From the Editor

SBE Annual July Picnic

Our annual chapter picnic was another summer success.  Everyone agreed the spacious KOMO-AM transmitter campus was great and the weather was as good as it gets.  While not everybody signed the official attendance roster, the cook estimated he barbequed enough burgers and hot dogs to feed fifty people.  A heartfelt thanks to Lee Woods and the folks at at Fisher Broadcast and for making the facility available.  Thank you as well Shannon Nichols and staff from BSW for sponsoring this year’s event with generous prizes and wonderful food.

National Budget May Claim TV Spectrum

While we were focused on our summer picnic and tending to our engineering responsibilities, congress was embroiled in debate over the national budget.  Few people noticed a revenue proposal to change our broadcast spectrum forever.  At this time, the proposed spectrum auctions to raise revenue for the national budget have been tabled, but the issue is not dead yet and could resurface later.

An NAB analysis of FCC spectrum plans has predicted dire consequences for many broadcasters should it be approved by congress.  The national plan would involve reassignments to make room for the FCC’s National Broadband Plan and the NAB paints a bleak picture with a minimum of 200 local television stations going dark and many others would have to change channels.

“If the FCC’s National Broadband Plan to recapture 20 more TV channels is implemented, service disruption, confusion and inconvenience for local television viewers will make the 2009 DTV transition seem like child’s play,” Gordon Smith, NAB president and CEO, is quoted as saying in a press release announcing the analysis.

FCC Eyes LPFM Window

The FCC is moving ahead with the Local Community Radio Act which will license new LPFM and move LPFM applications ahead of FM translator applications.  The commission says a market based approach would lift the freeze on processing FM translator applications and allow new applications to be filed in rural markets where spectrum available.  The FCC says the cap won’t really preserve spectrum for LPFMs in the largest markets and has proposed dropping that approach in favor of a translator processing policy based on the availability of spectrum for LPFMs in specific markets.  The FCC is also looking for comment on ways to prevent trafficking on FM translator construction permits and whether to expand opportunities for AM stations to re-broadcast their signals on FM translators.

EAS CAP Deadline Approaches

The WSAB along with other State Broadcast Associations are joining with the National Association of Broadcasters in asking for another extension of time for installation of CAP capable EAS equipment.  The original March 29 deadline was extended to September 30, but that deadline is being hampered by the delay in the equipment certification process and the ability of equipment manufacturers to deliver for installation by the September date.  There is also the question of local and state EAS message originators ability to generate the new CAP emergency messages.

The State Associations and the NAB are requesting a 180 day extension, but some religious broadcasters are asking for a one year delay.  The religious broadcasters are saying the deadline is especially burdensome during the financially difficult time when donations are down substantially.


Jim Dalke W7PB