Recently, Womble Bond Dickinson attorney John Garziglia represented a group of 24 radio broadcast licensees in petitioning the Federal Communications Commission to approve the use of their FM translators to originate limited localized content. Radio World has a new report on the proposal and the debate surrounding it. 

The licensees, known collectively as Broadcasters for Limited Program Orientation, propose building on a previous petition filed by GeoBroadcast Solutions, LLC. That petition asks the FCC to allow FM booster stations to broadcast limited different original geo-targeted content, rather than simply rebroadcasting the station’s main signal. The petition from the Broadcasters for Limited Program Origination asks that such opportunities for different or original geo-targeted programming be likewise extended to FM translator stations.

GeoBroadcast Solutions is pushing back on the Broadcasters for Limited Program Orientation proposal, which, in turn, led to a response from the group of 24 licensees. The group says it simply wants the same program origination opportunities for FM translators as is being requested for FM boosters.

“FM translators and FM boosters are both secondary FM facilities carrying the programming of a primary radio station,” Garziglia tells Radio World. “The only substantive technical distinction between the two is that an FM booster is on-frequency and has a significant potential to cause interference to its primary station’s radio listeners, while an FM translator has no potential of causing such interference.”

Proponents say the translator proposal would allow radio broadcast stations to use FM translators to provide more targeted programming, such as localized news, weather and sports, to better serve listeners. 

Click here to read “FM Translator, Booster Advocates Disagree in Origination Dispute” in Radio World.

John Garziglia represents radio and television broadcasters, offering personalized assistance in all areas of communications and telecommunications law including transactional and contract negotiations for broadcast station mergers and acquisitions, the securing of financing, governmental auctions of new frequencies, license renewals, new stations applications, facility changes, facility upgrades, licensing, and compliance with FCC rules, regulations and policies.