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NPR and Channel 6 Myth vs. Reality
Tuesday, January 18th


Myth: Channel 6 LPTV stations cause interference to non-commercial/educational FM (NCE FM) radio stations like NPR.

Reality: NPR provides zero evidence to substantiate these allegations of interference, except a letter from a person named “Therese” who never signed their last name.  Therese complains that Colorado Public Radio was suffering interference from “another station that sounded like a talk show and advertising of some casino” Even if we take this “evidence” at face value, Therese never claimed that an LPTV station was the cause of the interference.

Channel 6 LPTV causes no interference to NCE FM. On the contrary, NCE FM broadcasters like NPR have interfered with television reception for decades. Retailers like Radio Shack have done a booming business selling FM traps to television viewers wishing to block NCE FM interference to their television reception.

Myth: Channel 6 LPTV stations are broadcasting an FM radio service.

Reality: Channel 6 LPTV stations are television stations, not radio stations. They broadcast in the VHF television band, not the FM radio band. Channel 6 LPTV stations can be viewed on any conventional television set. FM radios that pick-up channel 6 audio at 87.7 MHz are tuned to the channel 6 television band, not to the FM radio band. 87.7 MHz is a television frequency, not an FM radio frequency.

Channel 6 LPTV stations that brand themselves “87.7 FM” are engaged in a marketing strategy to maximize their audience. There is nothing unseemly about that. Getting the biggest audience possible is the goal of every broadcaster.

Myth: Channel 6 LPTV stations are in violation of FCC rules because they do not operate a visual signal and they violate other technical rules.

Reality: Channel 6 LPTV stations do comply with FCC rules. The FCC enforcement bureau would take action against them if they didn’t. These stations do operate a visual signal. They are bona fide television stations. They broadcast in the VHF television band, and their aural and visual programming can be viewed on a conventional television set.

Myth: By continuing to broadcast an analog signal, wouldn’t channel 6 LPTV stations detract from the benefits of digital television?

Reality: It is technologically possible for channel 6 LPTV stations to simultaneously broadcast their existing analog audio service and a digital television signal in on the same channel. This innovative use of spectrum would quickly become a reality if entities like NPR would stop making trouble for LPTV stations at the FCC.

Myth: Channel 6 LPTV programming isn’t unique and the FCC ought to force it off the air because it doesn’t serve the public interest.

Reality: Millions of people tune in channel 6 LPTV broadcasts, and they are members of the public. If the programming wasn’t unique, or it didn’t serve their interest, they wouldn’t tune in.

WLFM-LP Chicago and KSFV-LP Los Angeles, two channel 6 LPTV stations which were both singled out and attacked by NPR in their filings at the FCC, serve huge minority audiences in two of the largest markets in the country. WLFM-LP broadcasts “smooth jazz” music and is the 2nd highest rated station in Chicago among African-American listeners, and KSFV-LP broadcasts family-oriented Catholic programming to the Latino community in Los Angeles.

NPR’s real goal is to protect its “turf” on the lower end of the FM dial, and they want to do that by using the government to force these stations off the air; even if it means disenfranchising the audiences served by them, and putting their staff out of work. NPR doesn’t care how many people they hurt with their anti-competitive behavior.

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