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Pirate Radio, Facility Stories and Radio’s Mission

More letters from Radio World readers

Below is a sampling of recent letters to the editor of Radio World. Find more on the Reader’s Forum pageLetters are invited by email to [email protected].

Wasted Effort

So the “FCC Plans to Hire to Fight Pirate Radio”? The commission may as well tell those 15 new employees to go out and look for evidence of BigFoot.

How about tracking down and enforcing the real interference complaints that spray RFI from sea to shining sea but go uninvestigated?

– Joe Zagar

Muskegon, Mich.

Define “Mission”

I appreciated the January interview with FCC Commissioner Nathan Simington to see where he stands on radio priorities and how much he wants to help commercial broadcasters fulfill their mission.

“Mission” is a highly subjective term because in this case he did not really define the term. 

Is it to serve in the public interest with pertinent information and thought-provoking programs? Or is the “mission” to satisfy an owner or investors by throwing anything onto the airwaves that guarantees big bucks will come rolling in, no matter what the content might be? 

I am also curious to know how the commissioner thinks further relaxation of radio station ownership rules could possibly improve programming diversity and political expression on the public’s airwaves. 

Portland, Ore., and San Francisco are the only major radio markets in the country with a liberal talk radio program on the air in prime time. Does he really think giving iHeart or any other radio empires one or two more stations will improve the odds of having a liberal talk show on the air in Denver? Philadelphia? Houston? I doubt it. 

Ask iHeart. They will either laugh at you or give you the song and dance about numbers, when numbers mean very little in a saturated talk radio environment. We need fewer than eight stations owned by one corporate entity, not more.

Dare I say it, but the only type of public radio the new commissioner may care about is the public radio approach that places a heavy emphasis on extensive focus group research and other commercially oriented approaches to audience-building, coupled with an aggressive strategy placed on obtaining as much corporate underwriting as possible. 

In other words, not much at all about that good old fashioned public service component for public (or commercial) broadcasters. But you will have to ask him about that. 

– Pete Simon

Arvada, Colo.

More Facility Stories Please

Paul I saw your column asking “What could be better” about Radio World, and I want to let you know that I enjoy reading it. 

I usually start paging through the issue as I am walking across the building from the mailroom to my office. And I go through your daily SmartBrief e-newsletter a few times a week. 

I have been out of RF radio for 17 years, but about five years ago we added a streaming radio station to our radio and TV program at Crown Point High School. Being just outside Chicago, there’s no place for us to go that would give us enough power to broadcast to our entire district.

I also really enjoyed your “Spectacular Radio Studios” ebook. We are an Axia facility, and it was nice to see how other studios are set up. One thing I really miss from the old Radio magazine is the Facility Showcase.

– Brent Barber

Crown Point High School

Crown Point, Ind.

[Visit the Reader’s Forum for More Letters and Comments]