Battling for an LPFM license: Baton Rouge Progessive Network is Victorious!
Ten years ago the FCC opened up a window for groups to apply for Low Power FM licenses. Thousands of groups competed for 800 licenses and it sometimes took up to 5 years for the FCC to decide who to grant the licenses too. One group that has a very bizarre story concerning license competition is the Baton Rouge Progressive Network. They were awarded an LPFM license in 2005 but then a woman representing a Right Wing Christian organization, ironically named Ethics Inc., convinced the FCC to transfer the license to her group. She claimed to be the present of the board and filed all the appropriate paperwork to divest the Baton Rouge Progressive Network of the LPFM license. For years they fought to get it back and recently achieved success, and now are the LPFM license holders.
Hassan Ghosn, a board member of the Baton Rouge Progressive Network spoke with us about the history of the license and their visions for the station. Listen to the interview with him above.
We facilitated a workshop with them at the Public Library in which they mapped out their community and brainstormed about the most pressing issues to the people of Baton Rouge. Not suprisingly, communities across the south are confronted with similar problems including lack of affordable housing, poverty, inadequate education, lack of democratic processes. Specific to Baton Rouge is the presence of the PetroChemical Industry and environmental issues that arise with it as well as the every shifting demographics in the Gulf Coast, post Katrina. We helped them explore how their station would address these issues and be an effective tool to organize around them. We wish them luck in launching their station and hope The Baton Rouge Progressive Network LPFM will be on the air by the end of 2010.