thumbnail of 1965 National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention; Educational Broadcasting and the FCC
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Everything you know everything you hear the most with. This gentleman this final title occasional broadcasting the FCC. I'm out here to the educational broadcasting branch of the Federal Communications Commission. We thought in developing this panel that we would avoid the kind of situation where everybody gets up and makes up half an hour speech because since we had eight people we didn't think we'd have that much time. We thought it might be better for the point of view to simply have a question and answer session
since a number of the CC people were involved here rather than take up their very precious time at this point to be fair speeches we thought you'd rather have them take the time to put on your applications that you send in and so instead of taking 12 months to process now the case we might get it done but live in the house we have here. Group of experts from the FCC a group of experts for a lady and a baby. Some of you may not yet have heard my favorite story about experts but the physics professor who was never going to qualify himself as an expert before a patent hearing and as is customary in those cases the attorney really has a lesser stance about tummies or that in your opinion who is the greatest physicist in the United States and a physicist calmly said well I am an overly sat down a colleague sitting next to him said
Gee don't you think I was a little presumptuous saying you were the greatest physicist in the United States and physicists if you look at what said but you must remember I was under oath. We are not under oath here today. So what these experts may say I don't know and we won't hold out any expectations of anything that may be complete and binding because as you know people who make the final decisions the Federal Communications Commission are the commissioners themselves. Let me introduce these people to you. Many of whom if not all of them you already know on my far left is a question Jim Fallows assistant to the president of the NAACP big next to him. Chuck Marquesas is director of the educational television stations of any day. And to the right Chuck is Frank Norwood
who is at San Diego State College and who was a member of the national educational radio board is representing that board as a questionnaire. To my immediate left powerless to answer is Martin Levy who is chief of the broadcast facilities division of the FCC. My immediate right is Arthur Stadler who is a special So student to Chairman Henry B of C say to his right is Dr. Hyman Goldin who is assistant chief for policy and planning of the broadcast Bureau of the FCC and to his right is hard copy Thwaite who is chief of the rules and standards the vision of the FCC and far corner as recorders Tom Petri who is a vice president of the ECB council of central New York meaning in this case circulars we are in front of this panel
represents different not only different areas of the commission but the different specializations we have two attorneys one part of representing one of the board in the area of the FCC to leave instead of attorneys. We have an economist on the panel Dr. Goldman as an economist represents another important area of the FCC. And Mr. Kopper Thwaite is an engineer representing a third important area of the FCC. You have gotten I believe from young lady some yellow cards and we pass these out to you because we thought this would be the most effective way of getting the most effective questions to the questioners. Then I ask the pilots now the questions have come prepared with questions they tried to anticipate those questions that you as a group or individually would be likely to
ask. We hope they come out they hope that come up we have a lot of the right questions. If as this goes along there are any questions that you want to be sure they will ask. We think they've missed the we think need further clarification please write down the yellow card. I guess Chuck the inlet is here someplace to like them. Maybe we can get down on all of them. She is good and if you raise your hand with cards to the ground to get a card bring it to the questioners. And if the questionnaires have not included that question already in their list I'm certain they will take it into serious consideration. I mean I suggest this to you since we want to cover as much ground as possible. We are going to try to limit questions questioners to those kinds of things that affect us in a good many people. If you have any
individual problems specific problems pertaining to your specific operations that may have no special meaning to other people here. I would suggest that you might hold them until the end of the session. And these people from the FCC will be here and they will answer that time your visual problem. QUESTION I'm going to introduce three of C.S. people once more to you and as I introduce each one. I'm going to ask them to very briefly describe to you what their position is so you'll get more of an overview of the kinds of answers and the kinds of strengths that we have for you today. First Martin LEVY It is your gift. I'm trying to field a broadcast facilities division that division is responsible for the processing of all I put cations from
the AM FM radio station and for all major changes only in TV AM and FM in addition willing to handle translator applications would be instructional FX television service twenty five hundred maybe a side and say TV microwave really. OK since our responsibilities are do not extend to transfers already knows our problems are those dealing with new applications and changes in stations and the stations plantings that can then move those. Martin while Martin while you're up here let me lead off with a question of you that I think may cover some general areas. I wonder if you might take a moment to describe the publication process what happens when someone sends an application what does it go through what are some of the problems.
