Friday, August 14, 2009

Community Broadcasters Association closes down

A lobbying group for low-power television stations is out of business "due to the cost of its recent regulatory battles and the general economic downturn," Broadcasting & Cable reports. The Community Broadcasters Association had won its recent fight to make sure that all digital TV converter boxes eligible for federal subsidy coupons included a pass-through feature for their analog signals, but the group's former executive director, Amy Brown, said the cost of that lobbying effort, the recession and the lack of low-power stations' access to cable and satellite systems “created an impossible situation for the trade association and its members.”

Brown said 40 percent of low-power stations “believe they will have to shut down in the next year if they are not helped through the digital transition. These broadcasters have been neglected by the federal government, even though they have played and continue to play an important role that cannot be duplicated by full power stations. These stations have more local ownership and more minority and female ownership by far than any other mass medium, wired or wireless. Yet, we have been repeatedly excluded from laws and regulations intended to ensure access by the public to diverse thoughts and ideas.” (Read more)

The group's emphasis on the digital transition is reflected in the name of its Web site,, which is still online. The group was formed about 20 years ago.

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