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post #11161 of 11364 Old 05-06-2014, 04:23 PM
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And yet, don't a lot of candidates depend on local broadcast stations for airtime for campaign ads and other political ads such as issue ads? (I believe the stations are required to give the candidates low ad rates.) I think the stations should get together and say that they will run issue ads only if the PACs and other organizations provide a full disclosure of who is behind the ads and who the big donors are. Basically, stand up and challenge the recent court rulings that permit anonymity and deception. Congress is not likely to require transparency, but the stations could be the good guys and tell the organizations that if they want to have access to the airwaves, they have to disclose who is behind the ads.
Sure. And, losing a great deal of revenue is all that would be accomplished. And, risk of losing a broadcast license.. Very tricky stuff, putting political conditions on potential candidate customers.
I'm not sure there is any way broadcasters could get candidates over a barrel without putting themselves over a bigger one.
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post #11162 of 11364 Old 05-06-2014, 05:29 PM
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Sure. And, losing a great deal of revenue is all that would be accomplished. And, risk of losing a broadcast license.. Very tricky stuff,...

 

Viewers should have a right to know who is paying for the ads, and journalists should be investigating what the real agendas are of the groups that hide behind swell sounding names.

 

The FCC actually does require stations in the 50 largest markets to file some disclosure paperwork concerning the ads, and that requirement will soon be extended to smaller markets. So, I very much doubt that the FCC would punish a station for demanding more transparency.

 

Besides, don't the stations have a responsibility to the public? A responsibility to do diligent journalism, not just be a mouthpiece for shady groups that want to hide in the shadows?

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post #11163 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 02:24 AM
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Viewers should have a right to know who is paying for the ads, and journalists should be investigating what the real agendas are of the groups that hide behind swell sounding names.

The FCC actually does require stations in the 50 largest markets to file some disclosure paperwork concerning the ads, and that requirement will soon be extended to smaller markets. So, I very much doubt that the FCC would punish a station for demanding more transparency.

Besides, don't the stations have a responsibility to the public? A responsibility to do diligent journalism, not just be a mouthpiece for shady groups that want to hide in the shadows?
Television , the free OTA TV, is business, like the major political Parties. .....In almost all the US, the two major Parties combine to monopolize the business of the public sector. So, to an extent, the public business regulates the private business.... with the private business having almost no legal power to accomplish anything unwanted by the public business. "Journalists" of a broadcast variety will understand, one way or another, that reality.. Journalism, in a free press sense, only exists in print.......and, only because no reasonable way had been found by the public business to suppress it.
Should one want to alter this reality, one will have to find a way to convince politicians that they will have to move away from the Party business, in form, and in fact. I do not know how that can be done....
but I do know it will be done, if done, with words,, not with pulsed electromagnetic energy.
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post #11164 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 09:40 AM
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 they are more worried about their wireless buddies than the American people's right to free TV


 

Whose buddies? Must be the buddies of the people in Congress, because it is Congress that ordered the spectrum auctions. The FCC just has to fulfill its role in implementing the law that Congress passed. And a lot of politicians no longer believe that "free TV" is important. They think people should pay for TV.

Just some facts so you will know.

The last FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski is a former founder and CEO of MANY internet companies (LaunchBox Digital,Rock Creek Ventures, a Special Advisor at General Atlantic; and a member of the Boards of Directors at The Motley Fool, Web.com, Mark Ecko Enterprises, and Beliefnet. He was also to the Board of JackBe, just to name a few) that depend on wireless. The auction/repacking is his brain child, not Congress. The fact that he was appointed by a Democratic president (Obama) fueled the Democratic led Senate and at the time Democratic lead House to approve all this in 2010. Had the House been led by Republicans at the time the vote was taken, it would not have passed. The current FCC chair (Tom Wheeler) is just continuing what is already in motion but he is no friend to broadcasting either. Before becoming FCC Chair last year, Wheeler worked as a venture capitalist and lobbyist for the cable and wireless industry, with prior positions including President of the National Cable Television Association (NCTA) and CEO of the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA).

Now which tail is wagging which dog?