But you might encounter with the applications in terms of the application or terms of staff budget problems that kind of thing. First of all when an application comes in these days it waits. We have a backlog of approximately six months and I am four to six months in TV and the application is first picked up by an engineer team a application or an AM and FM application it gets an engineering analysis in terms of all of our shows all of our technical roads and then goes to an account and where the accountant looks at it. This poor financial qualification is a commission that is continually changing the financial qualifications but basically it's remained the same for educational stations. Now as we look for enough money to put the station on the air
and operated at least a year after the accountant does process the application it goes to the Lord the lawyer draws everything together looks at the financial call of her partner at the legal qualifications and other qualifications questions that may arise such as character. Any number of things. He is the one who prepares either a memory memorandum to the commission recommending the grant of the application oriented. If the application is one that doesn't have to go to the commission we have the authority delegated to the staff to grant certain applications. There is a memo for the files and then the application goes to the chief of the division for action. If there plating is filed with the application against the application the lawyer prepares either a and opinion before the commission.
If they play things can be disposed of without a hearing. If the application must be designated for hearing then your lawyer prepares the hearing order which is then sent to the Commission and the commission votes on either a hearing order or an opinion granting the application without here. If there are competing applications with the same frequency and this doesn't happen very much in the educational field we now have a comparative herring and the lawyer draws up that this is essentially the process. I mentioned the factor of delay which is the really the biggest thing that gets in the way of fast action and that's simply because our staff is a fairly limited one. And additionally have to collaborate very closely with AGW where grants are involved. We can't go ahead next on the application and delay to a peace process to an application for a grant. We find in
most applications that the thing that we have the most trouble with actually is the financial qualifications generally in television we don't have too much trouble with the engineering because the commission has done a good deal of that in setting up the table. Thank you. I'd like to do this to you again. Arthur Starr thank you. At the present time I am the special assistant Chairman Henry mission. And this of course covers working with the chairman and the commission on all of the matters of a rather wide range that come before the commission not only involving broadcasting but all of the other areas of commission responsibility and clearing common carrier regulation and so many of the other things that you may be familiar with I might say that as of today and not being up and not being under oath I can say that I've been with the commission for two
months this is my anniversary and I'm really sitting in today for John Cushman who is the chairman's administrative assistant who was unable to be here. Now prior to the time I came to the commission I've been active for over 12 years in the private practice of communications law on behalf of both commercial and some educational broadcasters and prior to that going back in ancient history I was at the commission once before as well as the legal assistant to Commissioner Frida Haneke whom I'm sure you remember as one of the leading pioneers in the field of educational television educational broadcasting. So at the present time we haven't been to the Commission to mine so I'm still learning years with respect to what's going on at present but I'm very rich historical background and perspective. So if any of you were interested in that I can be of some help. But other than that. My activities cover as I say the broad range of commission activities not restricted in any way to broadcasting or to the educational aspect of forecasting.
Let me ask you a general question too. Could you describe briefly if people might be aware what's the organization what what it what they do struggle I think is most like asking someone who is at the commission about the commission it's like it's like asking a very romantic young man what it's like to be in love. Yeah it's extremely difficult to describe but very briefly it was established the commission was established in 1934 by Congress and by the Communications Act of 1934 which is our Organic Act and the commission's functions as functions since that time. Now prior to that as some of you may know there was a Federal Radio commission but in 1934 that was abandoned and the present Act set up the present commission. There are seven commission is no more than four of whom can be of the same political party.
They each serve for seven years on the appointment of the of the president with the consent of the Senate and of course they can. They can serve successive terms if they're that fortunate or unfortunate as the case may be. The commission has several. Bureaus or divisions one of which is the broadcast bureau which deals with broadcasting another as I said was the common carrier division which deals with telephone telegraph with the commission's responsibilities and Comsat another division deals or is called a safety and special services division which deals with the industrial uses of radio in terms of taxicab police all of the special uses of radio which business is now becoming more and more engaged in which average over a half a million applications here. I have my fingers my figures correct. And then there's a female engineering and monitoring bureau in which the commission has extensive monitoring activities to make sure that the airways are not abused.
