TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Some NPR and Christian Broadcasters Invaded by Howard Stern

Some NPR and Christian Broadcasters Invaded by Howard Stern

Associated Press News Wire (
Fri, 28 Apr 2006 11:04:30 -0500

Some commuters hoping to ease into their day with National Public
Radio or Christian broadcasts are hearing shock jock Howard Stern

Their favorite stations aren't broadcasting Stern's show, which has
moved to satellite radio provider Sirius. Instead, poorly installed or
defective satellite radio units, which act as mini-FM transmitters,
are being blamed.

"Usually they're upset, because they don't know what's going on. This
isn't what they tuned in to (hear)," Charles W. Loughery, president of
the Word FM Radio Network, a group of contemporary Christian stations
in eastern Pennsylvania, told The (Baltimore) Sun.

Some of the units use FM signals to broadcast the satellite signal to
the car's audio system, using frequencies low on the FM band such as
88.1, often reserved for noncommercial, religious or educational
stations. The signal from the satellite system can sometimes override
broadcasts from those stations for listeners in nearby cars.

Anthony Brandon, president and general manager at 88.1 WYPR, a
National Public Radio affiliate in Baltimore, said he has sent 60
complaint letters to the Federal Communications Commission, which says
it is investigating.

Neil Hever, program director for 88.1 WDIY, an NPR affiliate in
Bethlehem, Pa., said he has forwarded 38 letters to the FCC.

"Back in December, a gentleman called from Warren County, N.J.," Hever
said. "He said, 'I'm not going to turn you in, but I take offense to
the rap music you're playing.' We said, "We don't program gangsta

"We're upset because we know it's aggravating our listeners, and we
know (interference with a licensed broadcaster) is against the law."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press.

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