Top level radio posse pushes cellular FM


A group of corner office radio executives paid visits to four of the five FCC commissioners, explaining the public safety benefits of an FM requirement for cell phones. They also took advantage of the opportunity to push a power increase for HD service.

The group included Lew Dickey, Chairman and CEO, Cumulus Media, Inc.; David Field, President and CEO, Entercom Communications Corp.; John Hogan, President/CEO Radio, Clear Channel Radio; Steve Newberry, President and CEO, Commonwealth Broadcasting Corporation; Bruce Reese, President and CEO, Bonneville International Corporation; Jeff Smulyan, Chairman and CEO, Emmis Communications Corporation; Peter Smyth, President and CEO, Greater Media Inc.; and Farid Suleman, Chairman and CEO, Citadel Broadcasting Corporation.

They took their case to all commissioners and key staff except Chairman Julius Genachowski.

They said that an FM presence on cell phones would have a huge public safety benefit and urged rapid adoption of the NPR/iBiquity agreement on a power increase for HD radio.

RBR-TVBR observation: Broadcasting is the only reliable source of mass communication in times of crisis. In areas suffering physical devastation, it often takes wire-bound communications technologies weeks and sometimes months to regain full operational status. All an FM station needs is a certain amount of gear, a gasoline-powered generator and a place to hang an antenna (should its tower be down) to get back up after it has been knocked down.

The White House, Congress and the FCC should all get behind this common sense proposal.