These offices are in several in several regions around the United States and and provide the regional aspect of the commission. The commission is rather small as Washington agencies go although as someone once said of Princeton there are those that are that love it. It has fifteen hundred employees approximately and a budget of some 16 million dollars or so here. And I was surprised to find recently despite the attitude of many people in broadcasting it has under 200 lawyers. So you see that they're very busy making a lot of for solving all of the problems which you have. I think that about covers the areas of of the Commission except to note that of course it's involved in the in the basic regulation of the national aspect of communications between states although in some areas with
respect to the activities within the state the commission also does have some regulatory activity with respect to the effect which such activity within the state can have on interstate communications and of course CATV in that respect is another new area of the commission's broadcast or points of broadcast regulation. Once more I'd like to introduce our goal of 2 0 5 0 not mentions he may not I ought to tell you people may not know that it was high who was responsible initially for the development of an educational broadcasting branch and for many years as chief of the economics the vision of the commission high began developing ideas interest in the commission in educational broadcasting. Thank you.
As Arthur said there are some of us who love it and I've been loving it for 22 years I've been with the commission since 1983. Currently I am an assistant chief of the broadcast bureau and in theory my job is to look into a crystal ball 10 years hands and see what the commission should have done last week. In practice I'm a kind of roving staff member and I get involved in almost all of the controversial and very matters that the Commission except application processing. I've been in the allocations in multiple only a ship in 50/50 in CATV a great many other magic formula which we have around the commission and some of which may be familiar to you. And as Bob said one of the functions I serve is to be concerned there is educational broadcasting I had a three year research and educational division and I see some of our
alumni here Larry Frye Meyer we have the first key thing here as I have for a staycation of broadcasting brands chief and I see Larry Frye Myers here and now we have Bob here yet and I've been very happy at the cooperation of the broadcasters to when able I was to get such fine representatives to serve us in this capacity I know that in the educational field we have done many things with which you have a grain and many more with which you have disagreed violently and I expect to have a chance to defend some of the disagreements today before you sit down and ask you a general question by clarify some areas for mission work for some people. We're talking here of course in terms of broadcast bureaus since that is the bureau of our interest. Hi could you comment on the broadcast bureaus relationship to the commissioners the seven commissioners and the relationship of the staff to the commissioners.
All of the decisions and all of the policy matters and all of the important things are all as they commissions origin and all of them to originate with the commission the role carried out by the Commission that we serve in the anonymous function of assisting that commission. We do not determine policy the policy is determined by the Commission we are merely assistants to the commissioners However in paying. We have approximately two hundred and fifty people assisting a commission of seven people most of whom are at odds with one another in what they want to do. And therefore if they even know they disagree with the staff as violently as they disagree with one another we are essential to them because we we do serve them a continuous series of problems like this. There are many OB's they are matters which are finally decided by the Commission if not most goes through a staff processing in which the staff. Has attempted to
analyze the problem has tried to point out o mines of inquiry or a decisional possibilities for the commission and then each week we meet with the commission. Having sent up to the commissioners memoranda which are very long and very involved and sometimes we wonder why we deal with things we're supposed to be communicators we never succeed in communicating. We have a weekly meeting with the commission in which we try to summarize what we've tried to set out in 14 pages of written text and then we have an opportunity to answer your arguments and try to persuade the commission sometimes to our point of view. We're relatively successful but relatively with quote marks. Nevertheless there are lots of things that the commission has delegated to us particularly in the processing area. There are many For example Martin here has a responsibility of issuing the educational license and he doesn't have to go back to the Commission except if there are some serious some problems which you raise new policy matters but ordinarily Martin
has the responsibility of issuing an educational license. But in general however most of the matter is the important matter is that I work with eventually have to go through a seven man commission and sometimes they have to go through the House and Senate before they finally resolved. Thank you. I'd like to introduce to you again hard copy Thwaites. Ladies and gentlemen obviously you didn't want to make speeches but let me tell you about the first time I appeared before you and I was in the state for the state educational for the education broadcasters. I never forget the occasion. I was a very inexperienced young engineer and it was a dinner meeting of the state presidents and I think it was in this very hotel.
