Thursday, April 24, 2008

Do you K-LOVE the FCC? (FCC-07-218A1)

Remember when I followed a link in a @mousewords tweet, but since I was on a mobile phone I was redirected to another link?

Well, now that I'm on my home desktop computer, I can follow the link that @mousewords wanted us to follow in the first place.

Your Opinion Counts

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) & U.S. Congress wants your opinion regarding proposed rule changes.

Comments are due April 28, 2008

Thank you for taking the time to comment on these proposed rule changes that would adversely affect your K-LOVE station. The time you invest in this could keep Christian radio strong. Here is some additional information about what is happening and why your opinion counts.

While the FCC is considering these rule changes, at the moment nothing is "set in stone" as they await public comment. If any of these changes were adopted, there would be significant impact on our ability to minister to you and your community. These rules would not only affect our stations but also thousands of stations around the country. These rule changes could:

a. Require Community Advisory Boards: One board overseeing all broadcasters in that area. Appointed individuals who may not be friendly to the Christian mission of the station.

b. Require Additional Staffing: Adding tens of thousands of dollars in additional monthly expense to each affected station (even including some of our smaller facilities which ultimately might force us to leave the air in some areas).

c. Force Many of Our Translator Stations Off The Air: This rule would give priority to many new Low Power FM stations (LPFM) rather than existing translator stations. This means many of our translators would no longer be able to carry K-LOVE programming.

When making a comment, we recommend starting with a statement about the importance of K-LOVE's programming to you, your family and your local community. The FCC is interested in how our stations are currently serving and impacting local areas.

Then, make specific comments regarding the above-mentioned items of which we oppose and hope that you do as well.

Again, thank you for letting the FCC know your feelings.

To begin, please click on the link below.

Please be advised, this link displays a deadline of April 14th. The deadline has since been revised by the FCC and you may submit your comments until April 28, 2008.

Yes, it turns out that K-LOVE is not just an Internet radio station. In fact, it's a whole network of stations, including two FM stations in Palm Springs (90.5 and 101.9).

K-LOVE doesn't name the FCC action, but Save Christian Radio identifies it as Docket No. 04-233, a/k/a FCC-07-218A1.

And the secularist Satan worshippers at the National Association of Broadcasters are also opposed to the proposed rule. Here is part of what they say:

The FCC proposes to introduce specific procedural guidelines for the processing of license renewal applications, similar to the process in place in the 1970s. Thus, a station that does not air a specified amount of local programming would automatically have their renewal application reviewed not at the Bureau level, but by the commissioners themselves....

The FCC believes that new efforts are needed to ensure that broadcasters gather information from their communities to help inform their stations' programming decisions. The FCC has proposed a requirement that stations establish permanent advisory boards consisting of local officials and other community leaders, and meet with the boards on a quarterly basis....

The FCC suggests that automated broadcast operations may hinder a station's ability to determine and serve local needs. The FCC proposes a requirement that all radio and TV stations be manned during all hours of operation. The FCC believes that such an obligation will increase a station's ability to offer local programming, during both regular hours and local emergencies....

The FCC's original rules required that a station's main studio be located within its community of license so that the station would be accessible to the local community. The FCC liberalized this restriction in 1987 and 1998 in part to allow station groups to operate more efficiently. The FCC now seeks comment on whether it should revert to its pre-1987 rules to strengthen a station's connection with its local community and to expand a station's production of locally originated programming....

The FCC seeks comment on the prevalence of voice tracking, and whether the FCC should take steps to limit this practice. The FCC also expresses concern about how the use of national playlists may negatively impact access to the airwaves of local musicians.

So if the Christians oppose this, and the secular broadcasters oppose this, then who supports it? FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, for one:

When the FCC launched this proceeding, Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein said, "[O]ne can't help but regard the prospects for quick implementation with a healthy degree of skepticism. If history is any guide, the odds are that the Commission will either neglect to finalize these proposals, or when it comes time to finalize them, they may be so diluted as to render them meaningless." He added, "We need to put the meat in the sandwich we promised to deliver. It is high time we put this notice out for comment, but we should have actually implemented improvements to localism before we completed the media ownership item. Now that the Commission has acted to loosen the media ownership rules, it is all the more imperative we move immediately to implement some of the useful ideas broached here and others that we learn about in the comment period. We are already too late to have done this right."

And this is also supported by Media Access Project President Andrew Schwartzman:

In testimony delivered before the FCC in 2007, Media Access Project President Andrew Schwartzman called on the FCC to:

Develop a meaningful and much more transparent license renewal process based on much more detailed information about broadcasters’ actual program practices.

Reduce the term of broadcast licenses to three years.

Require every single licensee to carry minimum amounts of locally originated, licensee produced, programming designed to address local needs, tastes and interests.

Expand the number of low power FM stations.

Develop meaningful programs to double the number of minority and female owned broadcast stations within the next five years.

Deny must-carry privileges to over the air TV stations which devote more than 12 hours per day to home shopping presentations.

The ironic part of this is that the battle is much ado about buggy whips. Frankly I think that KLOVE can get around these regulations; for example, their community advisory board could include Rev. Smith, Rev. Jones, Rev. Garcia, and, for diversity's sake, Fr. O'Malley. But even if all of the KLOVE community advisory boards are packed with atheists, what happens then?

What happens is that KLOVE moves to a place where the FCC can't touch them; just like Howard Stern did.

If you've followed my tweets and my blog posts, you know that I listen to the radio a lot. But guess what? 95% of my radio listening is done in my car while I'm commuting to and from work. When I'm at work or at home, the only time that I listen to over the air radio is when there's a sporting event going on and I don't have access to a TV. I spend a lot of my time listening to my playlist, or perhaps to one of the stations on or the Sirius music on DISH Network. And I even have a Yahoo LAUNCHcast station. (I'm listening to it now, for the first time in a long time. This Kelly Osbourne song "One Word (Chris Cox radio mix)" is actually pretty good.)

And my commute could even be free of FCC-controlled radio, and I don't have to buy Sirius or XM. Although connection speeds are a little spotty, I can pick up on my mobile phone and listen to that in my car if I so desire. As network options and speeds increase, a number of other options will be available for the commuter. [SEE FRIDAY MORNING FOLLOWUP ON THIS TOPIC.]

So rule away, FCC, and perhaps over the air radio will be as popular as over the air television.

Although I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of some of the stuff on cable television. It's gotten to the point where HBO's slogan has become the following:

HBO. We say @%$*! a lot.

And Showtime's slogan is as follows:

Showtime. We say @%$*! more than HBO does.

But I have the ability on my own to choose not to listen. I don't need a diverse advisory board to tell me this.

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