The beginning of the end for right-wing radio

I’ve been following the community radio fight for a long time, and this really is good news. Expect to hear more diversity on the airwaves as various organizations take advantage of this opportunity:

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision issued Monday (PDF) will clear the runway for hundreds of new community radio stations that broadcast on low-power FM signals, bringing progressive, community voices to urban areas that have for decades only known what’s being broadcast by major corporations and America’s political right.

In other words, the dismantling of Rush Limbaugh was just the beginning, and the whole FM dial is next.

The FCC’s decision on Monday wipes away a massive backlog of applications for FM repeater stations, which are transmitters that repeat signals broadcast by corporate and religious radio operators — many of which rake in big listening audiences for right-wing syndicated talk shows.


“So, what a lot of right-wing, conservative radio stations have been able to do is expand their reach out in communities by just having these translators out in the wild, which is why Rush Limbaugh gets the type of audience that he has — because the networks take one signal and repeat it over and over and over across the dial all over the country,” Steven Renderos, national organizer with the Center for Media Justice, told Raw Story on Tuesday. “They’re constantly looking for opportunities to expand that, so there were a slew of these applications pending at the FCC.”

And that’s been the case ever since the FCC’s radio spectrum auction in 2003, which has led many activists to fear they would be forever choked out and kept away from the public airwaves. But after a long battle, activists with the Prometheus Radio Project have finally won.

“Now these right-wing radio networks won’t keep getting their translator applications approved,” Renderos added. “That will severely limit their ability to expand.”

3 Responses to The beginning of the end for right-wing radio

  1. Snarki, child of Loki March 23, 2012 at 9:14 am #

    Good, and well past time. I just wonder if the world has moved past radio…

    …sort of like “we’ve removed all copyright restrictions on Edison cylinders, enjoy your freedom, people!”

  2. dandy March 23, 2012 at 9:31 am #

    That’s great news! Limpbaugh has a right to say whatever he wants, but now the smaller guys and girls with contradictory points of view can say whatever they want. ‘Bout time.

  3. Ron March 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm #

    Well, I’ll withhold judgement until I actually hear Progressive stations pop-up on the dial in eastern New Mexico.

    Which reminds me; remember when ‘Progressive Radio’ referred to FM stations playing great music back-to-back? No commercials. Ah, good times.

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