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We've Come To Take Your Airwaves

Woe betide the high school radio station that has a broadcast frequency coveted by Christian broadcasters. The Boston Herald reports:

Maynard High School's radio frequency, 91.7 FM, is being seized by a network of Christian broadcasting stations that the Federal Communications Commission has ruled is a better use of the public airwaves.

"People are furious,'' said faculty adviser Joe Magno.

Maynard High's WAVM, which has been broadcasting from the school for 35 years, found itself in this David vs. Goliath battle when it applied to increase its transmitter signal from 10 to 250 watts.

According to Magno, that "opens the floodgates for any other station to challenge the station's license and take its frequency."

Using a point scale that considers such factors as audience size, the FCC ruled the Christian broadcasting network the better applicant. WAVM is given 30 days to appeal, and has done so.

If the FCC refuses to overturn its decision, WAVM will fall silent.

You'd think providing an educational experience for high school kids would be considered valuable, but I suppose given the FCC we've got, that would be asking too much.

Comments (6)

This is me, very ticked off. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to go put my fist through a wall before I really lose it.

artistry:

I'm disappointed. Your post might have been better started "Woe betide the high school radio station that has a broadcast frequency coveted by another broadcaster". Both your post and the article you linked seem to imply that the problem arose because the other network was Christian. It came up for two reasons: the high school wanted to increase their signal, thus changing their license; and the rules of the FCC. Anyone could have applied for that frequency after the school made application to increase their signal strength. If the high school station and their faculty advisors weren't aware of that, they failed to do their homework. The fact that it was a Christian broadcaster who was awarded the frequency is of no bearing on the real story but it is a way to point fingers and misdirect anger about the situation.

Janet:

WAVM is a great station. The idea that their station should be up for grabs the moment they apply for a higher frequency is absurd. Anyone who wants to help us, please send a letter objectint to this by Nov. 4, to:

Mr. Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
Media Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, DC 20554

Please reference this number: 1800B3-ALV

For more information, see www.wavm.org.

To the second poster: Yes, the FCC is indeed following its own rules, but I can't say its rules make a whole lot of sense.

Anyone who wants to know more about WAVM and what is means to Maynard should see www.wavm.org.

Big thanks to anyone who sends the FCC a polite letter objecting to their decision.

Janet

artisan: The fact that it was a Christian broadcaster who was awarded the frequency is of no bearing on the real story but it is a way to point fingers and misdirect anger about the situation.

No. It's simply the icing on the cake. I'd be just as ticked if it was Clear Channel moving in on the little guy, just not as vehement.

Janet:

For some reason, the address to send letters to the FCC has changed to:

MARLENE DORTCH, SECRETARY

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

445 12th STREET S.W.

WASHINGTON, DC 20554

Thanks.

Janet


artistry:

"No. It's simply the icing on the cake. I'd be just as ticked if it was Clear Channel moving in on the little guy, just not as vehement."
Posted by: Off Colfax at October 24, 2005 02:19 PM

That seems a little discriminating to me.

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