Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Locally Originating Progamming

I dislike non-commercial stations that run exclusively satillite fed syndicated programming. The worst offender in this catagory is the religious broadcaster. (Fybush calls these satcasters) My main objection to is not to the content. It's the source of the content to which I object.

follow me on this detour:
The radio spectrum, like any physical property, or natural resource is finite. Each city can only contain so many broadcasters, so a government body exists to manage the space, the FCC. It's no different from your town council deciding who gets to develop the waterfront property. The point being; if the radio band is the property of a community, then content on the radio that originates from outside the community is, in a sense... stolen from them.

We all know perfectly well that many religious stations receive all programming via satillite. They then time-shift this programming and rebroadcast to meet some obtuse, nominal and ultimately impotent local programming requirement. Let me stop right here and point out that not all religious broadcasters are like this. Right near me is WNAP-AM 1110 who runs almost entirely local programming. http://wnap1110am.com/ It's a fine station who serves Norristown and the surrounding community just fine.

By comparison WKDN 106.9 Camden runs zero local programming. http://www.familyradio.com/index.htm

That RF belongs to the Camden Philadelphia Area, yet zero of their programming content originates locally. The FCC would tell you that somehow they serve our community. I would debate that strongly. That same signal could belong to any civic, religious or community group and serve Philadelphia more fully.

Out of fairness let me examine my local NPR affiliate: WHYY 90.9 FM Philadelphia, PA Look at their schedule Monday thru Friday: http://www.whyy.org

35 hours of BBC between the overnights, the news hour and the world

31 hours of NPR nationally syndicated programming from talk of the nation, morning edition, all things considered, News and Notes, Creators at Carnagie... etc

6 hours of Here and now & Sound Print from MPR

5 hours of Marketplace from American Public Media

1 hour of This American Live from Public Radio International

In the end, only these local programs run Monday thru Friday. Out of a total possible 120 hours 16 originate locally. That's about 14%. It's not a lot. but it's more thant zero. These local shows are:

5 hours of Radio times

10 hours of Fresh air (counting the afternoon rebrocast)

1 hour of Voices in the family

That being said, the WHYY weekends are a smorgasbord of local shows.