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Radio News: New York-area Congressmembers send FCC letter on pirates

Jun 14, 2015 11:24 pm
[caption width="220" align="alignright"] Rep. Chris Gibson represents Greene, Columbia and other Hudson Valley counties in Congress. Image from Wikipedia.[/caption]Inside Radio reports that "pirate radio [is] running rampant in radio’s largest market," saying complaints filed at the FCC in January indicate there were 34 pirate radio stations operating in Brooklyn and the Bronx. So 33 members of Congress from New York and New Jersey wrote to the FCC, asking for more enforcement efforts. The lawmakers wrote, "the number of pirate FMs in New York City could well outnumber the number of licensed operations, and recently unauthorized stations have shown up elsewhere in New York and New Jersey." The letter is signed by Brooklyn liberals such as Nydia Velasquez, as well as Hudson Valley Republicans such as Chris Gibson. The letter asks Wheeler to increase the number of enforcement personnel in the New York FCC office, and to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and local law enforcement to step up enforcement. But earlier this year, the FCC said it wants to cut two-thirds of its field offices and eliminate nearly one-half of its field agents, from 63 to 33, in their new budget. Instead they would create a roving squad that would swoop in, picking up some equipment already in place, and taking the pirates off the airwaves. John Anderson at DIYmedia.net recently reported that 2014 saw the lowest level of FCC enforcement in nearly a decade. "As of the end of April, there’ve been just 35 enforcement actions against 17 stations in four states. There has been no official report of field activity in May. In 2014, there were 52 enforcement actions in the same time-frame." Click here to see the full letter from the Congressmembers.
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