It’s been a slow week in the LPFM application world, with far more dismissals and amended applications than granted construction permits. At the end of day yesterday, the count of granted applications is now up to 1153, with recent grantees including Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (Oxnard, California) on April 14 and (just in time for High School Radio Day next week!) Shead Memorial High School (Eastport, Maine), a couple of applicants in Puerto Rico (Concilio de Iglesias Rios de Vida, Inc. and Iglesia Refugio, Sanidad Y Adoracion) and Action Community Television (Rocky Mount, North Carolina) on April 16.
44 New College Radio LPFMs Coming Soon, While a Current College Radio LPFM Plans to Leave the Air
As I’ve reported previously, a fair number of student radio stations are in the running for LPFM, with around 44 granted LPFM applications for college radio stations so far. While these institutions are embracing the opportunity, a current LPFM, Southeast Missouri State University station KDMC 103.7 FM (aka Rage FM) plans to cease terrestrial broadcasts at the end of the semester. The school’s NPR station KRCU 90.9 FM will offer internships to students who desire on-air experience. According to the Arrow, KRCU began as a student-run station in 1976 and transitioned to an NPR affiliate in 1991. The KRCU website states that the transition away from alternative music programming began in 1988.
Students will continue to use the Rage FM facilities in the basement of the Grauel Language Arts building to create multimedia news content for KRCU, Southeast’s student newspaper the Arrow, and some Rage FM programs that will continue to air online. The Department of Mass Media curriculum committee decided in 2010 that more multimedia newsgathering experience was necessary if graduates were to remain competitive in the job market. ‘We made the decision that the department would go from five options to four, and that journalism and radio would become the multimedia journalism option,’ said Dr. Karie Hollerbach, chairwoman of the Department of Mass Media. She explained that since the radio courses were phased out in 2012, the student radio station is no longer essential to the program. Hundreds of students over the past 38 years have had a hand in operating incarnations of the station. Most current students support the shift in curriculum, although many on Southeast’s campus and beyond will miss listening.
Apparently the school will retain the LPFM license. Those protesting the closure of the LPFM station have created an online petition to “Keep Rage 103.7 Open.”
More than 100 MX Groups Eliminated, According to REC Networks
Since the FCC’s original announcement of the groups of mutually exclusive (MX) LPFM applications, the FCC has allowed applicants to make minor changes that involve physical moves of less than 5.6 kilometers and changes in channel to the first, second or third adjacent as well as the intermediate frequency channels (10.6/10.8 MHz) as well as dismissals triggered by both application discrepencies as well as at the request of the applicants, the number of active MX groups, as tracked by REC has reduced from 417 to 316. The largest MX group, the Los Angeles 101.5 MegaGroup has reduced from 32 to 27 applicants. Of those, two of those applicants have been dismissed and are currently in the 30-day reconsideration period. The second largest MX group, the Orlando MegaGroup has reduced from 17 to 14 applicants including one that managed to find a bail-out channel and has been granted. Three MX groups in Connecticut, New York and Puerto Rico have been split into two groups due to other MX applicants making moves or getting dismissed.
REC Networks also posted a helpful list of all of the current MX groups, so that applicants can clearly see who is still in competition with whom. You can view those groups by state on the REC Networks website.
NFCB to Offer LPFM Intensive on May 28th
Just a reminder that this year’s NFCB conference will feature a pre-conference all-day LPFM Intensive workshop on Wednesday, May 28th from 9am to 5pm at the event in Reston, Virginia. The event is free for registered NFCB conference attendees and will be led by Station Start Up Specialist Donna Di Bianco and by Sabrina Roach of Brown Paper Tickets.