The Federal Communication Commission's "localism" proposal could force some stations out of business, but it is is also possible it could return enhanced local coverage to some communities.
The FCC is looking at requiring broadcast studios in a station's city of license, as well as mandating 24-hour staffing for all stations. Currently, many stations have survived into the 21st century by relying on consolidating stations to streamline costs.
Last week, the downsides to this proposal were examined. This week, here's a look at possible upsides.
According to Utah radio veteran Ray Friess, "The FCC proposal is a good one. It could return true local coverage to communities, similar to what it was before deregulation. For years owners fought for the present monopoly system and ownership of multiple radio stations."
Friess believes Logan still has true, local radio coverage, despite the monopoly in ownership there.
However, he believes the true loss in the current FCC system involves cities slightly larger than Logan.
"It is a real shame and loss for residents in cities the size of Ogden and Provo to have no true, local service by a local radio station. Owners can't claim Ogden and Provo as their own, other than through lip service, and residents don't really have a radio station they can call their community's own."
Friess further believes that if station owners are going to reap the benefits of multiple-station ownership like taking in increased revenue then they should also have to shoulder the responsibilities of being in the communities from which they siphon the revenue.
Kitz Cleary of Colfax, Wis., is a Deseret News reader who is concerned about the lack of localized radio.
"I live in an area where Clear Channel has scooped up all the local radio stations, has no local news presence and broadcasts only canned, corporate broadcasts. When we have an impending tornado, we are no longer able to turn to our local radio station for updates. We no longer have news of local school boards, city council meetings, county board meetings. We are no longer kept informed of local government so that we can govern ourselves," he reported.
Cleary believes U.S. citizens own the radio airwaves and "we are not required to provide profits to the corporate media consolidators."
• RADIO HAPPENINGS The "Chunga Show" on KENZ ("The End") is planning on giving away free gasoline this morning. The station will air locations and times this morning that will allow up to $50 of free gas for each vehicle.
When such free or discounted gasoline was given away in the past when prices were not nearly so high it resulted in huge lines and traffic congestion in the area. Be assured, this radio stunt will receive plenty of response.
The "On Air" show, with Ryan Seacrest, now airs weekdays, 4-7 p.m., on KBEE (FM-98.7). This syndicated show, which airs from Los Angeles, is much smoother and faster paced that I expected it to be. Seacrest makes a great radio host.
KLO (AM-1430) is planning on increasing its broadcast power from 10 kilowatts to 25 kilowatts. This should expand its Wasatch Front audience.
KBYU will celebrate the 60th birthday of Pinchas Zukerman will a special broadcast on Monday, 3 p.m. Equally respected as a violinist, violist, conductor, pedagogue and chamber musician, he celebrates his 60th birthday on July 16. For more information, go to www.classical89.org.• TWENTY YEARS AGO IN SALT LAKE RADIO KCPX stages its annual "Sky Concert" and fireworks at Rice Stadium ... KUTR celebrates its third anniversary of airing LDS music.
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