NAB this week urged the FCC to drop its proposal to reimburse FMs that are co-located on a television tower impacted by the TV channel repack on a graduated scale, depending on how long the disruption lasts. NAB says the concept “fundamentally misapprehends the dramatic and damaging effect of going off air for FM stations and their listeners.” Potentially “hundreds” of FMs located on or near towers supporting repacked TV stations may have to operate at reduced power or shut down entirely for “extended” periods to protect tower workers, according to NAB.
Under the agency’s proposal, stations
off the air for 10 or fewer days would be eligible for 50 percent of the
expenses for interim facilities. Stations off the air for 30 or fewer
days would be eligible for 75 percent, and stations off the air for more
than 30 days would be eligible for 100 percent. The proposal is
“arbitrary and capricious,” and could disproportionately impact small
and rural broadcasters and listeners, the association says in a filing. Continue Reading