The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed comments with the FCC calling for radio stations to be protected in the repacking of the Television spectrum. The comments argue that proposed sliding scale of reimbursement for radio would have “devastating consequences” on FMs, particularly for small stations.
Earlier this year, Congress allocated $50 million to create a radio reimbursement fund to help broadcasters pay for the construction of auxiliary facilities to avoid going silent as a result of the television repack process. As the FCC develops plans, both NAB and National Public Radio have urged the agency to reject a proposed “sliding scale” for determining how much an FM station is able to recoup for its repack-associated funding.
“The FCC chose to develop a repacking approach that did not consider FM radio stations, make any effort to minimize disruption to those stations or allow sufficient time to ensure that work could be completed during off-peak hours,” the NAB filing stated. “In implementing legislation intended to mitigate the consequences of those policy choices, the Commission should not adopt a punitive policy that would unnecessarily cut off reimbursement based on wholly arbitrary conceptions of the effects associated with temporary service disruptions.”