator. If you choose to fax or e-mail on your
      own please cc: us so we can better track responses fax:
      415/371-1046 Attn: FAN / fan@....

      YOU CAN CALL:

      Call 1-800-995-7575 and we will connect you to Senator
      Feinstein (9am-5pm EST only). Or, you can call Senator
      Feinstein directly at 2022243841.

      ********************************************************************

      (sample letter)

      Senator Dianne Feinstein
      United States Senate
      Washington, DC 20510

      Dear Senator Feinstein:

      I am writing to urge you to vote against S.2068, the "Radio
      Broadcasting Preservation Act." The stated purpose of this
      bill is to "prohibit the Federal Communications Commission
      from establishing rules authorizing the operation of new,
      low power FM radio stations." The real purpose is to hold up
      a modest effort on the part of the FCC to preserve some
      diversity in broadcasting. However, it is the FCC's
      responsibility to make sure radio is serving a broad
      spectrum of communities throughout the nation.

      Since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996,
      ownership of radio stations has become increasingly
      consolidated, with very few companies controlling the
      majority of the airwaves. Since 1996, one third of all radio
      stations have changed hands and the number of radio station
      owners decreased by one fifth. There are at least 1000 fewer
      radio station owners today than there were in 1995. Last
      year, Clear Channel and AMFM, the number one and number
      three radio conglomerations, proposed a merger that would
      bring another 830 radio stations under common control. When
      the FCC voted to create a new class of 1,000 low power FM
      radio stations (LPFM) earlier this year, they took a very
      modest step to slow the consolidation - not even reverse it.
      These low power stations will most likely attract
      non-profits organizations, schools and churches and will
      provide an outlet for voices not typically heard over the
      radio.

      Unfortunately, the National Association of Broadcasters
      (NAB) has been waging an aggressive and misleading campaign
      to get S.2068 passed and to stop LPFM from becoming a
      reality. You may have even received a compact disc that
      claims to demonstrate the type of interference to existing
      radio stations that will occur from new low power FM radio
      stations. However, this CD was created by artificially
      mixing two previously recorded radio signals and is not a
      demonstration of actual interference between two FM radio
      stations. The FCC has issued strict regulations to ensure
      that existing radio stations are not adversely effected by
      interference from LPFM stations.

      I urge you to promote diversity on the airwaves by voting
      against S.2068, the "Radio Broadcasting Preservation Act."
      Local communities deserve to have access to the FM airwaves.

      Please tell me how you intend to vote on this vital issue.

      Sincerely,

      (your name & address)

      ********************************************************************

      IMPORTANT NOTE:

      If you're not a FAN member and this e-mail was forwarded to
      you, and you do not know who your Senator is, please visit
      our Web site at www.workingassets.com. In addition, if this
      e-mail has been forwarded to you, you will not be able to
      use the FAN hot line to take action.

      ********************************************************************

      FLASH ACTIVIST NETWORK INFORMATION:

      If you need to reach a Flash Activist Network Associate you
      can call 1-800-772-1077 or e-mail fan@.... You can also
      write to Working Assets - FAN, 101 Market Street, Suite 700,
      San Francisco, CA 94105.

      The Flash Activist Network is a special subscriber service
      of Working Assets.

      ###


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