“Low Power Radio Triumphs over Big Broadcasters in Washington” read the headline of a press release from Prometheus Radio Project after the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet voted 15-1 (presumably, since there weren’t actually 16 members in the room for the voice vote) to approve a law expected to allow creation of hundreds of new low-power FM stations.
“Today’s vote signals a policy shift towards more local and diverse media. We need to use this momentum to push for full passage of the Local Community Radio Act so groups working tirelessly to have a voice in their communities can start building stations,” said Cory Fischer-Hoffman, Campaign Director for the Prometheus Radio Project.
“Congress should act swiftly to pass LPFM and support the families, workers, and places of worship that serve as the anchors in our communities,” said Joel Kelsey, Policy Analyst at Consumers Union.
Nancy Zirkin of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights added, “In an era of mass media consolidation, we in the civil rights community believe that it is critical to promote diverse ownership and diverse viewpoints over the public airwaves, and we look forward to the passage of this bill into law.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Broadcasters was not conceding defeat. “”NAB opposes the legislation on grounds that removing 3rd adjacent channel protections would result in an increase in interference to radio listeners,” said NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton.
The Local Community Radio Act (H.R. 1147) now moves to the full Energy and Commerce Committee, which Prometheus notes is chaired by longtime LPFM supporter Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).