Adelstein Talks About HD, Localism In Austin
September 19, 2008 at 6:51 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner JONATHAN ADELSTEIN rattled off a list of his biggest concerns about radio before a breakfast crowd at the NAB RADIO SHOW in AUSTIN, saying that the top items on his agenda are HD RADIO ("the future of radio is going to be on HD"), AM stations on FM translators ("We hope to get that done next week"), ownership diversity ("We've got to do more to make AMERICA's airwaves sound like [how] AMERICA looks"), and radio tuners in cellphones.
Interviewed by COMMONWEALTH BROADCASTING's STEVE NEWBERRY, ADELSTEIN voiced concern that the FCC does not have legal authority to mandate that all satellite radio receivers carry an HD RADIO chip, "It's an interesting idea; the question is, do we have the authority?," ADELSTEIN asked. He said that if the Commission does have the authority, he would be "very open to it. I'd like to see HD RADIO go forward."
ADELSTEIN said that he did not expect the localism initiative to be acted upon before the end of the year. "The issue is of central importance to the future of radio," he said. "Localism is the heart of what radio does." Explaining what he wants from radio regarding localism, he complained that a local AUSTIN station played FAITH HILL's "This Kiss" but not local music, and lauded a station for talking about local football on its morning show. But he said that mandating a percentage of local music would be "tough" and raises First Amendment issues.