Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New LPFM Legislation to be Introduced

It was only a matter of time before the new Congress saw the reintroduction of a pro-Low Power FM bill. If passed, this legislation would create opportunities for hundreds more community radio stations in cities, towns and suburbs across the United States. The House of Representative's new Local Community Radio Act represents a strong step forward towards this goal.

FMC has long advocated for LPFM (and non-commercial, community radio in general) as an alternative to the homogenized playlists often heard on hyper-consolidated corporate radio. LPFM in more areas would be a tremendous boon to local and independent artists who typically find themselves shut out from area commercial stations. We figure that if more people had the chance to hear the talent in their own backyards, it might even have a positive effect on local economies.

But LPFM isn't just good for musicians — new low-power licenses would make radio station ownership possible for schools, churches, labor unions, local governments, emergency providers and other nonprofit groups, who could use the public airwaves to directly communicate with their local community.

Tomorrow (February 25), members of Congress, public interest advocates and community organizations will hold a national conference call to discuss the reintroduction of the bipartisan Local Community Radio Act. The sponsors of this legislation, Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.) will join the call to explain the details of this bill. Here's the details:

WHAT: National Conference Call on Community Radio Legislation
WHEN: Wednesday, February 25 12 p.m. ET
Rep. Mike Doyle
Rep. Lee Terry
Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Prometheus Radio Project
Shawn Campbell, Chicago Independent Radio Project
Michael Bracy, Future of Music Coalition
Ben Scott, Free Press
*** Call this number: (888) 792-8352 Call-in Code- 87422899 ***

The last time LPFM legislation was introduced, it won nearly 100 co-sponsors in the House. The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and co-sponsored by then-Senator Barack Obama, unanimously passed out of the Commerce Committee. The Senate is expected to reintroduce a new version of the bill in the near future. We'll keep you updated!

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