22 March 2004
Jolly Roger radio
The Federal Communications Commission frowns upon unlicensed radio stations unless they run power levels down in the milliwatt range. The rationale, of course, is to protect existing broadcasters from interference, which is a good thing, but as a side effect, existing broadcasters are also protected from competition, which is not such a good thing.
Somebody in town has been running a hip-hop/R&B station without Federal sanction, parked at 92.1 MHz, halfway between two powerhouse signals (KOSU-FM in Stillwater and KOMA-FM in Oklahoma City) and blocking access, at least in my area, to neither. (The nearest commercial 92.1 signal, if I remember correctly, is in metro Tulsa, licensed to Broken Arrow.)
Who is this guy? No one knows. And until the FCC shows up with tracking equipment and subpoenas, probably no one will. But for now, he's putting on arguably the best show in town; not having to toe the corporate line, and not saddled with the expurgated versions of recordings that are sent to "real" radio stations, he's made a format I don't particularly care for otherwise into something almost interesting. Let's hope it takes the Feds a while to home in on his signal.