Martin: Address Localism Issues Before FCC Acts
September 18, 2008 at 6:14 AM (PT)
FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN told a breakfast audience at the NAB RADIO SHOW in AUSTIN THURSDAY morning that broadcasters should be thinking about "what kind of safe harbor code of conduct (they can) come up with to address" the Commission's concerns about localism. MARTIN told interviewer RUSS WITHERS that there are "legitimate concerns" about localism in broadcasting, such as whether stations have sufficient personnel on hand at all times for emergencies and whether voicetracking by hosts not in the market is sufficiently identified. But MARTIN stressed that the industry should be looking to create a code to address the issues before the Commission has to enact regulation to that effect.
...the industry should be looking to create a code to address the issues before the Commission has to enact regulation to that effect.
On addresssing AM radio's technological challenges, MARTIN voiced his preference for concentrating on digital option, saying "you see the most dramatic changes when moving from analog to digital on the AM side." When WITHERS brought up the proposal to require satellite radio receivers to carry HD RADIO chips, MARTIN said he preferred a symmetrical situation under which not only would satellite radios have an HD chip but HD radios and others would carry satellite capability as well. WITHERS said that he would make that tradeoff because in the competition, "we (terrestrial radio) will win."
MARTIN also took the occasion to laud local broadcasters for service during Hurricane IKE. He said that stations "did an incredible job of trying to get back their service" after the storm, and called broadcast radio a "critical component of emergency response."