Pittsburgh Pirate Tagged Out
Forget about Newt. The US Attorneys office in Pittsburgh late
announced the shutdown of a Pirate station. Not one broadcasting the
city's baseball team (that would be KDKA), but one broadcasting from
Cobden Street on the city's South Side. The station was actually silenced
October 28th. Why the delay announcing the raid isn't revealed.
According to the news release, the station was broadcasting on 91.7.
heard it. The format was techno/industrial. The US Attorney and the FCC
allege that in May, June and September of 1998 FCC agents determined that
the amount of power far exceeded that allowed by the FCC for unlicensed
low power FM stations. The broadcast signal measured in microvolts was
recently measured at more than 100 times permissable power levels.
The news releases goes on to say that the FCC attempted to gain the
voluntary compliance of alleged operator Mark Lange. On May 20, 1998 an
FCC agent allegedly met with Lange, and warned that broadcasting without a
license is against the law and that sanctions could be imposed if he
continued with the illegal broadcasts. Lange agreed to cease his
unlicensed broadcasting. The governmentese states he "refused to reduce
his agreement to writing." That probably means he refused to sign a cease
and desist order.
Lange apparently has a date in court, and faces forfeiture of his
Quoting from the release, "Unlicensed broadcasting threatens the integrity
of the regulatory structure established in the (Communications) Act to
prevent interference and confusion in the radio spectrum. Illegal
broadcasts may potentially interfere with licensed radio broadcasts and
The Pittsburgh Pirate was in the upper portion of the education band,
which is already shared by public stations WQED, WDUQ, and WYEP... and
student-run WRCT and WPTS. The market also has the normal assortment of
CBS, Chancellor, Jacor, Salem, and locally-owned commercial stations.
Employee of a licensed station