In 2000, Congress affirmed the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to license low power radio. This reopened the airwaves to allow for local FM broadcasting after a 20-year hiatus. Today there are almost 800 local, low power radio stations on the air. Unfortunately, Congressional inaction is preventing this opportunity from being fully available to communities across the country.
In an era of mass media consolidation, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR) believes that it is important to preserve an avenue through which diverse viewpoints can be represented over the public airwaves, namely, low power radio (LPFM). Thus, LCCR calls on Congress to lift its restrictions on the FCC’s authority to license LPFM.
View the report by section below, or download a printable version of the full report (pdf).
Table of Contents
- What is LPFM?
- Congress Second Guesses its Expert Agency on Spectrum Allocation
- Low Power Radio: An Antidote to the Modern Radio Industry
- Demographics of Radio Station Ownership
- Participation in Employment by Minorities and Women
- Radio Consolidation and Homogenization
Examples of Low Power Stations
- Success on the Dial: Woodburn, Ore; South Bend, Ind.; Oroville, Calif.; and Immokalee, Fla.
- Lost Opportunities: Chester, Pa.; Puerto Rico; Chicago, Ill.; and Houston, Texas
- Appendix A: Many Exciting New Stations Potentially on Low Power Radio
- Appendix B: Third Adjacent, Second Adjacent – What does it all mean?
A report of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Prepared by Cheryl Leanza, United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc.
LCCR is the nation’s oldest, largest, and most diverse coalition of organizations dedicated to advancing civil rights, including equal opportunity to access the nation’s airwaves. LCCR consists of more than 200 national organizations representing persons of color, women, children, organized labor, persons with disabilities, seniors, gays and lesbians, and major religious groups. LCCR is privileged to present this report on behalf of the civil and human rights community concerning an important opportunity for all segments of society to participate fully in the broadcast communications environment.
Published in April 2009.