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LPFM Watch: Hispanic Arts of Tampa Responds to Complaint Filed Against its LPFM + More News

A few weeks ago we reported on complaints being made by a commercial radio group against Tampa, Florida-area low power FM (LPFM) station WVVF-LP in reference to its choice in programming. The Beasley Media Group (BMG), which operates a 50,000 watt commercial radio station in the area (WYUU), argued that Hispanic Arts of Tampa (WVVF) is airing programming that is a departure from what was promised in its application, is using branding which is similar to Spanish commercial stations, and is promoting itself as an “alternative” to local commercial stations.

WVVF responded to the FCC, asking for the complaint to be dismissed. In its letter, WVVF writes,

It cannot be emphasized enough that WVVF-LP is a start-up, non-commercial, low power FM station on a shoe-string budget trying to carve out a niche in a tiny corner of a major radio market. The station is just starting out and has been on the air for approximately one month. Certainly, all of the promised programming elements are not offered, yet.”

Additionally, WVVF points out that it seems strange that a commercial radio group with a 50,000 watt station would even be worried about a small, 100 watt LPFM station, saying,

WVVF-LP is not some scratchy, unprofessional, hobby radio station as BMG probably hoped it would be. WVVF-LP is seriously trying, very hard, to engage the local Latino community in making this LP station a community success. Engaged communities do not happen, overnight. It just doesn’t make logical sense that a “blow-torch” radio station such as WYUU, owned by a major, publicly-traded media corporation, would be concerned about a tiny little low-power FM station. Nevertheless, BMG solicits the FCC’s assistance in silencing WVVF-LP because BMG is worried that, if WVVF-LP is successful in its on-going community radio station project, it could do some damage to WYUU’s ratings. HAT struggles to find a better example of an abuse of the Commission’s processes.”

Further, WVVF states that BMG, through its complaint to the FCC, “seeks to eliminate competition” and is asking the FCC to dismiss the complaint, arguing that, “BMG has, with full intent, attempted to manipulate the Commission’s processes to gain the benefit of eliminating competition and draining the limited resources of a competitor through the filing of its baseless Complaint.”

New LPFM in New Orleans Focusing on AIDS information

The Progressive wrote a really nice feature about New Orleans-based LPFM WHIV-LP this week. The station has been on the air since December, 2014. One program on the station, Proof Positive, is a talk show all about HIV. According to the piece, “Proof Positive… touches on issues ranging from AIDS in Africa, to HIV in the trans community, to the Affordable Care Act’s impact on treatment for Louisianans.” The hope is that the station, and even its call letters, will help to de-stigmatize HIV.

LPFM Fundraisers at WXNA and WXOX

Many LPFMs are in the thick of fundraising in order to generate enough money so that they can begin broadcasting terrestrially. A few Kickstarters caught our eye this week, including campaigns from WXNA in Nashville, Tennessee and ARTxFM (aka WXOX) in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Nashville Scene reported on WXNA’s Kickstarter efforts, saying,

A group of former WRVU DJs and friends were recently granted a low-power FM license and construction permit. And earlier this month, the group launched a Kickstarter campaign to turn its ambitious plans into a reality. WXNA has already raised nearly $30,000 toward its $50,000 goal. To attract even more support, the campaign has added some way-cool new rewards, including letterpress posters from Hatch Show Print and hand-picked LPs from Infinity Cat Records. Music lovers would do well to visit the Kickstarter page and watch the entertaining testimonial videos. The campaign runs through Sept. 9.”

Another station with connections to WRVU, WXOX in Louisville, Kentucky, is speeding towards its FM launch and is running a Crowdrise campaign in the hopes of reaching its $50,000 goal. Interestingly, various members of the station have their own fundraising goals, which can be seen on the Crowdrise page.

LPFM Watch is a weekly feature on Radio Survivor appearing every Thursday.

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