A Low-Power FM filing window will begin in October, and FCC Commissioners Mignon Clyburn, Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai have all released statements applauding the impending creation of new stations.
Acting Chairwoman Clyburn wrote, "This is a very exciting moment. We are poised for a dramatic and historic explosion of diverse local voices on the radio band. I, for one, can't wait! Once again I extend special thanks to Congressman Michael Doyle and Congressman LeeTerry, as well as to Senator Maria Cantwell and Senator John McCain, the sponsors of the Local Community Radio Act of 2010. Without their leadership today's report and the nearing LPFM window would not be possible." She added, "I am hopeful that our implementation of the LCRA and adoption of various service, selection, and eligibility rule changes will result in the licensing of many hundreds of stations deeply rooted in their communities. In this regard I am most excited about two particular aspects of this window. The first is rule change designed to spur an increase in the origination of local programming content-- the gold standard for broadcasting. The second is the impact of those technical changes that will make FM frequencies available for the first time to nonprofit groups in most major metropolitan areas. I believe that the sustainability of the LPFM service is directly tied to its ability to attract listeners in our urban centers. Prospects appear good. These stations will be able to achieve significant coverage of densely populated neighborhoods. Moreover our great cities are teeming with extraordinary diversity. Most of these diverse groups, however, have no voice at all in the current media landscape. Providing an opportunity for ethnically and culturally diverse people to share their experiences and aspirations will enrich us all and strengthen our common bonds."
Rosenworcel said that since the passage of the Local Radio Community Act, "the Commission has been busy. We have readied our processes, managed an earlier influx of translator applications, and balanced the need to protect full power stations while providing opportunities for new low power applicants. The Media Bureau deserves tremendous credit for its thoughtful work on low power FM to date. Now, however, is showtime. We open the window for new filings for low power FM stations just days from today. So I hope our applicants show us in force how low power FM can become a more vibrant part of community broadcasting, a source of new content, a driver of new music, a platform for unique local news. We can add real diversity to the FM dial. We can make that voice that rises in the air even more local and more interesting. I, for one, can't wait."
Pai added, "I thank Peter Doyle and his terrific team in the Audio Division for all of their hard work. Because of their efforts, I am optimistic that we will have a successful LPFM filing window that will enhance diversity and localism on the FM band. I encourage community organizations across the country to take advantage of this opportunity and look forward to hearing the programming they will produce in the years to come."