Last week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a public notice announcing a filing window for applications for new low power FM (LPFM) radio stations. LPFMs are community-based, non-commercial radio stations that operate at 100 watts or less and reach a radius of 3 to 7 miles (check out our LPFM fact sheet for more info).
These small but mighty stations are an alternative to broadcasters that seem to play the same five songs on infinite repeat, and provide opportunities for local and niche artists to recieve airplay. LPFMs also offer a wide variety of small, independent organizations — including schools, civic groups, churches, and non-profits — a platform from which to engage with local communities.
The new low power application has a few important changes from the past. First, new stations will be permitted in urban areas for the first time ever. As long as an applicant can prove that their station would cause no harmful interference, the FCC will grant a special waiver. This new change will double or triple the number of new stations available, and it’s a major victory for Prometheus and our allies who fought for it.
Additionally, the FCC will offer special incentives to stations that provide local programming, and who maintain publicly accessible studios — a focus on community-driven broadcasting that we can really get behind.
Every year South by Southwest (SXSW) seems to get bigger and bigger, with a growing interactive conference, film festival, and long-time music event.
The music festival begins today and runs through Sunday, March 17th. For radio fans, some of the offerings include panel discussions, radio station-sponsored events (showcases, live remote performances, etc.), and radio-related meet-ups. Here’s a quick look at some of the radio panels, parties, and films happening this week.
[This post co-authored by Communications Associate Kevin Erickson and Communications Intern Olivia Brown.]
Let’s look at some stats: Jack White’s Blunderbuss, number one debut on the Billboard 200, Third Man Records. Taylor Swift, worth $165 million, Big Machine Records. Adele, 21, more than 26 million records sold, XL Recordings. Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”, Grammy for Record of the Year, Eleven. Macklemore, a number one single on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, no label. read more
[This piece was co-authored by FMC Intern Ethan Clark and Events & Finance Director Chhaya Kapadia.]
On March 9, 2011 the Gibson Guitar Showroom in Washington, DC, hosted our celebration to mark the passage of the Local Community Radio Act. The night was ball and was a great opportunity to get together with our friends and colleagues and recognize an achievement that was 10 years in the making. read more
How do you find out about new music? A lot of you probably rely on the internet and word-of-mouth. Yet it’s been shown time and again that good old-fashioned radio can still play a huge role in creating buzz around bands.
Non-commercial radio in particular is helping to drive the discovery of new music. When a great song hits the airwaves, it’s as if the clouds part, the birds chirp, the…well, you get it. This kind of spirit also helps sustain local creative communities while helping artists develop their careers.
The non-commercial radio universe consists of college stations, community stations, Low Power FM and National Public Radio.
On Thursday, June 11, 2009, the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet held a legislative hearing on H.R. 1147, aka the Local Community Radio Act of 2009. FMC arrived at the Hill bright and early to catch all the action.We know we've talked a lot about Low Power FM (LPFM) stations lately -- this is our second post this week -- but that's because there are so many exciting developments in the land of Low Power! read more
When was the last time you cranked up the volume on your radio because you heard something new, different or local? Chances are it's been a while. But quality local broadcasting doesn't have to be a thing of the past. Together, we can make it an everyday reality.
Radio is still an incredibly important resource for artists, fans and communities. That's why FMC is involved in the fight to expand non-commercial radio as alternatives to homogenized commercial broadcasting. We believe that radio has the power to inspire, inform and entertain while serving up distinct local and regional flavor. And the musicians we've talked to think so, too. read more
In a small, but decisive June 5 victory for existing LPFM stations, the U.S. Court of Appeals, DC Circuit dismissed the NAB's petition for review and upheld the FCC's December 2007 decision to protect LPFM stations. The DC Circuit held that the Radio Broadcast Preservation Act of 2000 did not prevent the FCC from taking measures to protect LPFM stations. Not only is it Friday (woohoo -- the weekend!), but here at FMC we just got word that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an important decision in support of Low Power FM radio. (Click here for the full PDF of the ruling.) read more