George McConaughey was chairman of the commission and also our member of the panel. And before dinner I confided in joys that I was extremely nervous about planning for such a scholarly group. And we said Don't worry about the dogs that our folks don't take your blood for you. And if you remember George he was a very fine gentleman and but he's a bit of a very capable chairman also that he had a bit of the rascal many. So his remarks to reassure me very much to that point and I think you mean roll along in there. And finally we came to time to introduce the members of the panel. George came to me he said the next member of our panel with Mr. Sawyer compas
wait he was the only bachelor on the ceiling. He's in charge of propagation. Atl. So if any of you have any problems long lines after the. Function of our division is to process proposals to make changes in the rules and standards. Rules and standards and govern the operation of my current stations we see these proposals from many sources most of them from the industry and some are generated within the mission itself of course a commission can initiate the play. Oh well I think you've broken the ground on the question I was going to ask you and that is what happens in rule making. What's what we mean by rule making reports and orders if a problem comes up it seems a rule
is needed. What happens. Well the mechanics of processing these proposals go something like this. When we say I think tensions are engineers and lawyers sit down and I don't know what is the proposal if they decided that the rule making proceeding is merited and they very seldom turn when they ought to prepare a public notice along with a confidential memorandum to the commission going into the proposal in more detail that's placed on the regular commission agenda and action taken at the next me. If the commission decides that the post was meritorious they can publish the notice and it will be published and a period of time is given usually 30 days for
replies after the comments made plans there in our division again examines the petition along with the comments we prepare a final report in order which once again goes to the mission for the final decision. And then after it's published in the federal register it becomes final after 30 days. Of course even after the tissues for a reconsideration can be found if you don't like the proposal after the mission turns you down that you can go to or send someone whose own thank you. Well that was the easy part. Since I'm part of the mission staff these are kind of you know easy loaded questions. Now we come to the an a big question here is that and I suspect they the
questions may not be quite as easy to answer. Also although I hope so. In order to facilitate getting questions answers quickly I think we want to try to avoid having each person come up from this microphone. The keystone cop situation back here. I hope you will all be able to hear in the back of the room if people speak from their seats out let's try it anyway and hopefully we can keep volume up. You don't have to exercise your back row every propagation I think I'm going to sit down and I will turn the questions over that quite informally. These people in the gym felt I was going to start with you. I think Mr. Cochrane where your track record has been noticed recently in the trade press and discussions are that there's going to be a substantial reorganization of the
mission. We'll have with the educational brother getting rid of the rules and standards division rather than the vision of research and education. I'd be interested in knowing what advantage viewers have read that the president has directed the various federal agencies with him what they now call ideal organisation to consolidate many division under one Jesus passing so that we don't have chiefs assistant she's deputy Jesus into the Jesus this as men that are as you would have percolates down to the family mission to this year we have been through Jesus see how we can consolidate and streamline our supervisory levels and one of the areas that we have been considering is the consolidation
of what we consider similar functional units. Basically a great deal of our resources perhaps the overwhelming portion of our resources in the drug. It goes into application process and the issuance of the initial license transfer of the license as a renewal of the license. This is where most of our money and most of our money and evolve. We do have several other functional organizations and one extends viably in the area of policy rulemaking and Economic Research and allied with it is the educational voucher. We have been gives you the possibility of putting all the disease under one roof and this has not yet been considered by the commission unfortunately. It was we who did while I was doing draft warmly it was reported by the trade press but it is not something that I think is a subject in which I think I meant it this time because it has not yet even been considered by the commission.
