Broadcast Radio
Technology and Politics

U.S. Broadcaster Under Scrutiny for Disseminating Autocratic Propaganda.  Federal officials are scrutinizing the U.S. government's Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty news service, established to promote democratic values abroad, after complaints it has distributed foreign propaganda favorable to authoritarian regimes in Central Asia, according to the network, its employees and an internal State Department memo.  State Department officials sent a six-page memo to the leaders of Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty earlier this year criticizing a pro-government stance by the service's Tajikistan network and urging them to intervene following repeated complaints by U.S. diplomats, network employees and academics specializing in Central Asia.  They said the network was providing programming favorable to Tajikistan's president, Emomali Rahmon, his government and family.

What is the deal with those FEMA/DHS AM backup transmitters?  In the light of current government trends where the FBI engages in a one year sting operation on a Amish farmer selling raw milk, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is running guns to Mexican drug cartels, the US Department of Education employing its own SWAT team to serve warrants for delinquent student loans (they say no but offer no other explanation), Gibson Guitars being repeatedly raided for improperly labeled wood products, and so forth, makes me wonder what the government is doing.

FCC Votes To Eliminate Main Studio Rule.  By a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission today [10/24/2017] scrapped the nearly eight-decade-old rule requiring radio and television stations to operate and staff a main studio in their community of license in order to originate live programming.  The move also does away with the requirement that the main studio have full-time management and staff present during normal business hours.

In 2017, Norway will be first country to shut down FM radio.  Norway will shut down FM radio in the country beginning in 2017, reports.  The Norwegian Ministry of Culture finalized a shift date this week, making it the first country to do away with FM radio entirely. The country plans to transition to Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) as a national standard.  A statement released this week by the Ministry of Culture confirms a switch-off date that was proposed by the Norwegian government back in 2011.  The government has concluded that the country is capable of meeting all the requirements necessary for a smooth transition to digital.

"Progressive" talk radio station shuts down, feels betrayed.  From the website of WVKO 1580AM in Columbus, "Ohio's Progressive Talk":  ["]It is with great sadness I must inform WVKO's listeners that once again, Progressive Talk will be silenced on the Columbus airwaves.  Our one-year lease on the station is about to expire, and at this time there is no way that we can continue operating the station.["]

The Editor says...
Left-wing talk radio has been tried many times and has never been commercially successful, because (1) there aren't that many leftists, partly because they feel free to abort their offspring, (2) if you've heard one episode of a left-wing rant program, you've heard them all, (3) advertisers won't support tax-and-spend anticapitalists who are trying to put those advertisers out of business, or under the control of the government, and (4) the message from left-wing talk radio is tiresome and disheartening:  There is never anything uplifting in the extemporaneous rant of a baby-killing totalitarian marxist.  A lot of late-night right-wing radio is tiresome, too, but at least it's punctuated with pride in our country, love of freedom, and faith in God.

Talk radio's not dead, just moonbats' radio.  Less than 20 percent of the radio audience ever listens to AM radio — and it's a mighty old audience, too.  They don't call it "Ancient Modulation" for nothing.

Surely you can't be Sirius!
Why I Didn't Renew My Sirius-XM:  On some of the Sirius-XM talk channels, commercials are 40-50 percent of the "content." ... There's nothing wrong with advertising your product.  What has been eating at me for years now and finally caused me to [dispense] with it is this business of paying to be spoon-fed ads.

Jury awards $16.57 million to radio contestant's survivors.  A Sacramento Superior Court jury today awarded the survivors of Jennifer Lea Strange $16,577,118 as a result of her death nearly three years ago in a water-drinking contest conducted by a local radio station.

Digital Killed the Radio Star.  Today, the technology to create and compose music has become idiot proof and dirt cheap — the gates have been thrown open, and the hordes have rushed in.  As a result, the quantity of music has risen to choke the fiber cables and wi-fi networks encircling the globe, just as the quality has suffered a corresponding and predictable degradation.

KPRC listeners say no to fill-in host after one day.  Filling in for conservative talk-show host Michael Berry Tuesday morning, Houston lawyer Geoff Berg was direct with KPRC radio's listeners.  "I am a moderate," he announced.  "Michael is a right-wing fanatic.  We are going to disagree." … The station fired him after "one day of diverse opinion."

