NAB Comments In FCC LPFM Proceeding Focus On Protecting Minority, Niche Stations
June 24, 2011 at 2:39 PM (PT)
The NAB's comments in the FCC's low-power FM proceeding and the Local Community Radio Act of 2010 indicate that the organization agrees with "many of the Bureau's preliminary conclusions" but stresses the need to consider the impact on full-power stations serving minority and niche audiences. "Those stations," writes the NAB, "are most likely the ones that will face competition for listeners and revenues from the LPFM stations that the Act will now permit to be licensed in urban areas; they also are the most economically vulnerable to a loss of audience or advertising."
Attached to the comments is a study by BIA/KELSEY's Dr. MARK FRATRIK examining minority and niche radio services, including Asian-language, Bluegrass, Ethnic and "International," Smooth Jazz, and Foreign-Language stations. "(C)ommercial stations with formats aimed at limited populations are very challenged competitively and financially," writes FRATRIK. "For those stations located in designated radio markets, the revenues they earn are very low. For niche stations located outside of designated radio markets, the populations being served by these stations are very limited. Consequently, any reduction in their audiences could lead to a noticeable revenue loss, jeopardizing at the least these stations’ continued ability to offer such non-mainstream programming and even their financial viability."