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post #11165 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 09:50 AM
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I believe "Congress" in general understands that most Americans do pay for TV. That, then , would make free OTA less important than it has been in the past.

And yet, don't a lot of candidates depend on local broadcast stations for airtime for campaign ads and other political ads such as issue ads?

Very much so. Just ask Karl Rove and Moveon.Org, just to name a few.
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(I believe the stations are required to give the candidates low ad rates.)

Yes and no. Stations are NOT required to provide air time to candidates, but the trick is, it is either all or nothing. A station can deny ALL candidates, but if they let one on, they have to let ALL on. They can't pick and choice. That is against the elections laws. Also, stations are not required to give the lowest rate until 45 days prior to a primary and 60 days prior to a general election.
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I think the stations should get together and say that they will run issue ads only if the PACs and other organizations provide a full disclosure of who is behind the ads and who the big donors are. Basically, stand up and challenge the recent court rulings that permit anonymity and deception. Congress is not likely to require transparency, but the stations could be the good guys and tell the organizations that if they want to have access to the airwaves, they have to disclose who is behind the ads.

Only if the stations want long drawn out fights in the courts over license revocation. No one is going to do that. No one.

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post #11166 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 09:57 AM
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Viewers should have a right to know who is paying for the ads, and journalists should be investigating what the real agendas are of the groups that hide behind swell sounding names.

That isn't a FCC issue. That is an election law issue. When it comes to laws dealing with elections, the FCC parrots the Elections Laws.
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Besides, don't the stations have a responsibility to the public? A responsibility to do diligent journalism, not just be a mouthpiece for shady groups that want to hide in the shadows?

Just because a station runs an ad doesn't make them the mouth piece. If they start to espouse a particular line of thinking in newscasts, then yes, they are a mouthpiece, something the national media is fighting now with MSNBC and now CNN being the mouthpiece for the left and FNC for right.

You have to look at the situation for what it is, not what you think or want it to be.

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post #11167 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 11:13 AM
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Besides, don't the stations have a responsibility to the public? A responsibility to do diligent journalism, not just be a mouthpiece for shady groups that want to hide in the shadows?

I wish they would investigate lots of things they don't on the network news, but look at Ben Swann and what happened to him when he pointed out problems with Aurora and Sandy Hook... A lot of it appears to be fear, and pressure from above to just report what they are told.
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post #11168 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 04:26 PM
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Just some facts so you will know.

The last FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski is a ... The auction/repacking is his brain child, not Congress. ... Had the House been led by Republicans at the time the vote was taken, it would not have passed. The current FCC chair (Tom Wheeler) is just continuing what is already in motion ...

 

As with most things involving legislation, there is no easy condensed version of the story.

You are right about the auctions being proposed in 2010, but congressional authorization came in 2012.

The authorization was "bipartisan", but it was a bunch of wrangling where different sides hammered out something that probably nobody was fully happy with.

 

http://www.cnet.com/news/spectrum-auction-compromise-part-of-payroll-tax-cut-bill/

 

The idea that one party supported the auctions and the other opposed them is simply wrong.

Some legislators had side issues they wanted to consider, such as allocation of free public Wi-Fi, but I don't think that made it into the final compromise.

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post #11169 of 11364 Old 05-07-2014, 08:36 PM
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Just because a station runs an ad doesn't make them the mouth piece. If they start to espouse a particular line of thinking in newscasts, then yes, they are a mouthpiece, something the national media is fighting now with MSNBC and now CNN being the mouthpiece for the left and FNC for right. You have to look at the situation for what it is, not what you think or want it to be.

The above is so true with the national media. The old days are long gone when national media outlets like CNN merely presented the news. It is all politically biased now days with MSNBC and CNN on the left and FNC on the right. That's why I like to read a lot of national/world news online. But I still enjoy watching the local news from broadcasters in the area because they have not became the mouthpiece in the way the national news outlets have. And WGHP continues to do a good job in the Triad.
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post #11170 of 11364 Old 05-08-2014, 10:53 AM
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The idea that one party supported the auctions and the other opposed them is simply wrong. Some legislators had side issues they wanted to consider, such as allocation of free public Wi-Fi, but I don't think that made it into the final compromise.

