Start Your Own Catholic Station – FCC Makes Available 67 New Full Power Noncommercial FM Licenses

In the Catholic Radio Group at Linkedin.com – Steve Gajdosik of the Catholic Radio Association reports:

The FCC has announced an application window for 67 noncommercial allotments in the commercial band. These are full power noncommercially licensed allotments in the commercial FM band, i.e., 92.1 – 107.9 mHz, operating at 6,000 to 100,000 watts. Read more at FCC

These are great opportunities to obtain license from the FCC for just the minimal cost involved in preparing the technical and legal elements of the application!

These permits will be acquired and used by someone to broadcast public radio, Protestant radio or the fullness of the Faith. Who, is up to you.

Time is of the essence. The application window is February 19-26.

A list of frequencies is available on the FCC’s website or from the CRA.

Contact the CRA for maps and to discuss the most effective strategy to acquire these permits.

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Did You Attend the Catholic Radio Conference? Let Us Know!

Did you attend the Catholic Radio Conference in Alabama this past week sponsored by the Catholic Radio Association and EWTN? If so leave a comment and give us a report. I’d expect the Spirit was moving in Birmingham!

Be There! Catholic Radio Conference – October 14-17

EWTN and the Catholic Radio Association are sponsoring this year’s Catholic Radio Conference October 14-17 in Alabama. Speakers include Most Reverand Robert J. Baker, S.T.D., Bishop of Birmingham, Alabama, Most Rev. Michael J. Sheehan, Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J, Host of EWTN Open Line, EWTN Live & Threshold of Hope and Kelly Donahue, FCC Audio Division Attorney, Media Bureau.

The Catholic Radio Explosion!

The latest Catholic Radio Directory from the Catholic Radio Association lists over 300 Catholic stations in US alone. Of these – 88 are listed as new or soon to be on the air!  That is a 28% increase!  I can’t think of much else these days that is growing at that rate. Back in 1997 there were only about 7 Catholic stations in the US. The CRA was instrumental in helping numerous local organization file for FCC licenses during the recent open application period.

Letter to a Friend.

The following is a letter written in response to a friend who answered a question I posted on the Catholic Radio Group site on Linkedin.com

Thank you for your reply. I deeply appreciate the situation in your country and have been very puzzled by the lack of outrage among your countrymen regarding their loss of freedoms. The Church has a huge job to do, but not an impossible one.

I posed the question because I have recently been asking myself what is the fruit of Catholic Radio? There is fruit, doubtless, but specifically what I’m asking for is evidence of action on the part of those effected by Catholic Radio. Where are the rosary groups? The home bible studies? The street preaching? The active part of our calling is in my opinion seriously lacking. Granted I live in the Pacific NW – Portland, OR – where things are very bad for christianity, but I’ve worked in the Midwest, California, Nevada and haven’t seen enough corresponding action among Catholic Radio listeners. My response to this is to wonder if Catholic Radio as such, is enough?

I don’t think so. Catholic Radio is a great tool, but just a tool. More is needed. Stations need to be centers of evangelization. They need to encourage evangelization, teach it, demonstrate it, and live it. I think this will require a new initiative in programming. Catechesis is good and necessary – knowing your faith is good but if all you do with that knowledge is contemplate it for your own benefit then you are a poor servant indeed. We MUST act!

For myself I have made a committment with two other friends to make a new kind of catholic radio program. One that creates and promotes a kind of campaign like what Fr. Peyton did with his radio rosary. We will broadcast a program that demistifies the process of evangelization. That interviews those who’ve “gone ahead” and ARE evangelizing and how they got started and what they’ve learned, so others can take courage from their example. Then we plan to produce films that show the fruit of this action and online video tutorials that teach the steps of evangelization. And, then we plan to raise crowds of people to hear Catholic Evangelists – stadiums of people. It is time to “put out into the deep” and to not be afraid!

As for your circumstances my friend, Hallelujah! You are in a perfect (albeit painful) place. Allow the Lord to work through your circumstances to humble you and to prepare you for the work that He is calling you to. I believe that the message of the current times is “Have Faith, God will Provide without fail!”

“President of Pontifical Council for Social Communications speaks to Catholic Communicators”

Read Archbishop Celli’s comments to Catholic Communicators here.

The End of Catholic Radio

Click here to sign the CRA’s petition to the FCC to defeat new “localism” requirements for stations. These are more likely to come into effect than the “Fairness Doctrine” and would have the effect of ending Catholic Radio as it now exists.  Read more about “localism” at the Catholic Radio Association site.

For over a year the FCC has been quietly going through its internal steps of a rulemaking proceeding to change broadcast rules, under the title of “Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking” (Localism).  Euphemisms like “localism” and “choice” denote something good.  Who could be against choice?  Who could be against local broadcasting?  Wouldn’t a diverse availability of programming be good for the consumer?  The reality of the effect of the rules will be quite different.   

Ironically, the Localism rule changes would impose onerous new regulations that would result in less local and less diverse programming on both secular and religious stations.  Such rules would amount to a restriction, not only of free speech rights, but of religious liberty enshrined in the First Amendment and destroy Catholic radio!

Among the requirements advocated by the Localism proceeding are:

Ø  24/7 staffing of stations (Localism, 29)

Ø  A required minimum time of locally produced programming and of programming dedicated to addressing local issues.
 (Localism, 40,41, 69)

Ø  Permanent Advisory Boards composed of “officials and other leaders from the service area” of the station who would determine whether the station was meeting local programming needs.
(Localism, 26, 43, 44)

While the intent of such rules may be to increase programming that meets the needs of local residents.  It falls short on many fronts.  For example:

Ø  24/7 staffing of stations simply drains limited resources.  Will a minimum wage employee babysitting the station to meet a rule really result in local programming?

Ø  For religiously programmed stations, will programming produced locally on the issue of abortion be any more informative than that produced at a central point and disseminated through a network?  Are the local pastor’s comments on the necessity to love thy neighbor more erudite, more compelling, more authoritative than that of his bishop 100 miles away, or of the Holy Father 5,000 miles away?

Ø  Will an Advisory Board of “local officials and other leaders” be more responsive to the needs of underserved communities than the members of those communities who actually own a station?  Consider the case of a medium sized media market like Charleston, SC.  There are 38+ AM/FM stations.  There are also populations of Koreans, and Phillippinos, along with Catholics; all minorities in the community.  Are we to believe that a board of “local officials and leaders,” none of whom may be Korean, Phillippino or Catholic, would ensure the needs of these underserved communities are met, more than the station owners?

Consider the following passage from the Localism Rulemaking:

“The principle of localism requires broadcasters to take into account all significant groups within their communities when developing balanced, community-responsive programming, including those groups with specialized needs and interests (Localism, 69).