The well-connected pirate


Just like the pirate Jean Lafitte, a pirate with possible connections to Napoleon Bonaparte and Andrew Jackson, this privateer of the electromagnetic spectrum in the Philadelphia area claimed at least a loose connection to one of his US senators. In the end, although Lafitte may have helped Jackson win New Orleans, he was eventually chased out of town. And the Philly guy, despite sending a letter to Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA), is being chased off the air.

Michael Stone Campbell stands accused of operating a station on 97.7 MHz in Philadelphia. He claimed that he has been operating since December 1994, and that it was OK, because he filed a CP for it, only to have the FCC lose it. The FCC, for its part, has no clue where the application is, no record of ever receiving it, and points out that it doesn’t matter since the Commission never granted anything.

The FCC says that Campbell never responded to a notice of apparent liability, but he did write a letter to Specter, which Specter’s office then forwarded to the FCC. However, this correspondence was not seen as adequate authorization for operating an FM radio station without a license.

The price for the buccaneering station: The usual 10K.