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Re: WCRB (programming)

I feel rather uncomfortable with the concept of government deciding how
programming should broaden the horizons or elevate the tastes of the
listening public. On the other hand, I don't think such attempts _have_ to
wind up as cures that are worse than the disease. The CRTC controls formats
and imposes requirements on Canadian content. In so doing, they exclude some
formats that might succeed. In Toronto, for example, didn't the CRTC just
decide against granting a CP to a group named "Aboriginal Voices?" I think
the CRTC's judgment was that the applicant didn't provide enough details
about the proposed programming and that the minorities the programming would
have served do not represent a suffcient slice of the large population of
metro Toronto. Of course, there's certainly a strong argument that the
marketplace, and not the CRTC, should have been allowed to make that

But in the US, the FCC used to require licenseees to provide a minimal
amount of news and public affairs programming. To my knowledge, the FCC
never specified what kind of public affairs programming. And "lifestyle
news", which is arguably not news at all, could have satisfied the news
requirement. In my opinion, both radio and the listening public are much the
poorer for the elimination of that requirement. I know the opposing
argument--that in most markets there are enough signals to fulfill the
public's need for news and public affairs. Still, requiring all stations to
broadcast news, even to an uninterested public, in my mind, was a good
thing, and was consistent with granting private broadcasters licenses to use
the the public airwaves.


Dan Strassberg, dan.strassberg@worldnet.att.net
Phone: 1-617-558-4205, eFax: 1-707-215-6367

-----Original Message-----
From: Dib9@aol.com <Dib9@aol.com>
To: Jibguy@aol.com <Jibguy@aol.com>; umar@nerodia.wcrb.com
<umar@nerodia.wcrb.com>; lglavin@lycosmail.com <lglavin@lycosmail.com>
Cc: boston-radio-interest@bostonradio.org
Date: Thursday, June 29, 2000 11:19 PM
Subject: Re: WCRB (programming)

>My serious answer to your first two questions is who judges what is a
>"positive influence" and how do you set standards that licensees can be
>to?  What stations would you say provide nothing positive?  If people
>to a station, doesn't that mean that a portion of the public finds the
>station to be providing something positive?
>As for public affairs programming: I do not think such a requirement is
>necessary, though the FCC clearly has the authority to make such
>under the law.