But as far as the broadcast bureau is in there as far as the commission is going I do want to say one thing that no matter what. Your structure the commission will be no less than with its ruling educational broadcasting I think that to a man this is one area in which the commission is unanimous they all believe that educational broadcasting is one of the most significant areas in which the commission can assess you and I I can assure you that from the viewpoint of both the commission and the staff it will have no doubt areas of fact on the commission's actions in the field of education. I want to ask a question about interconnection and I will let you join in with us is this when you have Sisi of course regulates free online and our people of education television stations are much concerned with increasing the
number of interconnection links throughout the country when I drive 35 stations that are connected in one way or the other but the number would be vastly greater. We have surveys taken to show how much more it would be worth the long lines available what we consider far more realistic rates far more inexpensive rates what is the commission going to be doing about this. And as you know some of the educational people who are good guys. John Chapman there he made a presentation to the commission some months ago in which they set forth in some detail the problem that you're mentioning and that indicated that unless the AT&T rate structures was revised this would very serious question with them as to whether they may not unwillingly have to go into the interconnection business themselves. Now subsequently we
have addressed the letter to the AT&T and we've asked them to review their rates doctor in connection here for an interconnection and we are hoping that they will do a very thorough job in this connection. If you know they've been engaged in overall cost out of their services in terms of the various functions they perform and put into this rate structure their return that they now have in interconnection happens to be a very low return. But we are particularly concerned at the commission in getting additional information from AT&T as to whether they are costing in this area of educational drug interactions whether it is an opportunity for some further modification. We are however bound by our Act which requires that the common carrier may not discriminate about like services and so what we have always
is the problem of how we can set up educational broadcasting in such a way that doesn't create a precedent in terms of other actions in the commentary feel this is a difficult legal problem but it's not an insider but alive hopeful that within the near future there can be some progress here. I've been a long time. You say you're hopeful. How hopeful are you. Well when you're with me in this area of common carrier soulful means not today or tomorrow. Usually takes a year or two before you can work out anything it's not something that I would hold my breath for I might add to that that. As far as the commission no educational groups have a committee that's working with Bell Systems in an attempt to have. An agreement between them which would which would in a sense solve the problem and I know the commission is very interested in that. Followed very closely in hopes that the substance of the problem can be resolved before
it comes to the commission level as an active problem. I would know one other thing that just last week for the first time a number of years the Commission has sent or designated an investigation of the rate of return of the American Telephone Telegraph. Now this specific details of what's going to be considered in that investigation or hearing it could be called have not yet been fully evolved but it should consider as high said the rate of return for the various bell services including Interstate telephone and and and TWX as well as the related of Hillary services which involve interconnection. So to some extent the interconnection problem may be coming up before the commission in a formal investigation. In terms of the overall rate of return to Bell for all of the services I want the fact that I said it is not a short run
proposition. It's something which which I would hope you would follow with very close interest. I would question it concerns television which I'm sure is one that's on the minds of many of the people in our final of an increasing number of cases in which educational television stations have come to the commission as they legally marched all the while some of which will privately admit the practice has gone on for now for waivers of the rule which which prevents them from running background music over slides between classes or in the daytime schedule or when they're broadcasting I wonder if the commission would consider on its own initiative by instigating a petition lawmaking which would release educational television stations in one blanket rule making from this requirement that what do you on video must always be related. I don't think that I can really speak for the Commission
and whether what it would do if such a petition were filed I would say that if the educators are that interested in the problem somebody should present the commission with the petition. I should say that the commission has been very liberal so far in considering requests for a waiver of the rule to permit what we call a brain joy bridge between the afternoon program schedule and the evening schedule for educational stations. But the basis of the rule which is a general prohibition against this kind of broadcasting on television was grounded in the belief that it was a wasteful use of a valuable resource a 6 mega cycle channel to do essentially what an FM broadcast or even an AM broadcaster can do just as well. And this is this was the reason for the rule and in the absence I think of some compelling indication that that reason is no longer
a good reason for prohibiting it. Generally I should think that a station like that might run into some trouble. You have granted waivers for this what are the terms of the waivers you currently granted. Well generally speaking it's been a bridge between the afternoon and evening programming as I said with a limited amount of time devoted to just the audio and a slide on the media. We also specifically allow in the rules a period of time before the regular scheduled programming 15 in which this can be done. What are the limits in Islam. You say Oh you're allowing it. I can't tell you exactly what the outer limit the greatest number of hours each way has been an individual case and that individual life details the extraordinary range waiver is limited and it's generally fixed by the broadcaster itself and I think the commission is generally
approved but the broadcasters asked now if they had followed with another question because it stems from. In the case we've just been talking about the commission rules have been designed to avoid the waste of valuable frequency and as an educational radio broadcaster. I'm somewhat concerned about the fact that the reserved frequencies and the educational advantage and are even illegal in the case of our own state. Well as others not used on. On a 24 hour day bases are in many cases not even an 18 hour a day basis so that in both New York and Los Angeles my engineering judgment is sound. It's not my field but I think that it's true that in both New York and Los Angeles it is impossible for anyone to put any additional educational FM station on the air with the life of some part of this question What do you do about that UN reserved channel is the way it does that it at NYU is applied for by
all the many in the many the stations on in both cities are not all operating a full broadcast schedule. Here is the ground that's lying fallow and there are if not active applicants in both of those cities at least in both cities. Educational institutions who would be interested in applying and operating an educational radio station that they find that there are there are frequencies of frequencies already gone often to schools which operate a very limited schedule I don't know that's a question or a longstanding question. Yes how about that. Loop. First of all the matter of the frequency in New York that is reserved to the US and active consideration as a target and I don't know what the result's going to be. I might say that the commission does have rules which provide for a share time operation. We have no restriction against education Ed against educators
using commercial frequencies and FM there in TV if they're available. And if there's some situation where a channel is actually using lying on your first visit. A substantial portion of Don. And the educator can work out an agreement with the licensee of that particular frequency under our rules he can file an application for a 10 share time station and we would specifically license a station on the hours agreed upon between the two parties involved. It is true that we're in a very tight situation in the large metropolitan areas of this country love and the educational frequencies and in the commercial break. I want to follow that up with the girl question. Television there are a number of television stations providing essentially a daytime only service.
