Nothing has hastened the isolating of the public from “public radio” quicker than the onset of the HD-radio media blitz. Hundreds of public stations have bought into the scam, palmed off in the main by the unholy alliance of NPR and iBiquity (aka iNiquity). Our public stations are laying out millions of dollars to glom onto what is being sold as the next big revenue stream, shouldering aside local concerns and existing programs, justifying it with numbers generated by the junk science purveyed by the troubled company Arbitron. Even the head of the FCC, Commissioner Michael Copps, acknowledged the base nature of the endeavor, saying, “Everybody involved pretty much admitted from the outset that the digital radio initiative is all about giving the broadcast industry more avenues to make money rather than actually improving radio from the perspective of the listener.”
If listenership is declining on the thousands of analog stations already broadcasting, what makes anybody think that adding more stations airing the same pap for a declining audience will actually turn that trend around? And since when has the mission of public radio been to find out what the masses like most and ensure that stations nationwide dispense the same pabulum as a thousand other stations? That, utilizing grants from the taxpayer-supported Corporation for Public Broadcasting, is what NPR is doing.
Which raises the question, Why is NPR even in bed with a monopoly like iBiquity? Isn’t this in some way inimical to the very idea of “public” radio? As posted on the website diymedia.net (link on right), “Due to heavy industry-maneuvering and a shamefully complicit FCC, the U.S. radio industry has locked the medium into a sub-standard, proprietary broadcast protocol.” Which means that iBiquity controls all licensing rights and charges a fee for each HD station.
And this doesn’t even begin to address the question of interference with other adjacent radio signals, the degradation of the station’s analog signal, or the spotty reception of existing HD receivers pawned off on car buyers today. There’s much more to say about HD radio, NPR, iBiquity, and the massive fraud being perpetrated against the taxpayers and consumers of this country . . .