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NAB Corrects FCC Record on Radio Fire Coverage

NAB says one of the witnesses testifying Wednesday at the FCC's localism hearing was incorrect when he claimed all commercial radio stations in San Diego had to rely on a non-commercial station due to insufficient capacity.

NAB says one of the witnesses testifying Wednesday at the FCC’s localism hearing was incorrect when he claimed “most of the local radio stations had to carry the [non-commercial] KPBS feed because they had no capacity to assist their community during this time of emergency.”

After a presentation by NAB on television’s coverage during the California wildfires, Media Access Project President Andrew Schwartzman noted that radio coverage wasn’t profiled by the NAB.

NAB submitted a filing to the FCC Thursday to correct the allegation, although it did not name Schwartzman. As part of the filing, NAB President/CEO David K. Rehr sent an e-mail to commissioners stating: “one of the panelists alleged that commercial radio broadcasters in California did not provide locally originated programming covering the California fires but merely retransmitted the local public radio information. That outrageous allegation is wrong.”

What actually happened, according to Rehr, was that one station, Lincoln Financial’s KBZT(FM), San Diego, did turn its signal over to KPBS temporarily due to damage to KPBS’s transmission equipment, however all of Clear Channel’s stations in San Diego were on the air with extended fire coverage, as were KFBK(AM) in Sacramento in cooperation with KOGO(AM), San Diego, and KFI(AM), Los Angeles.