NPR Radio Farce

Greg Smith has posted some interesting links on his blog dealing with NPR and its part in pushing HD radio (beginning with fudged data out of its NPR Labs, as first detailed here, with information gleaned from Radio World). Then, of course, you have the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ponying up some $50 million in taxpayer money to actually help build the transmitters in local public radio stations — to provide a customers for NPR canned product — as well as the CPB seed money for its fledgling Project Argo (and its far more grandiose siblings, the Local Journalism Centers, as mentioned here in a post called “All Things Beggared”).

Among the links on Greg’s site is one to the CPB’s own site, here, where you’ll find its noble aspiration: “The purpose of the Digital Radio Conversion Fund is to ensure all Americans have access to digital public radio. The program is not intended for the replacement of worn-out equipment.” It proudly follows with this statement of accomplishment:

To date, CPB has approved funding for the digital conversion of over 600 public radio transmitters. Over 550 public radio stations have completed conversions and are now transmitting digital signals.

No note on what had to be sacrificed in hard times at these local stations to start up channels that nobody listens to, but then that’s expecting too much.

Greg also included links to some of the battles fought locally — at WUSF, WUFT, KMBH, and WPR in Wisconsin, where money from the State Building Commission was tapped to help fund HD. Following the link to WPR, you’ll find the type of outrageous claim made about HD that iBiquity itself has avoided but others have blundered right into: “HD Radio promises to increase the quality and reliability of our signals while adding additional features.” And it’s a floor polish and dessert topping, too.

And on Greg’s home page, here, you can read into the problem auto makers are having with the radios in their high-end hotrods — though it’s not totally inclusive of every model having “issues.” The Mini Cooper, for example, has a forum, here, discussing its problems. And if you just google “HD radio problems,” you’ll find a whole host of listings, detailing stations that won’t come in, suggestions for wiring a TV antenna to the radio, headaches with various models of radios. It’s a field rife for exploration, providing a never-ending source for intrepid bloggers and lawyers alike.


One Response

  1. Hey, you stole my whole site! LOL! Off the NPR Digital Radio Conversion Fund link, did you notice this note:

    “This grant is closed. Applications are no longer being accepted. Check this page for updates about this initiative.”

    Here is a whole thread about the conversion fund in the public radio tech forum:

    “Yes, but I spoke to a couple of stations today and they did not receive theirs, so I’m not holding my breath. I’ll call tomorrow and see if they will tell me anything. Hal Kneller”

    Haven’t heard a peep from NPR Lab Chief Mike Starling, since he fudged the numbers for the FM-HD power increase. And, no more propaganda from Struble since the Keefe/Wolf investigation started.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: