The undersigned organizations ask that you co-sponsor H.R. 2802 (Doyle, D-PA and Terry, R-NE), the Local Community Radio Act of 2007. This bi-partisan legislation would authorize the Federal Communications Commission to license hundreds - if not thousands - of new Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations in cities, towns and suburbs across the country.
LPFM stations are community-based, noncommercial radio stations that operate at 100 watts or less, broadcasting within a 3-5 mile radius. These stations offer local news, information, emergency services and entertainment that are specifically tailored to urban neighborhoods and to small towns.
As a uniquely local outlet, LPFM stations directly serve their communities:
. LPFM licenses are granted to high schools, labor unions, non-profits, civic organizations and churches that understand the needs of their local communities.
. LPFM stations give local politicians, church and civil rights leaders a forum to discuss local issues.
. LPFM stations provide essential emergency services for local communities during times of crisis.
LPFM stations also help increase the diversity of voices on our airwaves, sorely needed in today's radio marketplace. According to a new study, minorities own just 7.7 percent of all full-power AM and FM stations yet make up 33 percent of the U.S. population. Women make up 51 percent of the U.S. population but own just 6 percent of all radio stations. While creating more LPFM stations won't address all our needs for more media diversity, doing so is a positive step that will give more women and minorities an opportunity to get on the air.
In 2003, the FCC released a Congressionally mandated study, which unequivocally found that increasing the number of LPFM stations would not cause interference with full power FM radio stations. This study refutes claims made by the National Association of Broadcasters, who successfully convinced Congress to limit the number of available LPFM stations in 2000.
With evidence proving that LPFM stations can co-exist with full power stations, the FCC recommended that Congress give the agency the authorization to increase the number of stations available.
The diverse organizations signed below believe H.R. 2802 deserves the support of all members of Congress who support localism, variety and diversity on the radio. We respectfully ask that you add your name as a co-sponsor. Please contact the office of Congressman Doyle to add your name to H.R. 2802.
Prometheus Radio Project
Center for Digital Democracy
Consumer Federation of America
Future of Music Coalition
Media Access Project
Communication Commission of the National Council of Churches USA
New America Foundation
Office of Communications, United Church of Christ
U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S.PIRG)