Full-Court Press

A post on the site allaccess.com tells of how Press Communications, a New Jersey company owning several radio stations, laid into the approved HD radio power increase, saying in essence that the FCC is kowtowing to a minority interest in radio at the expense of the majority. The company CEO minced no words, saying this should have been decided on the merits of the case and wasn’t:

Press Communications has filed a reply with the FCC in the HD radio power increase docket that takes on the NAB, NPR, and iBiquity’s response to Press’ earlier opposition to the change and request for stay. The filing takes hard shots at the FCC’s process in approving the HD power increase, pointing out that accepting the decision of the “joint parties” who represent 18 groups and 1,200 stations ignores the “other 8,000+ stations who have not adopted HD radio or the 99% of the public who relies on analog FM.” Press also argues that the increase will severely impact adjacent- and co-channel analog stations, especially Class A stations, by invading their 60 dBu contours.

“When someone has no facts to back up their position, or real facts to counter the arguments of others,” writes Press CEO Bob McAllan, “I guess the best strategy is to ignore the facts altogether. That appears to be the strategy the three respondents, NAB, NPR and iBiquity, have taken in opposition to the comments recently filed by Press (and others) in the matter of the HD power increase. Telling is the failure of the opposing parties to productively counter the legal and/or technical showings of Press and others. This should be considered empirical evidence that the opposing parties agree the six to 10 db increase in power in the Report and Order will be devastating to many analog stations, particularly in areas of the country where stations typically are at minimal spacings or are by definition, short spaced.”…

Press . . . says that the power increase rulemaking “seemed predetermined” by the FCC without proper testing and based on a “compromise” between two parties, NPR and iBiquity; Press notes that the parties’ “agreement” was not put out for public comment before adoption by the Commission despite changes to NPR’s report from 2008 to 2009….

[T]he true tragedy is that the Commission has been naïve enough to buy into what is a flawed technology and a failed business plan. Rather than admit its mistake, leaving the system as originally promoted and approved, the Commission has decided to double down and risk the FM analog radio system the public relies upon every day as if the analog system were just chips on a gaming table…. With 10 years experience we can safely say HD radio is not among the winners in the technology race.”

In this post on radioink.com, it’s reported that the Prometheus Radio Project joined the call for reconsideration, saying:

“The [FCC] staff’s failure to address adequately significant arguments makes it difficult to ascertain whether the decision was based on thoughtful analysis of the arguments raised (to which reasonable parties could agree to disagree) or simply a blanket dismissal of the issues raised, with no due consideration…. A more detailed and thoughtful analysis of the arguments raised by various parties would have at least provided interested parties a reasonable rationale regarding the staff’s decision to allow for a power increase.”

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One Response

  1. “Press . . . says that the power increase rulemaking “seemed predetermined” by the FCC without proper testing and based on a “compromise” between two parties, NPR and iBiquity; Press notes that the parties’ “agreement” was not put out for public comment before adoption by the Commission despite changes to NPR’s report from 2008 to 2009.”

    I was reading that some stations had already bought the equipment for the power increase before approval from the FCC. Just like back in 2002 when IBOC was initially approved and Bob “Booble” Struble pretended that he was relieved.

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