It has been rumored around that the commission is going to take a very dim view of this in the future. Look to revoking licenses or at least not awarding new licenses to channels the stations are burning of channels who apparently intend to do that. Is this is this true do you intend to look with disfavor on daytime only operation TV. The commission has always made it clear that broadcast channels must be used for broadcast purposes and therefore the emphasis must be on reaching the population in their homes rather than in schools. Nevertheless the commission is also recognize that you could have dual purpose stations that you could have stations which would be used during parts of the day brain school instruction although anybody in the home could still pick up that program and then hopefully during the afternoon evening hours that station would be programming for the general audience as a vile station.
Now it is true that there are some stations which have become largely invisible as Druck. You know devices and this was not something that the commission would encourage. And as a matter of fact we have set up a specific new service the instructional television fix in order to provide multiple channels for in-school his direction and that is an attempt to make sure to the extent possible that those who are interested in using television for instructional purposes will find a home and not in the broadcast. Their leverage at this time of the commission is also aware that there is a chance of a. National problem and that. The huge toll stations often derive their surest support from in-school instruct their. Work. The commission isn't at the point now where it will do it.
Station in London gauges the in-school instruction that in fact it recognizes that most stations will have to do both and that they will at the commission is not going to say that the station cannot engage in an instructional broadcasting the question as to whether the commission will say positively that you could not get a channel if you're going to use it for instructional purposes only. Is a more difficult one. Ordinarily when the application is application is filed with the commission the auditors says that we are going to start by violence substantially in the school instruction but we hope that within a certain period of time we will be able to get additional funds and we will be able to operate outside of the IN SCHOOL instructional field and program generally into the community and therefore the commission will be in those cases issuing licenses and we'll hope that the licensee will carry out that pharmacy and expand its programming and become a full fledged broadcaster here
like the father of two little. Ten years ago I suppose. I suspect it's quite likely that the school that is part of the stated in school instruction would be a very different thing. We're talking about my experience there in the vast quantities of instruction here in Asia later of the general school age or in other places. That is to say when I have plans that we don't really have more of this will have any of that definition of what is in school and whether a broadcast facility is a useful device for that for disregarding the actual building. Still there seems to be a little less. Well when I studied in school I meant only programs which were specifically geared for instructional purposes in the school but we recognize that instructional aspect is far broader than that and actually even now stations are programming for instructional purposes in the community at large and what I'm trying to say is that you can use other frequencies
more effectively for the purely instructional purpose where there are people only in buildings and not in home and not in a general party. Mission better are assembled in classroom situations that there are other frequencies which are perhaps more useful for that purpose than open channels that a single channel is a very inflexible instrument for in-school instruction or for classroom instruction that there are many perhaps better systems of it for that including the twenty five hundred which has five channels or close circuit that the open channel is more effective as a multiple use a system rather than as a in school instructional device so that in the future we would hope that there would be that there would be a growing proliferation of the situations to which it a broadcast station that vested self and not to be confined to a purely instructional device.
