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FCC to Radio Pirates: $15,000 Arrgh!
FCC fines couple $15,000 for operating an unlicensed radio station
News Story  July 10, 2014, by Brandon Watson
"...In August 2013, agents from the FCC Enforcement Bureau's Houston office responded to a complaint that an unlicensed station was operating at 90.1 MHz in Austin. Tracing the source of the signal wasn't exactly difficult..."

FCC Overruled on 'Wardrobe Malfunction' Fine
News Story  July 25, 2008, by Kevin Brass
"...The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled the FCC's penalty, noting that the commission had "acted arbitrarily and capriciously" when it deviated, without warning, from its 30-year-old policy of ignoring the "fleeting" and unintentional incidents that occasionally pop up on television...."

The FCC under the Obama Administration
The short list for Federal Communication Commission Chairmanship
DAILY Screens  November 11, 2008, by Belinda Acosta
"...Perhaps he should take a look at There, in a posting that arrived seconds after the TVWeek posting, was an article discussing how Obama’s transition team was mulling over who should take the reins as the new FCC Chairperson. Among the candidates are two African American women including Julia Johnson, a Florida consultant who “chairs Video and Access Alliance, an advocacy and advisory group for independent, emerging, and minority networks and Internet content providers,” according to the posting by Olga Kharif..."

Anger Fills the Air(waves) at FCC Hearing
Activists from the left and right challenge corporate media in Clear Channel's own back yard
News Story  February 6, 2004, by Lee Nichols
"...The Federal Communications Commission came to Texas last week to continue its hearings on localism: the notion – actually, the legal requirement – that broadcasters must use the publicly owned airwaves to serve the communities in which they operate, or else surrender their licenses. And overwhelmingly, the message sent to the FCC was that broadcasters are failing in that mission, and that FCC Chairman Michael K..."

Opposes FCC's Plans
Postmarks  May 16, 2014
"...Portals of communication are at risk of being shut. It is our job to speak up and protect the freedom of the Internet! The FCC is allowing 120 days (from March 15) of public comment before it makes its final decision on this plan that could demolish net neutrality..."

FCC: Local TV Affiliates to Post Political Buys
New ruling means Austin stations to put campaign data online
DAILY News  April 27, 2012, by Richard Whittaker
"...In a statement released today, the FCC announced that broadcast stations will have to put what are called "political files" – the details of spending by political parties on campaign ads, including how much they spend and, fascinatingly, what ads were rejected...."

FCC Lowers Cost of Inmate Calls
Video-conferencing company Securus Technologies opposes FCC fee change
News Story  October 29, 2015, by Chase Hoffberger
"...The FCC voted to drastically reduce the cost of phone calls made to inmates on Thursday. The new standards will reduce the cost of calls made to those incarcerated in prisons and jails around the country from roughly $20 for 20 minutes to no more than $1.65 for a 15-minute conversation, according to reports from the Associated Press..."

Are You Decent?
Dudley & Bob and the footsoldiers in the FCC's war on pop culture
News Story  February 18, 2005, by Kevin Brass
"..."The broadcast industry said to the FCC that we will have a zero tolerance policy, but we don't know where the line is, so use your best judgment," Dudley said later, after signing off for the day. Dudley has no idea where the line is these days..."

Media Clips
Microradio wins FCC approval, but advocates of the low-wattage stations say the rules for winning a license will prohibit most stations and silence the microradio community's radical voice.
News Column  February 18, 2000, by Lee Nichols
"...Oh glorious day! True democracy is at hand! Or maybe not. On Jan. 20, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new rules which legalize a new class of noncommercial, low-power FM radio stations..."

Media Watch: Shiver Me Timbers
Pirate radio station tells FCC to go walk a plank
News Story  August 6, 2010, by Kevin Brass
"...Her voice rises a couple of octaves when she mentions "the truth," Barack Obama's birth certificate, or "the cartel" – especially the cartel. "It's all about the cartel, the monopoly cartel, the Texas Association of Broadcasters and the FCC protecting their cartel illegally," said Stevens, part of a group loosely known as Radio Free Austin...."

