This post was co-authored by FMC Policy Consultant Adam Holofcener.
Here at FMC we’re pretty keen on technology. But we still have a spot in our hearts for old(er)-school media like over-the-air radio. We’ve been touting the virtues of the original spectrum-based platform since we launched this org more than a decade ago. Unfortunately, there are still those who don’t understand why a diverse, competitive radio marketplace is a good thing. read more
In a July 12 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC opened the door for possible inclusion of low-power FM (LPFM) station applications alongside applications for FM translators (low-power stations that relay full-power FM signals). The FCC has committed to LPFM as a tool for bringing more community voices to the airwaves, but this move may pit existing stations against new applicants in competition for the same limited frequencies.
“It looks like the FCC is taking the right step forward in terms of trying to ensure that those opportunities for LPFM exist at all,” said Casey Rae-Hunter, deputy director of the Future of Music Coalition. Without such a compromise, the opportunity for new LPFMs could “just completely go away,” he said. read more
You may recall us talking about free103point9 -- a New York State "transmission arts" collective that recently was awarded an FCC license for a brand-new Full Power non-commercial station in New York's Greene and Columbia Counties. Well, the new station is called WGXC, and they need your help getting it off the ground (or rather, on the air).
(Learn more about FMC's role in helping community arts organizations apply for licenses here; check out a podcast interview with free103point9's Tom Roe here.) read more
In the fall of 2007, the Federal Communications Commission presented a rare opportunity to revitalize local radio in communities across the country. For one week in October, nonprofit groups could apply to the Commission for full-power FM radio stations. FMC identified the more than 200 organizations that could benefit from having a full-power radio station. Along with Radio for People coalition, FMC worked to ease a process that would otherwise be daunting, connecting applicants with lawyers and engineers and guiding them through each step of the process. “In particular, we zeroed in on groups that would bring new and diverse music programming to the air,” says Cook.
Through conversations with various applicants — from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to a transmission arts collective in upstate New York — this article explains the opportunity that this full-power window represents and how FMC helped creative communities organize and engage in the process. read more
Here’s the first installment of an excellent article by hip-hop writer Eric K. Arnold that examines the effects of media consolidation on the urban radio format.
Arnold is an authority on this subject; his recent cover story for SF Weekly, “The Demise of Hyphy,” looked at the role of commercial stations in local communities and the impact they have on music and culture. The article has sparked a great deal of conversation in the Bay Area and beyond. (A full author bio can be found at the end of the post). read more
FMC has spent a goodly amount of time supporting the creation of a public performance right for sound recordings, which would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay performers and labels for the recordings they play. It’s been a while since we addressed the issue, so allow us to recap.
Currently, when you hear a song on over-the-air broadcast radio in the US, the composer/songwriter/publisher are compensated for that “public performance” via ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, but the performer and record label are not. Meaning, if you hear Sinead O’Connor’s version of “Nothing Compares 2 U” on the radio, only the songwriter (Prince) and the publisher receive payment; Sinead (and her label) are left out. read more
Ah, election season. When we at FMC aren’t checking returns, we somehow find the time to address those pressing issues at the intersection of music, technology, law and policy. February has been a hectic and exciting month for us, what with the arrival of our sparkling new Executive Director, Ann Chaitovitz. Most of us on staff already know her pretty well, but we wanted to give her a chance to say hi to all of you, too.
Hello from Executive Director Ann Chaitovitz!
OK Go and Bonerama release EP, play shows for New Orleans musicians
FMC’s Brian Zisk presents the SanFran MusicTech conference
FMC at Arts Presenters: wrap-up
Policy Update - LPFM
Full-Power Licensing Blog Series
Updated Fact Sheets for 2008
Educational materials & survey for New York State musicians
Education Director Kristin Thomson at McGill University in Montreal
Local Media, Democracy & Justice Summit in Pasadena, CA
This post is the first in a series about last October’s full-power, non-commercial licensing window opened by the FCC. Mike Janssen, project manager for FMC’s Full Power Initiative, will provide an up-close look at several applicants, while examining what this process could mean for listeners. read more