I never said one party favored over another. I just said if the Democrats hadn't had the House, it would not have passed. Strange things happen when the party you are affiliated comes to power in Congress. You start doing things you otherwise would not do. Was true 200 years ago. It is true today. More things change, more things stay the same.

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post #11171 of 11364 Old 05-08-2014, 05:33 PM
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The idea that one party supported the auctions and the other opposed them is simply wrong. Some legislators had side issues they wanted to consider, such as allocation of free public Wi-Fi, but I don't think that made it into the final compromise.

I never said one party favored over another. I just said if the Democrats hadn't had the House, it would not have passed....

 

You're still trying to make this a partisan thing, with very little solid evidence.

I don't know exactly what legislation got passed in 2010 as opposed to 2012 when the final authorization was made, but even back in 2010, the minority party in the U.S. Senate was very adept at blocking legislation that it did not like, by using various procedural tactics.  (And, I might add, blocking or delaying appointments to fill vacancies, including vacancies at the FCC.)

 

I mean, I guess some people in broadcasting don't like the idea of spectrum auctions, but both parties in Congress think that AT&T and Verizon need more spectrum. It's not a partisan thing. Very few people receive television OTA, so there is not a lot of reason for politicians to care about local broadcasters --- except insofar as they need broadcasters to run the campaign ads.

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post #11172 of 11364 Old 05-10-2014, 06:09 PM
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Yeah i get all Roanoke stations in the low 80 signal strength Wbra about 56 and actually for some reason it comes in without dropouts when antenna is pointed toward Carolina. Dont think power would help any i know back in the analog days you could pick up Wfmy and Wbtv clear as a bell but during the summer they were clear but had electrical like interference maybe sun or something else but after you got past ch 3 no interference.
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post #11173 of 11364 Old 05-10-2014, 11:07 PM
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I never said one party favored over another. I just said if the Democrats hadn't had the House, it would not have passed. Strange things happen when the party you are affiliated comes to power in Congress. You start doing things you otherwise would not do. Was true 200 years ago. It is true today. More things change, more things stay the same.

Whether its partisan or not, I tend to agree with Foxeng in suspecting that the 2010 action would not have gained traction in the manner in which it did.......if a single party had not been controlling both chambers of congress as well as the presidency at that time. And it seems to be a no brainer that Julius Genachowski and Tom Wheeler are no friends of broadcasters. You don't have to look any farther than their resumes to reach that conclusion. IMO, it's not so much that they don't believe anyone is watching TV OTA as it is a fact that they simply don't give a you know what! Money talks and they have sold their allegiances to the highest bidders. When you look back on the mission statement of the FCC, it's really a sad state of affairs to see where we are today.

Frankly, I find the whole prospect of auction/repacking as disgusting. I am just a little guy here. But if I was a politician with political power in Washington, I'd be doing everything I could to reverse this crazy non-sense in heartbeat! Advanced societies such as Japan and South Korea seem to be doing much more to utilize their spectrum versus putting it on a continual chopping block in the manner our FCC has been promoting along with some members of Congress.
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post #11174 of 11364 Old 05-11-2014, 04:45 AM
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I'm confused. The FCC proposed the auction in 2010, but it wasn't authorized by Congress until 2012, as a compromise between two different parties to get a short-term budget band-aid passed. What am I missing that happened in 2010?

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post #11175 of 11364 Old 05-11-2014, 09:45 AM
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I'm confused. The FCC proposed the auction in 2010, but it wasn't authorized by Congress until 2012, as a compromise between two different parties to get a short-term budget band-aid passed. What am I missing that happened in 2010?

- Trip
I think you missed nothing. Neither Party seems to be shy about selling the seed corn these days.
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post #11176 of 11364 Old 05-22-2014, 12:08 PM
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post #11177 of 11364 Old 05-22-2014, 06:18 PM
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Maybe not all will be thrown overboard in a couple of years.
http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/fcc%E2%80%99s-wheeler-outlines-plans-for-post-auction-lptv-/270446

 

On a lot of LPTV stations that are not translators for full-power stations, there are tons and tons of infomercials. It would be hard to shed many tears over losing those.

