Leonard Lance: Radio’s Pirate Punisher

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There are three areas of the U.S. where unlicensed radio broadcasters have been more than a nuisance for not only the FCC, but for every licensed FM station impeded in its efforts to reach listeners and grow its advertising or underwriting support.

In South Florida, pirate radio activity has persisted for 20 years. Then, the New York Tri-State Area and Boston became havens for unlawful FM radio broadcasts.

Under Chairman Ajit Pai and fueled by the passion of Republican FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, pirate radio enforcement has been much fiercer than under the previous regime of ex-Chairman Tom Wheeler.  But, the agency is limited with its penalties and enforcement.

Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey seeks to change that, and wants Congress’ backing in getting much tougher on the buccaneers of broadcasting.

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