The Federal Communications Commission released an important report today on the economic impact of low power FM (LPFM) radio stations on full power commercial stations. The report concluded that these community radio stations do not have a significant impact on audience ratings, advertising revenues, or other economic indicators of full power stations.
Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) issued the following statement in response:
"The results of this study were expected, but I'm glad there are solid numbers on the record now. The study confirmed the widespread belief that LPFMs don't cause economic harm or interference to other stations. In fact, if you talk to the folks in the regions that already have LPFM stations, they say LPFMs have had a very positive impact. They provide programs that reflect and enrich local cultures. I know the FCC has been working hard to implement my legislation to expand the number of these stations, and I'm looking forward to the upcoming LPFM licensing window so we can have many more of them."
LPFM stations are radio stations that operate at a power of 100 watts or less. Noncommercial LPFM stations offer communities the opportunity to share and enjoy music, news, and other programming created at the local level.
In 2000, Congress enacted legislation that required a minimum of four frequency intervals between radio stations on the FM dial. This requirement significantly limited the number of low-power FM radio stations that could be licensed across the country.
In 2011, the "Local Community Radio Act" -- legislation Congressman Doyle introduced to substantially increase the number of low power FM radio licenses the FCC could issue -- was signed into law. The Local Community Radio Act repealed the existing unnecessary minimum separation requirement and allow the FCC to proceed with its original plan to issue new LPFM licenses The Local Community Radio Act also required the FCC to conduct the study released today to determine what, if any, effect the LCRA has had on commercial radio stations.