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Say No to ‘Mike’

As a 60-year-plus broadcast content supplier who really enjoys RW, I'm 110 percent opposed to even the whispered idea that "one operator" should have control of an entire community's broadcast spectrum.

As a 60-year-plus broadcast content supplier who really enjoys RW, I’m 110 percent opposed to even the whispered idea that “one operator” should have control of an entire community’s broadcast spectrum.

I think you’ve gone nuts printing “Mike’s” crazy ideas. They sound like something you dug out of Vladimir Putin’s wastebasket.

What would happen if an atheist or Muslim newspaper mogul could forestall all local religious broadcasting in a market he controlled? A spectrum “boss” as “Mike” might envision could hate grand opera or country music and might decree that neither Placido Domingo nor Alison Krauss would ever grace his domain again.

The Greenville-Spartanburg market, in which I live and work, has 25 to 30 listenable radio signals, maybe more. Five or six are programmed totally in Spanish. Less than 1 percent of our target population understands Spanish. Does that make sense?

One 5 kW AM nondirectional recently was sold by Bob Jones University to an evangelical Spanish group. That would never happen under an immigrant-hating, Christian-bashing total ownership/control of the market plan.

It’s a hundred percent, totally crazy, socialistic idea.

Look. We have a totally Roman Catholic-programmed AM station in this market. That’s diversity, right here in the middle of the buckle on the Bible Belt.

Or reverse it. Suppose the pope or a council of North American bishops wanted to pour sufficient Vatican funds into South Bend, Ind.’s, broadcast market to control it. Would any evangelicals be allowed? Ask Mike … or tell us what you think. I think it’s nuts.

Stick to what you do best, Paul. The Workbench column is great. I like to read the promotional ideas even though that’s not a need I have right now. Keep up the good broadcast technical work … forget the screwy HD Radio ideas… not enough people know about it or want it to make it successful.

NAB is OK but hardly represents the small-market guys. They move with the heavy hitters, Clear Channel etc. But the real long-lasting lifeblood of radio is in the small to medium markets. That’s where the dollars are for most of us and it certainly provides more jobs, even if they aren’t in the top tier of salaries. The manager of my last small-market station (about 60,000 population in a rural North Carolina county) was still using tape-cartridge machines when I joined him in 2001. But nobody else gives out the school lunch menus … or tells the anxious moms if the school busses are running on an icy morning.

You can still be friends with “Mike.” Just tell him he should lay off the firewater. It kills the kidneys.

Jack Buttram
Taylors, S.C.