Tampa LPFM Strikes Back At Beasley FCC Complaint
August 26, 2015 at 3:14 PM (PT)
HISPANIC ARTS OF TAMPA low-power WVVF-LP (VIVA FM)/TOWN 'N' COUNTRY, FL's response to BEASLEY MEDIA GROUP's compliant that the LPFM is too commercial-style and competes with one of its full-power stations, Spanish Hits WYUU (92.5 MAXIMA FM)/TAMPA, blasts the BEASLEY filing for citing "no law or Commission precedent" for its request that the station suspend operations until its promised educational and news programming are on the air, and calls BEASLEY's allegations "wholly unsupported."
BEASLEY had complained that the station had promised a list of programming features including live poetry and short story reading, a local history show, and other offerings, and had not yet aired such shows; it also pointed to a media kit that mentioned a 35-64 age target and did not mention the station's noncommercial status or educational programming.
Noting that its station is "brand new" and on a very small budget, HISPANIC ARTS responded that "Such positioning and branding of a non-commercial station violate no FCC rule or policy. As a matter of fact, good positioning and branding are essential to a station, whether commercial or non-commercial, to succeed in a market, such as Tampa, where there are some 69 AM and FM stations available ... When asked what audience the station was attempting to reach, HAT clearly stated that it sought to attract Latinos between the ages of 35 and 64. This is merely an intelligent response to the question, 'who do you intend to serve?' Any radio station which isn’t sure of the composition of its intended audience is flirting with failure. BMG cites no FCC regulation, policy or case law to substantiate its claims that any of these behaviors are prohibited."
Adding that BMG seeks to have the FCC "throw WVVF-LP off the air" until the programming is on the air, HISPANIC ARTS says that it never pledged to have all of the promised programming on the air on the first day of operation. "If BMG were to prevail in its quest to silence WVVF-LP," HISPANIC ARTS warns, "it is conceivable that every low-power FM station in the country would be subjected to the same, draconian fate. This was never the intent of Congress." The response terms BEASLEY's filing an "abuse of the Commission's processes" generating "unnecessary" legal expenses draining funds that could be used for programming.
LOW POWER ADVOCACY GROUP (LPFM-AG) Exec. Dir. DAVE SOLOMON hailed HISPANIC ARTS' reply as "historic" and "an important day in local radio history."