Low power FM gets Big Apple ink


It’s taken a few weeks, but the recent legislative victory of low power FM activists has finally come to the attention of the biggest newspaper in the nation’s largest media market. The New York Times has taken note of the medium that may now have a change to claim a tiny chunk of New York airspace.

NYT wrote a story about an LPFM station in Louisiana, a fact which would tend to underscore the motivation behind the long struggle of activists like Prometheus Radio Project to get the Local Community Radio Act passed by Congress and signed into law by the White House – the rules had made it difficult if not impossible for LPFMs to find airspace on crowded urban FM dials.

LCRA is expected to open up some space by eliminating 3rd adjacent channel protection for spectrum incumbents, allowing the FCC to allot stations into smaller holes on the dial than before. The bill passed after it included language designating full power FM as the primary service in that particular spectrum band, and adding a minimum separation table.

NYT spoke with representatives of LPFM KOCZ, which gets its small operating budget from local underwriting businesses, and which has no idea how large its audience is. What it does know is that it has 20 volunteers pulling airshifts, and 20 more on a waiting list to do the same.