Oct 27, 2006

NPR asks FCC for modulator recall

NPR has asked the FCC to recall millions of FM modulators that enable drivers to play iPods and satellite radios through their car stereos, reports the Baltimore Sun. The network found that nearly 40 percent of the devices have signal strengths that exceed FCC limits, "enabling them to break into FM broadcasts in nearby cars with unwanted programming." Non-commercial radio stations are especially vulnerable to interference because while newer modulators can be tuned to any FM frequency, older models still in use only offer consumers a choice from frequencies below 89 MHz. The FCC says NPR's request is under review. See also Radio World.

KQED members disenfranchise themselves

The membership of San Francisco's KQED gave up their right to elect the station's board of directors in a three-week mail balloting, the San Francisco Chronicle reports today. They voted two-to-one to end the board elections, which the station said were expensive ($250,000 was the cost cited) and delayed decision- making. Large majorities also voted to change the licensee's name to Northern California Public Broadcasting and make five other changes to its legal documents, according to KQED's announcement yesterday. KQED said it received about 30,000 ballots from its membership of 190,000, or about 15 percent of those eligible. Most stations have self-elected boards or are parts of larger nonprofits that do.