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Thursday, March 17, 2011


Dick Williams

I'm on the road quite a bit and always try to find an NPR affiliate on the FM. More and more the upper part of the FM band is populated by another type of non-profit station - religious programming. I've suspected - never seen it mentioned - that the right is purposefully trying to grab and occupy frequencies in the public service band to deny them to NPR or local community based stations. Of course they raise their own money and have a right to claim that portion of the spectrum.

There are some really good networks of public stations such as the High Plains Net in west TX, OK and KS, the Nebraska statewide net and similar one in SD. That saves programming costs since one studio serves multiple communities via translators or remote transmitters. That may be a partial solution but a community loses the local input when a wide area net is in place.

I assume the vote will pass since NPR is a favorite "cause" on the right, Republicans have the majority and will vote as one. "We" elected them and they're doing what they said they would do. It's totally symbolic but they're much into symbolism. Myself I find NPR pretty middle of the road but I'm a leftie so when I like what I hear to me that's fair and balanced journalism.

A bill to defund NPR will go to the Senate where the Dems will probably defeat the bill. More symbolism but sends the message they want to send and paves the way for a another attempt in two years if he Reps gain control of the Senate.

Tend to agree - maybe they can raise funds to keep NPR intact privately - just as those religious broadcaster do - they get no government funds but they also don't maintain the cadre of reporters and bureaus that NPR does.

If it weren't for the religious broadcasters then the Republicans would probably try to end the whole idea of a public service segment in the FM band - sell off those freqs to add more talk shows and country western stations. Those are badly needed in Texas - more C&W.

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