FCC's Pai Sets October For Action On AM Revitalization
May 6, 2014 at 3:58 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner AJIT PAI set OCTOBER as the target for getting the Commission's AM Revitalization plan done MONDAY (5/6) in a speech to the PENNSYLVANIA ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS in HERSHEY, PA. PAI said of AM that "time isn't on the side of this grand old band, so let’s commit ourselves to getting this done by HALLOWEEN."
"Our proposals will not be a panacea for the real problems confronting AM broadcasters," PAI admitted, "but they will help," citing the window for AM stations to apply for FM translators. Ha added that he plans "to hold a series of meetings with stakeholders to discuss these proposals ... It’s not too late to tell us what you think."
PAI also reiterated his desire to "modernize" ownership rules, beginning with eliminating newspaper-radio cross-ownership prohibitions ("this rule is almost as old as I am -- and
almost as decrepit"). But he sounded a mostly pessimistic note, saying, "The FCC’s media
ownership order, passed on a party-line vote in MARCH, kicked the can of reform down the road yet again, except for outlawing pro-competitive joint sales agreements, where the FCC arbitrarily sprung into action."
In the speech, PAI noted that "the FCC needs to do a better job of making it clear that we appreciate the benefits of broadcasters’ one-to-many architecture," citing its efficiency and emergency use. He also said that "the Commission needs to ensure that television broadcasters are treated fairly in the upcoming spectrum incentive auction" with the rules promulgated at MAY 15th's meeting.