Monday, December 17, 2007

More on WAMC's war against North Country Public Radio

A followup to my earlier essay on the WAMC-North Country Public Radio conflict.

NCPR has page on the dispute. I could not find a similar page on WAMC's site offering its point of view.

NCPR points out that it's not against healthy competition. Some of its coverage area overlaps with that of both WAMC and Vermont Public Radio.

North Country Public Radio broadcasts in many places where other public radio stations are heard, such as Plattsburgh and Glens Falls. We have no problem with this friendly competition; we believe it is good for communities to have public radio choices. However, WAMC's application threatens our ability to continue our service in a core community of the Adirondacks. We did not complain when WAMC signed on in Plattsburgh years after our transmitter was on the air in that community. And, we would NEVER apply for a frequency already occupied by another public radio station-it goes totally against the mission and spirit of public media.

And added that it actually offered a cooperation with WAMC, that the Albany station flat out rejected.

We attempted to negotiate with WAMC to resolve this to both stations' advantage. In return for withdrawing their application, we offered WAMC our translator facility, moved to a different frequency. This would allow WAMC to get on the air in Lake Placid quickly and with minimal expense to the station's listeners. WAMC has unequivocally rejected this offer. WAMC had no reciprocal offer for NCPR.

4 comments:

Mark said...

Heh, your blog entry is linked on the NCPR link you provided.

A Social Skidmark said...

I'm kinda out of the coverage area, but it seems like the station in Albany is after all the NPR stations in that area not just that one station.
ttyl
Kier

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WAMC#External_links

:)

G.M.Heller said...

Call me crazy, but do you really think FCC would grant WAMC's (or the religious broadcaster's) competing full-power application over NCPR's full-power application?
I doubt it.
Not least because it would cause irreparable harm to the legacy broadcaster -- NCPR -- which already inhabits the frequency (albeit with a translator).
This doesn't mean NCPR won't have to go through all the motions, the paperwork, the presentations, a possible hearing, and of course, a bankroll in legal fees.
It will.
It does means, though, that when it's all over, all things being equal, NCPR will likely end up with the full-power license while WAMC and the religious broadcaster will likely drop their respective applications in exchange for something of equivalent value.
There may even be need to call upon Congressman John McHugh (Republican) to have a long talk with Congressmen Maurice Hinchey and Michael McNulty (both Democrats - Hinchey is also a WAMC Trustee).
Remember, this is all just business -- the quest for listeners' ears, their votes, their wallets, and the underwriters that cater to those wallets.
This has nothing to do with public radio, and everything to do with cash flow and power.
G.M. Heller is editor of:
WAMC Northeast PIRATE Network -
WAMC.net
and WAMC PIRATES' Blog - WAMCNET.blogspot.com