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post #11178 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 06:55 AM
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On a lot of LPTV stations that are not translators for full-power stations, there are tons and tons of infomercials. It would be hard to shed many tears over losing those.
I agree. But, there are useful LPTV operations. I hope the FCC can properly sort the business out.
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post #11179 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 08:42 AM
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On a lot of LPTV stations that are not translators for full-power stations, there are tons and tons of infomercials. It would be hard to shed many tears over losing those.

Veedon,

 

In the immediate Greensboro area, there is only one low power television station viewable on the air.....that is us, WGSR-LD. We are digital, on channel 47, have a local staff and produce a nightly newscast and two daily talk shows. We air a few syndicated shows....Crook & Chase, Raceline, Race Week, North Carolina Spin and a few others, but most of our programming is local to Rockingham County NC, Martinsville and Danville VA and the surrounding areas. We also stream 24/7 from our website at http://www.starnewsource.com . By the first of the week we have our feed available on ROKU, joining our available cable carriage on Comcast, TWC (Rockingham Co. only) and U-Verse.

 

You should check us out to see what LPTV can do for a community.  Yes, there are a lot of Low Power stations that air nothing but a satellite feed and infomercials.  I'm glad I don't work for such a station, and wouldn't watch such a thing if I could get it in Greensboro.  At WGSR we stress community service first, and then making enough money to keep the owners happy.

 

On the Wheeler article, What is interesting to me is that WGSR covers enough rural area with our signal that the FCC considers us a rural broadcaster.  With that in mind I'm not worrying too much about what the auction and re-pack is going to do for us.  Our stations (Reidsville and Danville) were built out with reprogrammable frequency-agile transmitters and antennas.  When the FCC tells us to move, and we determine which channel we have to move to, we just order a transmission-line filter for each station, adjust some jumpers on the antenna and we will be on the new channel with about 4 hour's work.

 

Of course, we're hoping that post-auction the FCC allows us more power and the possibility of some sort of primary protected service.....but that's for the future.

 

Later.....

Matt Smith, Station Manager

WGSR-LD Reidsville NC

Star News Corporation

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post #11180 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 08:55 AM
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Maybe not all will be thrown overboard in a couple of years.
http://www.tvtechnology.com/article/fcc%E2%80%99s-wheeler-outlines-plans-for-post-auction-lptv-/270446

On a lot of LPTV stations that are not translators for full-power stations, there are tons and tons of infomercials. It would be hard to shed many tears over losing those.

While you personally may not like the idea of a LPTV running infomercials, they do have a right to program what they want, as long as it doesn't go into areas the community doesn't deem moral.

I personally like the idea of more LPTVs and most major areas have them, expect this area. And that is mostly because we are sandwiched between Raleigh and Charlotte (who have quote a few) and they have the frequencies allocated at this time. Could we get another LPTV in the area? Absolutely. VHF high is pretty much open for at least one or maybe two, depending on antenna location. For UHF, maybe one or two, again depending on antenna location. The real issue is the size of the market, you need cable to reach enough of the homes to make it pay. That isn't happening here. Just ask WGSR who has been begging TWC for years to get on the whole market. I doubt that will ever happen now.

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post #11181 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 09:29 AM
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On a lot of LPTV stations that are not translators for full-power stations, there are tons and tons of infomercials. It would be hard to shed many tears over losing those.

While you personally may not like the idea of a LPTV running infomercials, they do have a right to program what they want, as long as it doesn't go into areas the community doesn't deem moral.

 

It sounds to me as though WGSR is one of the good-guy stations and is doing what a LPTV station should be doing, i.e. providing locally produced and locally oriented programming designed for an area that would otherwise not have enough highly localized programming (news, community issues, etc.)

 

So, yes, let's keep the good LPTV stations. But the ones that just take some English language commercials and dub them very badly into Spanish and toss in a few non-local programs from Florida or some other distant place that were produced ten years ago, well, those LPTV's are probably not justifying the amount of money that the taxpayers have to pay to have a regulatory system.

