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College Radio Watch: CBI Settlement with SoundExchange, Baltimore LPFM News, and More

We reported on a bunch of college radio news throughout the week, including the College Broadcasters Inc. (CBI) settlement with SoundExchange over royalty rates and reporting requirements for college radio stations that webcast. After digging into the SoundExchange-CBI Joint Motion, I have a few more details to report on this agreement for 2016-2020.

Student webcasters that do not exceed 159,140 aggregate tuning hours (ATH) for one channel or station in one calendar month will be eligible to pay an annual minimum fee of $500 for royalties. The proposed settlement also allows for non-commercial educational webcasters to pay a $100 proxy fee rather than chronicling detailed reports to SoundExchange. The Joint Motion states,

…a Noncommercial Educational Webcaster that did not exceed 80,000 total ATH [aggregate tuning hours] for any individual channel or station for more than one calendar month in the immediately preceding calendar year and that does not expect to exceed 80,000 total ATH for any individual channel or station for any calendar month during the applicable calendar year may elect to pay to the Collective a nonrefundable, annual Proxy Fee of $100 in lieu of providing reports of use…”

In this new agreement, more stations will be eligible for the proxy fee, as it was previously only available to stations that did not exceed 55,000 total ATH.

Spinning Indie Radio Station Field Trips Come to Radio Survivor

Also this week, I shared my Spinning Indie radio station field trip to University of Pennsylvania student radio station WQHS with Radio Survivor readers. I hope to repost my radio station field trips on Radio Survivor going forward, so stay tuned as I have plenty of college radio station reports coming up. At this point I’ve visited more than 60 radio stations all over the country and through that experience I’ve developed an even deeper appreciation for college radio culture and history.

Radio Survivor Partners with Library of Congress’ Radio Preservation Task Force

I’m extremely excited to be a new member of the Library of Congress’ Radio Preservation Task Force. As a Research Associate on the Task Force, I hope to bring more attention to college radio history. Additionally, Radio Survivor is an official online partner with the Radio Preservation Task Force and we will be sharing updates about this important work. I’m helping to sleuth out radio archives in the San Francisco Bay Area, so if you are aware of any collections, please let me know. Additionally, I’m trying to compile a list of college radio-specific archives and collections from all over the country.

Jones College Sells Radio Stations to Religious Broadcaster EMF

And finally, Jones College just sold its two radio stations in Jacksonville, Florida to the Educational Media Foundation (EMF). In recent years the stations did not appear to be student-oriented endeavors. Programming has focused on easy listening and adult contemporary music, but will now shift to syndicated religious programming after EMF takes over.

Loyola University Maryland Files Petition to Deny against Competing LPFM Applicants in Baltimore

In the Baltimore, Maryland area, two college radio stations, at Johns Hopkins University and Loyola University Maryland, are vying for a new low power FM license. When the FCC released a list of mutually exclusive applicants in Baltimore, Loyola University was docked a diversity of ownership point because one of the school’s Board members held interest in a commercial radio station. Due to this point deduction, Loyola would appear to be out of the running for the license. In a recently filed Petition to Deny, Loyola argues that it should not have lost the diversity of ownership point because it stated in its application that the Board member in question would recuse herself from any decisions related to the new LPFM station. Loyola’s Petition to Deny states,

In order to be eligible for the Diversity of Ownership point, an applicant must certify that ‘neither it nor any party to the application holds an attributable interest in any other broadcast station.’ Loyola certified that it was qualified for the Diversity of Ownership based on its own lack of ownership interests in other broadcast stations and on the recusal of Ms. Juras from any matters affecting the LPFM station for which it applied…such a recusal makes an otherwise attributable interest non-attributable ‘for the purposes of an LPFM station application.'”
In its Petition to Deny, Loyola also argues that Johns Hopkins was erroneously awarded a diversity of ownership point. According to Loyola’s Petition to Deny, Johns Hopkins did not state that it was qualified for diversity point in its initial application. Johns Hopkins amended its application in February 2014, requesting the diversity point. The Petition to Deny states,

Both the Commission’s Rules and the Instructions clearly prohibit an applicant from amending its application after the closing of the LPFM window to upgrade the comparative position of the application by increasing the total number of points claimed.”
Because of that, Loyola argues that Johns Hopkins “should not have been selected as a tentative selectee.”

While I’m happy to see so many college radio LPFM applicants, it’s unfortunate when two college stations have to battle it out for a frequency. I look forward to seeing how the situation in Baltimore is resolved.

To keep up to date on college radio news, read College Radio Watch every Friday.


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