- December 26, 2018 at 11:56 am #108116
Total posts : 29
OK, here’s the scoop.
I am quite concerned with the status of one WPKN, located in Bridgeport CT (89.5 FM). I don’t believe that they have fulfilled the “public interest” part of their license….rather, I think they have flagrantly violated that provision. First of all, the station won’t even pick up the phone for those who disagree with their left-wing viewpoints.
A few months ago, I looked into the possibility of getting a show on WPKN. I reasoned that I could do a music show, as long as politics was stayed away from. I e-mailed the GM of the station multiple times, and also called the station many times, regarding this. I never received a response of any kind. I believe that this was because I am known by the station to be a conservative (a subsequent discussion with one of the station’s programmers pretty much confirmed this).
Now, WPKN has the right to grant or deny airtime as they choose….but I don’t think it’s right for them to shut down possible shows based on the host’s politics alone. What’s worse, there’s no other outlet in this area for public-produced shows. How is that supposed to be “in the public interest”? And don’t even ask me about how they have compared a certain national political leader to Adolf Hitler. Whether you agree with that point of view or not, you can’t encourage violence (“imminent lawless action”) against somebody by means of the airwaves, which is what they often do. That’s not “free speech”, it’s “hate speech”.
Here’s the complicated part. WPKN’s license doesn’t come up for renewal until 2022….at which point, I plan to mount a challenge to the renewal. However, until then, listeners may have to put up with this crap….which begs the question, is there any kind of action, legal or otherwise, I can take against the station? I’m sure the FCC would be interested in what’s going on….but can they really do anything, or do I just have to wait, and tolerate this junk? Not happy. 🙁
- This topic was modified 3 weeks ago by FairBol.
- December 26, 2018 at 1:43 pm #108122
Total posts : 49
Have you asked them to include your requests in the public file?
Next would be a registered letter asking to inspect and copy the public file during business hours. Failure to allow this is a major issue and will cause a license issue for them.
BTW, They are normally on-line, however WPKN has not met the March 1, 2018 deadline to put theirs on-line.
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by spareparts.
- December 26, 2018 at 1:52 pm #108127
FairBol, you are being UnfairBol.
Most of the stations today are rightwing hate, and provide no time for alternate views.
Fairness would therefore allow a station you consider to be leftwing to ignore the right.
Plus, you contradict yourself. You said your proposed show would stay away from politics, but your reason for discontent about not getting the airtime is wholly political.
It’s also possible the station has no openings.
- December 26, 2018 at 2:02 pm #108131
Total posts : 49
If you want to see a non-commercial station that really has jumped the shark, look at WBAI in NYC (they are non-comm right in the middle of the band)
Between their hawking pseudo–scientific cures and offering revisionist history about minorities in America, you have to wonder how they ended up this way.
They used to be a serious and respected station. Now, not so much….
- This reply was modified 3 weeks ago by spareparts.
- December 26, 2018 at 2:16 pm #108134
- December 26, 2018 at 2:20 pm #108136
Even At That
At the same time I am a FairBol fan! Seriously.
Having gotten to know you at ALPB meetings and reading your excellent news write-up, I would certainly have you on a station of mine if you did talk radio (KDX does not do music).
At one time you were talking about running for chairman of the ALPB and I was set to vote for you.
- December 26, 2018 at 3:54 pm #108140
Total posts : 344
I suspect what is in the ‘public interest’ from one person’s point of view may not be in another’s. Regardless of what side of the political fence you’re on.
It’s called free speech. And freedom of opinion. Getting ALL points of view ‘out there’, and ALL the facts, is truly in the public interest. Not just one or the other.
I’m not even sure what revisionist minority history is. But please don’t enlighten me, at least not on this Forum, which is supposed to be non political.
If someone doesn’t like what one radio station is broadcasting, then contact them and attempt to change it. If that doesn’t work, then you always have the option of going elsewhere or doing it yourself if it bothers you that much. There’s Part 15 broadcasting, a subject near and dear to my heart, Internet streaming, and there’s always the option to buy a defunct radio station (there appear to be more and more of those these days, particularly on AM).
- December 29, 2018 at 5:55 am #108191
Total posts : 499
Sure. There are things you can do.
You can write a letter to the station preferably with a professional tone and attitude and leaving out any sort of emotional ranting with your thoughts on their programming.
You can file a complaint with the FCC.
The station might read it, and likely not change anything. The FCC will put it in a file and forget about it.
The FCC is not concerned with programming and content. First of all, you have that pesky “free speech” thing. And unless they are actually asking listeners to take up arms and begin firing rounds at opponents of their views, they’re not inciting anything. Decades ago the FCC stepped out of the content monitoring business, and rightly so I believe. They let the “market” handle that. If a station is awful enough — and in this case you believe their politics are awful enough — they believe the market won’t support them. If you don’t have listeners, you can sell advertising, and hence you can’t stay on the air. So it becomes self-policing. If the station continues to succeed then there are listeners who are perfectly happy with their programming.
Especially in the case of a station such as this — one that is largely supported by listeners cash donations. Not only do they listen, but they will mail in checks to support the programming they prefer. If they are like typical non-com stations their revenues are roughly generated in thirds, divided among listener contributions, underwriting/sponsorships paid for by businesses, and funding from various public and tax dollar supported programs. Their website indicates that they have plenty of support from business. Your theory that listeners are being forced to listen to this “crap” is wrong. They’re not only listening, but many are paying for the privilege. And Radio Locator indicates 69 stations can be listened to in the market — listeners have plenty of other choices, should they disagree with their politics or programming. People tend to listen to stations that reenforce their existing beliefs. Rarely does someone listen to a station, a program, etc that opposes their view points because they want to learn about what the other side has to say. Unless it’s to work up their own response to the other sides point of view.
No station is required to provide all sides of any topic, political or otherwise. If you don’t care for their politics, don’t listen. No “public interest” rule forces opposing viewpoints and this will never change.
I note that their website indicates (as most non-com stations) that they are seeking volunteers. But they have NO openings for volunteer programmers, DJ’s, show hosts, etc. They probably have one file cabinet bursting forth with letters, resumes, and contacts from thousands who want to be on the air. And most of those have their own politics or music preferences that they want to foist upon the public.
You want a foot in the door volunteer to do whatever they need. Be it mailing out donation letters, sweeping the floor, cleaning the bathrooms or mowing the lawn. It will get you known around the joint and get your foot in the door. Shut up about your politics and see where it leads you.
Judging from this stations long history in the community they would have zero problem showing they operate in the “public interest”. The fact that the public sends them checks proves that. The “public interest” does not require equal billing for all sides. Then “Fairness Doctrine” was tossed out years ago.
It’s sort of like demanding that a rap format station play occasional country songs as it’s not serving the public to force them to listen to rap all day. Just tune in another station.
It does come off to me that you’re not in favor of their politics and would like them to favor your way of thinking a bit. I can assure you those on the opposite would like the other stations and hosts to come around to THEIR way of thinking occasionally as well. It seems your actual motivation is altering their politics rather than a music show. Other than mentioning a music show your entire post talks about your opposition to their politics.
I really doubt that they are shutting down your music show idea soley based on your politics. They’re shutting it down because they have no openings and are likely flooded with people with show ideas.
Forget the politics, get your foot in the door and see where it leads you.
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