Radio Free America:  Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the liberal left have a problem with unfettered free speech on talk radio and are calling for government regulation.  Is it because in the marketplace of ideas they're bankrupt?

Hispanic Radio Hits Rough Wave.  These days the subprime mortgage meltdown has hit many Spanish-language radio stations hard.  Real estate companies that targeted the Hispanic community have closed their doors or cut back on advertising and sponsorships.

The Editor says...
I do not feel sorry for people who bought what they could not afford with money they can't pay back.

Liberal Talk Shows Held to Different Standard, Radio Host Says.  A popular left-wing talk show host claims liberal radio listeners are being denied the "fair market opportunity" their conservative counterparts receive, but a national media expert countered that the only standards any radio personality must meet are "ratings and revenue."

Radio 'Imbalance' Is In the Talent.  Rush Limbaugh, the conservative talk-radio pioneer, has been called many nasty things before, but never a "structural imbalance."  That's the fancy term a liberal think tank uses to characterize his success — and to dress up its proposal for counteracting that success through new government regulation.

Man of the Year:  Rush Limbaugh.  Rush Limbaugh's detractors never learn.  They've tried everything to come between Rush and his more than 20 million listeners, intending to destroy his appeal and impact.  But it's a hopeless, almost laughable endeavor.  They led boycotts against his advertisers — yet his show continues to generate more revenue than any other on radio.

HD Radio Grabs the Ear of Satellite Rivals.  Over the past few months, high-definition radio technology, which delivers clearer and crisper sound for over-the-air radio, has made inroads into the new-car market, a major battleground for audio entertainment.

Will Digital Radio Boom in U.S.?.  U.S. radio broadcasters are banking on HD Radio — which transmits digital signals over normal AM and FM bands — as a crucial weapon in their battle with satellite broadcasters.  But so far the response from listeners has been lukewarm.

[HD Radio, like AM stereo, is like putting a tuxedo on a pig.  It's still a pig.  Nobody cares about AM radio, except for the 50,000-watt powerhouse stations.  The rest of the signals are just clutter.  But this introduces another point:  AM radio still exists because extremely high sound quality is not that important.  How many people can tell the difference between the sound quality of an FM radio versus HD radio in a moving vehicle?]

Judge allows music industry to sue XM Satellite.  A judge has ruled that the music industry is free to go ahead with a lawsuit against XM Satellite Radio, the company accused of allowing customers to store songs without paying for them. … The record industry alleged in a civil suit filed in May that XM allows subscribers to listen to, store and replay songs as MP3 files.

800-Lb. Gorilla Slims Down To 750 Pounds.  [Clear Channel has] announced plans to sell off 448 of its 1,150 radio stations.  The stations now on the block are in 90 markets outside of Arbitron's top 100 metros.  Additionally, the San Antonio-based company is selling all 42 of its TV stations, which are located in 24 small and mid-sized markets.  Since it took advantage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act to super size its radio holdings, the company has been viewed — rightly or wrongly — as the poster child for all things wrong with the radio business.

Congress Urged to "Clean House" at FCC Over Profanity Ruling.  (Editor's Note:  The following contains references to language the reader may find offensive.)  A pro-family group is calling on Congress to "clean house" at the FCC.  The demand follows the FCC's ruling in October that the "f-word" does not violate the commission's obscenity standards.

Omitting Air America:  On July 26, bloggers busted open a brand-new talk radio scandal, and the hypocrisy was juicy:  The ultraliberal Air America radio network, the folks who would call themselves Compassion for the Poor Radio, had taken $875,000 from a children's charity as a "loan" that it hasn't paid back.  An Air America executive that also served as development director for the Gloria Wise Boys and Girls Club of the Bronx made a "diversion" of funds for the struggling leftists.

Radio host urges poor to loot.  In a broadcast yesterday [9/2/2005], Air America radio talk radio host Randi Rhodes repeatedly urged listeners in the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast to go out and loot, insisting the poor should be allowed to steal goods at will.

 Editor's Note:   If the FCC deserves its continued existence, the radio stations carrying that message should have their licenses challenged at renewal time.  Radio stations exist, according to the Communications Act of 1934 as amended, to serve the "public interest, convenience and necessity," and statements of this sort, inciting an already lawless crowd to further violent felonies, are well outside the envelope of protected free speech.

Air America to Cease Broadcasting Immediately.  Air America, the progressive talk radio network, said Thursday [1/21/2010] that it would cease broadcasting immediately, bowing to what it called a "very difficult economic environment."