 

I know that the FCC cannot directly regulate content, but if taxpayers are spending money to have somebody review the license applications, check that stations don't cause interference with other stations, etc,, then there does need to be some way of encouraging the good guys (like WGSR) and discouraging the not-so-noble guys.

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post #11182 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 09:37 AM
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That was the idea behind the "Class A" license, which is protected in the incentive auction. Unfortunately, there was only ever one window open for that, back in 2000 right after the law that created it, and a station that missed that window (or didn't exist yet) can't get that status now.

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post #11183 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 09:43 AM
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On a lot of LPTV stations that are not translators for full-power stations, there are tons and tons of infomercials. It would be hard to shed many tears over losing those.

While you personally may not like the idea of a LPTV running infomercials, they do have a right to program what they want, as long as it doesn't go into areas the community doesn't deem moral.

 

It sounds to me as though WGSR is one of the good-guy stations and is doing what a LPTV station should be doing, i.e. providing locally produced and locally oriented programming designed for an area that would otherwise not have enough highly localized programming (news, community issues, etc.)

 

So, yes, let's keep the good LPTV stations. But the ones that just take some English language commercials and dub them very badly into Spanish and toss in a few non-local programs from Florida or some other distant place that were produced ten years ago, well, those LPTV's are probably not justifying the amount of money that the taxpayers have to pay to have a regulatory system.

 

I know that the FCC cannot directly regulate content, but if taxpayers are spending money to have somebody review the license applications, check that stations don't cause interference with other stations, etc,, then there does need to be some way of encouraging the good guys (like WGSR) and discouraging the not-so-noble guys.


There is no "good" or "bad" LPTV. It is a business and if the station wants to program infomercials, then let the marketplace decide if they continue with that or not, just like any other station. If people do not watch, the infomercials will not buy time. They are in business to make money too. The station will either go dark, change formats or be sold. That is the free market system.

As far as technical issues, if there are any, the FCC will not wait for license renewal to address them. They will address them as soon as they are aware of them. Most LPTVs are in compliance since they are not required to maintain the same level of compliance full power stations are.

Again, you may not like the fact that some LPTVs choose to program things you personally don't like, but they are the licensee and they have the right to program whatever they want. As the old saying goes, if you don't like what is going on, get in the game yourself. I am sure you could buy a LPTV and do it better.


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post #11184 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 09:48 AM
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My only point is that somebody in government has to decide how many TV broadcast licenses should be given out, and somebody in government has to decide how many government employees should be hired to perform the regulatory jobs. Broadcast TV is not quite a purely free market. It just cannot be, because the government has a role in the licensing.

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post #11185 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 10:05 AM
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My only point is that somebody in government has to decide how many TV broadcast licenses should be given out, and somebody in government has to decide how many government employees should be hired to perform the regulatory jobs. Broadcast TV is not quite a purely free market. It just cannot be, because the government has a role in the licensing.

Actually it isn't the government's job to decide how many stations there should be. It is the government's job to be sure the stations that are licensed follow the rules. The government can decide if a potential licensee is fit to be authorized a license. Beyond that, it is a First Amendment issue.

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post #11186 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 10:16 AM
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That was the idea behind the "Class A" license, which is protected in the incentive auction. Unfortunately, there was only ever one window open for that, back in 2000 right after the law that created it, and a station that missed that window (or didn't exist yet) can't get that status now.

- Trip

Unfortunately, in 2000 the owners of WXIV (our predecessor) did not think it would be useful to pursue the upgrade to "Class A" status.  Since the FCC has not provided any more opportunities to do this since then we can only look to the future possibilities for those types of upgrades.  It does not look like we will have such an opportunity until after the auction and re-pack, and even then it will probably a few years wait before the opportunity is presented to low power stations.

 

Later . . . .

Matt

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post #11187 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 10:24 AM
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Actually it isn't the government's job to decide how many stations there should be. It is the government's job to be sure the stations that are licensed follow the rules. The government can decide if a potential licensee is fit to be authorized a license. Beyond that, it is a First Amendment issue.

