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TEXAS COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS CHALLENGE FCC AND ATTY. GENERAL JANET RENO IN US DISTRICT COURT
by David Huff (radiopirate [at] centurytel.net)
Sunday Oct 1st, 2000 3:44 PM
Texas Microbroadcasters Canyon Lake Radio and MicroKIND Radio lawsuit against FCC and Justice Department see the light of day for the first time in over a year, Judge compares action to "Brown .vs. The Board of Education", commends plaintiffs.
09.29.00
PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE PUBLICATION

TEXAS COMMUNITY RADIO STATIONS
CHALLENGE
FCC AND ATTY. GENERAL JANET RENO
IN US DISTRICT COURT
(civil action no. SA-99-CA-0713-FB)

Judge describes plaintiffs as "Modern-day Thomas Panes"

14 months after micro broadcasters Canyon Lake Radio and Micro KIND Radio filed suit against the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of
Justice, United States District Court Judge Fred Biery, (US District Court, Western Dist. of Texas, San Antonio Div.) has met with the plaintiffs and defendants'
representatives in a pre-trial "Status Conference".

Friday, September 29, 2000, at 9:15 am, plaintiffs Joseph Ptak (Micro KIND Radio, San Marcos, TX), David Huff (Canyon Lake Radio, Canyon Lake,
TX), councils James M. Simons and Bill Fowler, and representatives for the defense, FCC Agent Lloyd P. Perry and council gathered in Judge Biery's
courtroom to discuss the status of the case, and what direction it might take in the near future.

Standing before a courtroom populated by Microbroadcasting supporters including Free Radio Austin's "Reckless"", and members of the Press, MicroKIND's
Joseph Ptak addressed a few of the issues from which this lawsuit arises, including FCC licensure policies (i.e. competitive bidding) which have
delivered the airwaves, a limited national resource belonging to all citizens, into the hands of a select few large broadcasting corporations. Also at
issue is the FCC's policy of exclusion of previous and existing Microbroadcasters from eligibility in the new LPFM initiative, effectively penalizing those broadcasters
who paved the way for LPFM licensure in the first place.

After comments from defense council, Judge Biery described plaintiffs Huff and Ptak as "Modern-day Thomas Panes", and likened their lawsuit to the
history-making "Brown .vs. The Board of Education", (ending segregation in public schools). Judge Biery went on to make certain recommendations to both
plaintiffs and defense to pave the way for further productive communications between them. The plaintiffs and their supporters were delighted with this turn of events.
A new court date has yet to be set.

These events come only days after more than a thousand people mounted protests outside the annual conference of the National Association of Broadcasters, in
San Francisco, CA. Issues of concern to the protesters include the massive consolidation of station ownership, and the subsequent failure of those
corporations to serve the smaller communities from which they broadcast, in lieu of more lucrative markets nearby. Also of concern is the NAB's lobby
opposing the "LPFM Initiative", which would create licenses for community radio Microbroadcasters, and the relationship between the NAB and
the FCC which effectively allows the NAB to draft FCC policy to suit NAB financial goals, at the expense of public service.

The NAB's response to the protesters was a nation-wide blackout of protest news coverage.

END END END

Contacts

Joseph Ptak, Micro KIND Radio (512) 754-0274
David Huff, Canyon Lake Radio (512) 392-7718
James Simons, Plaintiffs' Atty. (512) 477-1700
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