from Free Radio Berkeley

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 7

Contact: Stephen Dunifer  (510) 549-0732
   Sue Supriano (510) 540-8850
  Paul Griffin (510) 848-1455

Corporate Broadcast Associations Targeted by Micropower Broadcasters as Impetus for Current FCC Crackdown on Free Speech

12 Noon: July 13, 1988 - Free Speech Demonstrations at State Level Broadcast Associations and Affiliate Broadcast Stations in Oakland, California;  Portland, Oregon;  Eugene, Oregon and other US cities.

California Association of Broadcasters President’s Office, KTVU, 2
Jack London Square, Oakland CA

Portland Area Radio Council Member, Entercom
radio group, 888 SW 5th Ave, Portland, OR

In ever increasing numbers, communities across the width and breadth of the United States are taking back a small portion of the broadcast airwaves, a public resource stolen from them by the corporate broadcast media.  Inspired by the initial efforts of Black Liberation Radio and Free
Radio Berkeley, these communities are empowering themselves with unlicensed low power FM broadcast stations costing less than $2000. Unable to afford a regulatory process that currently prohibits stations with less than 100 watts of power, these communities have taken direct
action rather than engage in a futile endeavor.

Although this movement has been steadily growing for over 5 years, only within the last year or so did it achieve threat status on the radar screens of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).  With all the political muscle and clout that accompanies being one of the most successful lobbying organizations inside the Beltway, the NAB put the squeeze on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to eliminate every micropower broadcaster they could find.  These stepped up enforcement actions within the last year have, in some cases, employed extremely heavy-handed police-state tactics.  Lonnie Kobres, of Tampa, Florida is now facing 14 criminal counts of broadcasting without a license and will be sentenced on July 14, 1998.

To counter this attack on the Free Speech rights of micropower broadcasters by the NAB and the FCC, Free Radio Berkeley and other member of the micropower broadcasting community have decided to target the NAB and its related state broadcast associations.  As an act of support for
Lonnie Kobres, demonstrations will take place on Monday, July 13 in several west coast cities and other parts of the United States.  State broadcast association offices or affiliated broadcast stations are the focus of these Free Speech actions.  Future actions will take place at locations selected by state broadcast associations for their annual conventions, including the NAB Radio Conference set for October 14th in Seattle.

Stephen Dunifer, Free Radio Berkeley founder, stated: “This is the beginning of a stepped-up national campaign to take back the airwaves and expose the corporate broadcasters for the greedy, mendacious, self-serving enemies of Free Speech that they are. At their behest, the FCC has created
an overly burdensome regulatory structure that allows only the rich and well endowed to have a voice.  For sixty-four years they have been allowed by the FCC to reap an obscenely enormous profit from a public resource, giving the public nothing but paltry crumbs in return. The corporate
stranglehold on the free flow of news, information, ideas, artistic and cultural expression must be broken.  Democracy is not possible without Free Speech and equal access to the means of communication.”


Note: I will be posting in a separate post about twenty state broadcast associations and important dates such as conventions.  For folks in CA, the California Association of Broadcasters is holding their annual convention in Monterey on July 25-27.  Plans are being made for this.

Here are the convention dates:

Texas Association of Broadcasters - Dallas - Sept 2-4

Oklahoma Assoc. of Broadcasters - Shangri-La Resort, Grand Lake - July 17-18

Illinois Broadcasters Assoc. - Eagle Ridge Resort, Galena - Sept 13-15

Maine Assoc. of Broadcasters - Holiday Inn by the Bay, Portland  - Sept 25-27

Michigan Assoc. of Broadcasters - Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire - July 24-25

North Dakota Assoc. of Broadcasters - Fargo - Sept 24-25

West Virginia Broadcasters Assoc. - Greenbrier Inn, White Sulphur Springs
- August 20-22