The main problem with news broadcasting in the USA: crass consumerism

Trust me.. I miss the days of real news. I miss the days of sitting down for 30 minutes to an hour watching the news and seeing what is going on in the world instead now, where it is 60 minutes of talking heads and looping B-roll footage in the background. We have gone from a day of information to infotainment, especially on the cable networks. Why does this happen?

Thoughts and analysis on the proposed ham radio application fees.

There has been a lot of talk about the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that proposes to implement the application fees for fiscal year 2020, especially where it comes to the Amateur Radio Service (ARS).  This was a story first broken by REC Networks to the amateur community.   While there are also suggested modifications to the application fees for commercial broadcast stations, I want to focus this discussion on the controversy over a proposed fee of $50 on most applications filed for the ARS.

Jessica deserves the center seat for a year!

We are getting closer to the elections and as we do, we need to take into consideration that whomever is the majority party will select the Chairman and have three seats on the FCC with the minority having two.  

For a long time now, I was saying that if Trump was to win in November, I had Commissioner Michael O'Rielly pegged to be the next Chairman or at least acting Chairman.  This is based on "talk" that suggested that Chairman Ajit Pai may step down from the FCC after January, 2021, regardless of who won the election.  As much as I opposed O'Rielly's statements, especially those suggesting LPFM similar to pirate radio, I do feel that he is the most experienced.  Unfortunately, since he did not tow the Trump line on the Section 230 social media issue, he is not being considered to be reconfirmed at the FCC.  This leaves Brendan Carr, who, in my opinion, has not made any real monumental statements in regards to radio but is still the tenured commissioner.  

Is radio killing itself?

The problem in America is that there are too many radio stations, therefore, the formats that we did have were narrowed even thinner and there are so many duplicating formats.  I can't even count the number of country stations we have right now on Delmarva.

Radio was once a promoter of music.  Local DJs would welcome acts into cities and radio stations would regularly announce what labels songs were on.  These days, the only true promoters of music are Radio Disney (which still has some personality) and Walmart....

What's Wrong With Amateur Radio in America?

The main problem with amateur radio in this day and age is that it is a venue that has run out of frontiers. There are a lot of reasons for this and it's not necessarily the internet, but technology itself. We have gone from tubes to the transistor to integrated circuits to surface mount technology. We have gone from CW, to AM, to SSB, to FM and now, the overall commercial industry is digital. Same with fast-scan television, we went from monochrome to NTSC color and now to digital transmission.

We have also gone from a culture of builders to a culture of coders. There's only so much you can code to support amateur radio. In some ways, the end of the cold war and the end of the space race has also played a part. When I was growing up, there was a significant aerospace sector and a significant manufacturing segment.

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