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For immediate release
June 14, 2004
Contact:
Jenny Lawhorn : 202-513-2754

NPR Applauds Protection of Radio Reading Services

WASHINGTON, DC - NPR today commended Senators John McCain and Patrick Leahy, who introduced legislation proposing Low Power FM (LPFM) station implementation, for stressing the protection of radio reading services from interference. The bill, submitted on June 4, 2004, specifically calls for continued protection of third-adjacent channel protections for stations that broadcast radio reading services.

Commenting on the legislation, Mike Riksen, NPR's vice president for government relations, said, "these protections are vitally important to the operation of radio reading services, and need to be maintained in the future." NPR has repeatedly urged the FCC and the Congress to grant protections for these services.

"The legislation introduced by Senators McCain and Leahy takes the correct approach with respect to radio reading services," Riksen continued. "There is no ambiguity about the need to safeguard this vital service."

NPR has consistently supported the principles of localism and diversity of ownership reflected in LPFM service. "The findings upon which the Senators have introduced their legislation support the sentiments that NPR has expressed repeatedly in comments to the Commission," said Riksen. "NPR and its member stations are the essence of localism. We understand and appreciate the importance of these characteristics in today's media landscape."

In commenting on other provisions of the legislation, Riksen noted that significant, widely held concerns remain about the methodological integrity of the Mitre Study, upon which the FCC based its recommendations to Congress. "NPR continues to believe that LPFM can coexist in a complementary, compatible way with America's public radio stations and radio reading services," he said, "but the flaws of the Mitre Study cannot be ignored."

NPR previously offered several suggestions to address the inadequacies of the Mitre Study, including authorization of a limited number of third adjacent stations on a trial basis. Such an approach could establish a more reliable baseline of data upon which to determine future actions.


About NPR
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of more than 22 million Americans each week via more than 770 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information.