Senate Hold Delays Vote to Expand LPFM to Larger Markets, Advocates Say

 

 
Senate Hold Delays Vote to Expand LPFM to Larger Markets, Advocates Say
 
Acceptance by opponents and lawmakers of the Local Community Radio Act, awaiting a Senate vote, is sought by those in noncommercial radio. HR-1147 could make it easier to create low-power FM (LPFM) stations in larger markets. The NAB, a major opponent to the bill, has been instrumental in holding it back, some community radio supporters said. The NAB said it has concerns over the bill creating interference to full-power stations.
 
The House approved the bill last year after LPFM supporters agreed to about 10 changes proposed by the NAB, said Pete Tridish, Prometheus Radio executive director. "NAB stood aside on the House version based on the concessions that we gave." Now NAB seeks another bite of the apple, he said. Prometheus and community radio supporters staged a demonstration in front of NAB headquarters Monday to persuade the broadcasters group to support the bill (CD Dec 13 p8). By making the concessions, "the LPFM advocates appeased the fears NAB had about interference," Tridish said. "They're making their demands worse," and "they’ve only become more insistent," he said.
 
The NAB has persuaded Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and John Ensign, R-Nev., to put holds on the bill, Tridish said. Their offices didn't get back to us right away. As long as the NAB remains "fixated on getting this in the bill, there’s no way to find [available] LPFM channels in any cities," Tridish said. Senate officials didn't return requests for comment.