The Editor says...
Rush Limbaugh doesn't seem to be having trouble with a "very difficult economic environment."

FNC Keeps Rising, Air America Crashes.  On the same day Neilsen reported competition-dwarfing numbers for Fox News's coverage of the special election in Massachusetts on Tuesday night [1/19/2010], Air America radio declared bankruptcy and will cease live broadcasts immediately.

Why People Listen to Rush:  It's a simple law of economics, right?  If there's a demand for a certain service or good, that business has a strong shot at thriving.  Since the now-defunct Air America shut down for the last time earlier this year, the casual observer must conclude that no one wanted to hear left-wing diatribes over the broadcast airwaves.

The Broadcast Flag comes to radio...
Digital Radio Flag Archive.  Radio broadcasters have begun rolling out a new digital radio technology, known as "HD Radio," which piggybacks digital signals onto traditional analog FM and AM frequencies. … The recording industry sees the introduction of this new radio technology as an opportunity to renew their decades long effort to take away your right to make personal recordings off the air. … Led by the RIAA, the recording industry is particularly eager to make sure that there will never be a TiVo-like recorder for radio.

The $50 Billion New Socialist Media.  Robert W. McChesney, the socialist professor whose Free Press organization is leading the charge for the $50 billion transformation of the media, hosts a one-sided, tax-supported radio program sponsored by the University of Illinois that could serve as a model for the "New Public Media" the group has envisioned for America.  As Accuracy in Media was the first to disclose, McChesney recently introduced Obama's anti-American pastor Jeremiah Wright at a celebration of the socialist publication Monthly Review.  Wright praised Marxism and called America "land of the greed and home of the slave."

Did someone mention the "Reverend" Jeremiah Wright?

Galveston radio station leases airtime to Chinese.  Unable to dial in enough financial support from advertisers, owners of KGBC radio have leased all the station's airtime to one of China's state-owned media companies, ending a yearlong effort at local programming.  The sudden format switch killed local shows and surprised and disappointed loyal listeners and a few advertisers.

The Editor says...
Personally, if I owned a money-losing radio station, I would shut the station down and sell its remains before I'd sell air time to Chinese commies.  But here's the good news:  The commies are wasting their money and don't even know it.  Keep reading.

Tune in to Chinese station, but not in Houston.  China Radio International bought "a pig in a poke" when it leased a Galveston radio station in January that network officials mistakenly believed broadcast to the Houston market, according to a former China Radio International employee.  "It was the dumbest thing they could have ever done," said Mark Shorey, a consultant at CRI headquarters in Beijing before his resignation last month.  "CRI believes that they are broadcasting in Houston and continue to announce this fact on the air and on their Web site."

How Taxpayer-Funded Broadcasting Is "Surging" Left Under Democrats.  The Democratic takeover of Congress in 2007 quickly made one definitive change in the national media infrastructure. ... In previous years with Democratic control of Congress, PBS has played a more activist role within the media, dragging the rest of the national media further to the left and spurring more aggression and ill will against conservative and Republican leaders.  Just as 2007 has been a year for a "surge" of troops in Iraq, it's also been a year of "surging" activism within PBS.

FCC Chair Cites 'Spectrum Crisis'.  Addressing "America's Mobile Broadband Future" Wednesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said there is a "looming spectrum crisis' and he then went on to offer some solutions to the crisis.  Speaking at a telecommunications industry meeting in San Diego, Genachowski underscored the growing spectrum crunch by noting that in recent years the FCC has authorized a three-fold increase in commercial spectrum while many observers have anticipated a thirty-fold jump in wireless traffic.

The Editor says...
There is no "Spectrum Crisis."  Earlier this year, hundreds of analog TV stations (occupying six megahertz of bandwidth each) went off the air.  If that didn't open up a bunch of VHF and UHF spectrum space, what purpose did it serve?

Leftist Church Leaders vs. Free Speech.  The war on conservative speech has moved from the White House to your neighborhood pews.  Left-wing church leaders want the Federal Communications Commission to crack down on "hate speech" over cable TV and right-leaning talk-radio airwaves.  President Obama's speech-stifling bureaucrats seem all too happy to oblige.

The Fairness Doctrine

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Updated May 1, 2019.

©2019 by Andrew K. Dart