History of LPFM
Click here for the history of LPFM. This detailed 17-page account details the roots of the modern LPFM movement in the sixties through 2001 when the FCC granted the first LPFM construction permit. (Links are included to related LPFM articles through 2005.)
LPFM was birthed by social change groups and activists. Now, in 2008 the majority of the 850+ licensed LPFM air predominately Christian programming. This paradigm shift occurred because churches and other Christian groups rapidly adopted this new means of communications.
the FCC does not care what broadcasters air with certain notable exceptions. For example, heavy fines are imposed by stations which air "patently offensive" programming of a "vulgar or sexual nature." Full-power commercial TV broadcasters are required to air three hours a week of closely regulated "children's educational programs." Also, broadcasters cannot discriminate against candidates for political office.
Other than listed above, currently stations can air what they want. Years ago the FCC had a "Fairness Doctrine." In the near future, the FCC will be closely monitoring what TV airs with new radio regulations to follow. All broadcasters are either "Commercial" or "Non-Commercial Educational." While many stations air Christian programming, the FCC does not have a class of stations called "religious."
While Low Power FM is the least regulated form of broadcasting, the FCC does give preferential treatment to LPFM stations that air eight or more hours a days of local programming. "Local" is defined a "non-repetitive programming" that originates within ten miles of a station's transmitter site. There is no distinction between locally automated playing of songs and live / talk programs. (Repetitive refers to multiple airings of entire programs, not how many times individual songs are played.
Here is a recent development: Once again NPR opposes expansion of low-power FM
The Now Famous MITRE Study - 308 pages (PDF)
on the History of LPFM
did something very significant in 2000 being the FIRST and the ONLY
CongressCritter (Senate) to get up on his hind legs and say on the
official record 'Shame on NPR, NAB (left out the NRB, scared of the
preacher's John?) for opposing LPFM on third adjacent'. OK, not an
EXACT quote (notice the single quote marks). But it was close to
then called all the people he knew and Tim Kaine's win as Mayor was
close .. by about the same number of voters as Schintzius had
called! (a few hundred). Schintzius also had provided free housing,
utilities including internet for three years in his commercial
building to the fledgling Radio Free Richmond effort that later
became WRIR-LP (http://www.WRIR.
org) Tim Kaine agreed, creating the resolution and the
city council of the city of Richmond Virginia unanimously voted for
this resolution in 1999. Resolution 99-r78 (links below)