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Readers Respond to Class C4 Certification, Music Licensing and More

Also, how radio stations should use apps


I want to support the proposal being put forward (“SSR Renews Push for FM Class C4,” April 1 issue) and wish to dispute the perceived negative comments of Tim Sawyer about it in the June 4 issue’s Opinion section.

Clearly, if Mr. Sawyer is worried about a 3 dB signal increase or a high electric bill, logic would tell us to never upgrade a 25 kilowatt FM to 50 kW, because it’s only 3 dB … or that 50 kilowatt going to 100 …that’s only 3 dB, too! And, for the record, both of those proposals use much more electricity than a Class A going from 6 kW to 12 kW as a Class C4.

And, if Tim Sawyer is looking for other efficiencies, let’s take down those 1,500-foot towers, because the difference between a 1,000-foot tower and 1,500 is a “pinch of salt” due to curvature of the earth. FM and TV is “line of sight.” Wanna save electricity? Then go and outlaw “tube-type” transmitters.

Today, there are many deserving FM stations that are “rim-shots” to medium-market cities that would benefit greatly by that extra “3-mile increase.” They could easily have 15,000 or more population and another 200+ advertisers to keep them viable.

Of all the FCC filings I have noted over the past 10 years, the filing by SSR, with the assistance of Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, makes the most sense. I only wish I had thought of it. The FCC has a freeze on practically any type of new service now. The manufacturers would probably welcome the interest of broadcasters that would benefit from this serious, well-thought-out proposal. Finally, there’s no “gun to the head” with this proposal, so if a broadcaster wanted to stay at 6 kW, they could.

Mark Heller
President and Owner
Denmark, Wis.


As a consultant I’m getting a headache from music publishers switching affiliations, which suddenly leaves client stations on the hook for licenses that weren’t required at first but now are (“Music Industry Pushes Congress for Copyright Reform,”, June 10).

Prime example: The Neil Diamond song “Red Red Wine,” which was a hit for the band UB40 in the 1980s, was published by Diamond’s subsidiary Tallyrand Music, which was affiliated with BMI when he first published it (you can find a scan of his Bang 45, accompanying Wikipedia’s page about the song). But at some point since then, all of Tallyrand’s catalog has been switched to SESAC licensing, which means a station either gets an expensive license just to play that one song or they can’t legally play it.

If Congress wants to reform the system, let them deal with that issue as well.

K.M. Richards
K.M. Richards Programming Services
Van Nuys, Calif.


Here’s what we might be missing — and what one certain company got right (“Does Your Mobile Strategy Fly,” May 21 issue).

Radio is a beautiful thing ’cause when you punch the button or spin the knob you get an abundance of choices. The “KXXX” app, whether it be Android or iPhone, offers how many choices? Unless you’re someone’s absolute “must-hear” station, you’re not going to get them to adapt to your app, if there’s one out there with many more choices.

Ya gotta be where the people are — and the people are where the choices are. If that weren’t the case, those ol’ promotional pre-tuned radios would be in abundance. We need to be in the app game, but we have to find a way to give them a reason to download your app over the “shopping mall of radio stations” app.

Dave Mason
Acting Program Director
Los Angeles


President Dr. Mark P. Becker does not understand the value of Georgia State University’s assets, this whole deal [in which GSU agreed to hand over daylight-hour broadcasting of WRAS(FM)’s Atlanta metro area signal to GPB and sideline the student-run operation and programming] makes me question if he is fit for the job (“Air War in Atlanta,” May 27 online).

Who in their right mind would give up a 100,000-watt license, which provides students valuable experience, with very little in return from Georgia Public Broadcasting?

Let’s also note that GPB will duplicate content already provided by WABE.

This whole thing astonishes me. WRAS is a cultural institution in Atlanta; nobody would ever guess that someone would be so foolish to meddle with it.

Dennis Portello
GSU Alumnus
Santa Monica, Calif.