Media Watch
Not-so-hidden agendas orbit around satellite merger approval
News Column  March 1, 2007, by Kevin Brass
"...The broadcasters decry the merger as "anti-competitive," a sin against competition, designed to deprive poor consumers of choices. This is, of course, to put it in FCC-approved terms, a bit of cow poop..."

The End of the Free and Open Internet?
Austin's creative class worries what the FCC net neutrality ruling means for life online
Screens Story  December 21, 2017, by Richard Whittaker
"...The fight over net neutrality is a long one, and opponents have taken a position that key founders and developers hold as antithetical to the very purpose of the internet. For the last decade, the large telecom firms have lobbied politicians and the FCC to allow new rules that would allow them to slow down or speed up access..."

Naked City
The FCC holds hearings in San Antonio, and activists and scholars plan a democratic reception
News Story  January 23, 2004, by Lee Nichols
"...28, hearings will be held in San Antonio, 5:30-9:30pm, in the City Council Chamber of the Municipal Plaza Building, 103 Main Plaza. For more details, see the FCC's Web site at; for an activist perspective, try or"

The Other Nov. 4 election
FCC vote could restrict the use of "white space" and widen the digital divide, according to media reform advocates.
DAILY Screens  October 28, 2008, by Belinda Acosta
"...The future of the Internet is at stake if the public does not step up and let its voice be heard in favor of opening unused TV airwaves for Internet use, according to, a media reform watchdog group. In addition to the presidential election, Nov. 4 is the date the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote on whether to open unused television airwaves to Internet use nationwide..."

The Death and Life of Free Radio
Austin microradio lived fast and died young -- can the movement live to broadcast another day?
News Story  June 22, 2001, by Emily Pyle
"...Between the time the sound leaves the broadcaster's throat and the time it reaches your ear, it comes under the regulation of the Federal Communications Commission, that dry, low-profile governmental body answerable only to Congress, best known for overseeing the mergers of communications giants like Time Warner and Viacom. The FCC is the only governmental body that can grant an official radio station license to broadcast..."

Media Watch: Marfa Ready for NPR?
An attempt to bring public radio to West Texas shows that no good deed goes unpunished
News Story  December 29, 2006, by Kevin Brass
"..."It's a purely altruistic endeavor," said Walker, a board member of KLRU-TV and the Austin Film Society. But the result, he says, has been two years of acrimony and FCC delays, capped by the continued focus in Marfa on the aborted launch...."

David (and Jesus) vs. Goliath
The city alleges that Time Warner Cable is offering illegal discounts to snuff out competition.
News Story  February 15, 2002, by Lee Nichols
"...Sent by City Manager Jesus Garza after being approved by the City Council on Jan. 31, the letter is a response to Time Warner's legal petition to the FCC to declare Austin a market with "effective competition." Such a declaration would free Time Warner, Austin's dominant cable provider, from city pricing regulations...."

Preachers and Pirates
The FCC proposes LPFM stations as an alternative to microradio, but that political process also generates static.
News Story  June 22, 2001, by Emily Pyle
"...After Free Radio Berkeley was shut down in 1994, the FCC cracked down on microradio stations in earnest. But busting stations and taking operators to court was a full-time job -- at one time or another, nearly every state in the union has had at least one microradio station, and most major cities have two or three -- not to mention a headache and a public relations nightmare..."

Radio Bullies
News Column  July 18, 1997, by Lee Nichols
"...The major obstacle is the FCC itself. In the last decade or so, the commission has shown a continual pattern of letting commercial stations do whatever they like with their frequencies, especially in the political arena..."

Texas Radio and the Really Big Beat
Capstar's Austin-based Empire
Music Story  May 22, 1998, by Bill Crawford
"...In addition to regulating frequencies, the feds also decided that the FCC would regulate content. They included some really smushy wording in the Communications Act of 1934 about broadcasters having to act "in the public interest, convenience, and necessity." This gave the government just enough legal muscle to crack broadcasters across the knuckles when they got naughty..."

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