Oct 16, 2009

Low-power FM bill headed to House floor

The House Energy Commerce Committee yesterday unanimously approved the Local Community Radio Act of 2009, a bill revising channel spacing requirements in the licensing of new low-power FM stations. H.R. 1147, expected to be taken up quickly by the full House, eliminates third adjacent channel protections for full-power broadcasters with one exception: LPFMs cannot be licensed within three channel spaces of noncommercial full-power FM stations that operate radio reading services, nor can they be adjacent to their FM translators and boosters. Other provisions in the legislation lay out new procedures for dealing with interference complaints and order the FCC to address concerns about potential interference between LPFMs and FM translators of full-power broadcasters.

PMD set to launch redesigned pubmedia site

Public Media Digest has announced a redesign of the now privately owned website. Keith York of KPBS in San Diego and Garry Denny of Wisconsin Public Television took over the public media news site after CPB and the Public Television Programmers Association dropped support, Denny told Current. The new site will feature improved video capacity along with Flash and multimedia advertising; future plans include live chat and video conferencing. Four contributors write or report PMD's blogs, news coverage and Twitter. PoGo Promotions heads up sales and sponsorship. The site currently claims 1,250 registered users and an average of 350 unique user visits daily.

SHVERA pubcasting amendment passes House committee

The Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act was okayed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday, Broadcasting & Cable reports. It includes an amendment by Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) that DISH Network carry public TV stations in HD; DISH has carried some local HD programming but is legally required to carry pubcasting in HD in Alaska and Hawaii only. The Association of Public Television Stations issued a statement thanking the committee and Eshoo for "ending this discriminatory behavior." APTS had secured voluntary agreements with every major multichannel video programming distributor except DISH. Negotiations between DISH and APTS had been ongoing for three years. The amendment requires DISH to carry pubTV HD signals in all markets offered within two years of enactment of SHVERA, and pick up additional stations as they begin to broadcast in HD.