 

Maybe not directly deciding, but indirectly deciding. I mean, if all of a sudden thousands of new applications were to come in for brand new OTA TV licenses (full power or low power), then the FCC might have to hire more people, and budget deficits could increase, requiring higher taxes. Then Congress would have to decide how much money it wants to actually spend to have the license applications reviewed in a timely manner, or whether it wants to get by without any spending increases.

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post #11188 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 10:30 AM
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Actually it isn't the government's job to decide how many stations there should be. It is the government's job to be sure the stations that are licensed follow the rules. The government can decide if a potential licensee is fit to be authorized a license. Beyond that, it is a First Amendment issue.

Maybe not directly deciding, but indirectly deciding. I mean, if all of a sudden thousands of new applications were to come in for brand new OTA TV licenses (full power or low power), then the FCC might have to hire more people, and budget deficits could increase, requiring higher taxes. Then Congress would have to decide how much money it wants to actually spend to have the license applications reviewed in a timely manner, or whether it wants to get by without any spending increases.

Trust me. Timely manner doesn't mean much to the FCC. Never has. They deal with what they have when they have it. They were inundated with new LPFM and FM translator licenses a few years ago. Many of them are still waiting a decision years later. They don't get in a hurry on much, unless pushed by Congress.

We have been waiting almost one full year for them to issue a CP for an auxiliary channel 35 antenna on the same tower with lower power, no chance of interference. Should be a slam dunk. Still waiting. Our sister station in Cleveland has been waiting almost three years for a CP to move channels. Still waiting. Like I said. They don't get in a hurry. Never have.

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post #11189 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 10:40 AM
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Actually it isn't the government's job to decide how many stations there should be. It is the government's job to be sure the stations that are licensed follow the rules. The government can decide if a potential licensee is fit to be authorized a license. Beyond that, it is a First Amendment issue.

Maybe not directly deciding, but indirectly deciding. I mean, if all of a sudden thousands of new applications were to come in for brand new OTA TV licenses (full power or low power), then the FCC might have to hire more people, and budget deficits could increase, requiring higher taxes. Then Congress would have to decide how much money it wants to actually spend to have the license applications reviewed in a timely manner, or whether it wants to get by without any spending increases.

Trust me. Timely manner doesn't mean much to the FCC. Never has. They deal with what they have when they have it. They were inundated with new LPFM and FM translator licenses a few years ago. Many of them are still waiting a decision years later. They don't get in a hurry on much, unless pushed by Congress.

We have been waiting almost one full year for them to issue a CP for an auxiliary channel 35 antenna on the same tower with lower power, no chance of interference. Should be a slam dunk. Still waiting. Our sister station in Cleveland has been waiting almost three years for a CP to move channels. Still waiting. Like I said. They don't get in a hurry. Never have.

Maybe the FCC is understaffed. You should write to your congressman and advocate a tax increase to adequately fund the FCC. :)

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post #11190 of 11364 Old 05-23-2014, 10:44 AM
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Actually it isn't the government's job to decide how many stations there should be. It is the government's job to be sure the stations that are licensed follow the rules. The government can decide if a potential licensee is fit to be authorized a license. Beyond that, it is a First Amendment issue.


Maybe not directly deciding, but indirectly deciding. I mean, if all of a sudden thousands of new applications were to come in for brand new OTA TV licenses (full power or low power), then the FCC might have to hire more people, and budget deficits could increase, requiring higher taxes. Then Congress would have to decide how much money it wants to actually spend to have the license applications reviewed in a timely manner, or whether it wants to get by without any spending increases.


Trust me. Timely manner doesn't mean much to the FCC. Never has. They deal with what they have when they have it. They were inundated with new LPFM and FM translator licenses a few years ago. Many of them are still waiting a decision years later. They don't get in a hurry on much, unless pushed by Congress.


We have been waiting almost one full year for them to issue a CP for an auxiliary channel 35 antenna on the same tower with lower power, no chance of interference. Should be a slam dunk. Still waiting. Our sister station in Cleveland has been waiting almost three years for a CP to move channels. Still waiting. Like I said. They don't get in a hurry. Never have.
Maybe the FCC is understaffed. You should write to your congressman and advocate a tax increase to adequately fund the FCC. smile.gif

Yeah, sure. I will get right on that.

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