This will be accelerated if the UHF papers and will be in the future. I'm very hopeful that we will be coming out with a new allocation pozole fairly soon we didn't think much of the last year and I can be better. I don't think you'll sing much better more of the next my line. Why don't you tell us why you didn't like it and I answered that you did like our computer. You say you didn't like our computer and didn't like it either. You're looking at just where the line there today will be interested in oil reserves were very euro per se and we will like this with very little that they will you know are the reason for this difference. Well I suppose that basically the policy conflicts we have are why should you have this actually did you put it in the Simons
post commercial educational in as many places as you can. Technically even though you're not at all sure in fact you don't know whether stations are ever going to be built in these particular places. There are arguments on both sides of that as many have stated in the colored way I didn't mean to their arguments good arguments on both sides. We started out with a relatively saturated table that is we need a great many assignments even though we weren't at all certain that we were selecting the right communities to put those places. Andy and I even came up with a table which was much more saturated and ours and argued that they knew the right places to put these channels and then we took a look at their table and we thought their techniques were fine but then we disagreed with their policy decisions and these we said are the future of UHF is up and this is exceedingly complex in terms of trying to decide now whether a community or wide community should have an assignment. And if we did work out a system so that you could have
the best of both worlds in other words that you would put assignments in those places where you had some reasonable expectation that they would be used in the near future and you could fold your other channels in reserve but not hold them on a purely demand basis. As in radio in the AM radio but hold them in the form of a computer which will tell you when someone came in and said we should have an assignment two years from now in place X. This computer would be able to tell us that if we put that channel in place X it would prevent us from having in the future assignments in places y z and x 1 which were near this place so that we could then decide whether that was the best place to put the assignment in the future or not. We felt that this gave us a flexibility which we have never had as a technical matter. And this week's out with something that we should utilize to the fullest degree So our argument to the commission has been that we should put out a TiVo which made a limited number of assignments for educational roughly 650 which is
not so limited because you will have now less than 300 double that but saying to everybody that you think is winning when you're ready to come in for a child whether it's this year or 10 years from now chances are that there will be an opportunity for you to get channel assignments if you're ready to use them at that time. And the hope would be that because we have this flexibility in terms of rearranging our channel assignments every time a new application that we would be able in the long run to maximize the total number of assignments that we could make instead of being frozen in places where no child are ever going to be used. So this bit has been one of the policy decisions which has been an issue of between the any key position I suppose and I roam and we are still recommending to the Commission to pursue the same view so that's why I said that I didn't think. There are at least a
staff recommendation was not likely to please you any better. The second problem with the urging of the NE be that a commission the size three or four or five channels in the largest cities for educational broadcasting and the decision that the commission made was that we should not assign more than two educational assignments with one or two exceptions in any of the cities and the theory there being that the twenty five hundred would be an opportunity to get multiple channels and that you could not use the broadcasting frequencies for the phone limited purposes such as in school instruction and therefore at this time the Commission policy should be to limit educational reservations to two channels and this is a continuing. With that in terms of a different view we've opened the question of the table of allegations I wonder if you the family would comment a little bit on what the
likelihood is of the second part of that Proposed Rulemaking which deals with the establishment on the upper UHF frequencies of TV community class stations of 10 yellow watch visual how well what is the prognosis on that. I don't think that we're in the position yet we have not yet to analyze the responses new data file but if you do I don't think we have forgotten some of the comments in the village various people have filed comments but the final of the avalanche will not be until November and it will take some months before the staff is in line. While I have the floor I have another question which comes from the audience. Does a rule which forbids the duopoly rule referring to the committee wanted you for more than one station a market a blighted possibility of two educational stations to the same licensee in the same market. The answer is no the answer is No.
In both the developer legal and the multiple ownership rules do not apply to educational stations we have like 8 stations in one unit in Alabama. They are there I know that there has been an argument made. I I was surprised when the argument was first made to me I've never thought about applying it to the educational but the argument is one that merits some consideration the argument is made that there are differing groups in the community differing educational groups in the community and that one licensee may not be the appropriate spokesman for all of the differing viewpoints. Our feeling on that has been that we have been rather optimistic Maybelline overly optimistic in assuming that these could all be coordinated and consolidated in one licensee and that therefore we shouldn't be thinking in terms of competitive licensees but this may be kind of a wish rather than a practical viewpoint. But here are the policy as Martin said is that we do not apply to lock them up along the
ship to the educational. This is another question from the audience could you comment on the progress that educators are making in the use of the 25 and they were saying all right so going on that he thought he really. Has reached such a fortune in the natural course of stuff that you know the mission a lot of necessary drive to establish organization go home with Bruce and delicately That was Thursday will be the first meeting of a National Committee all of the lower end of the service. There are a dozen times over 60 have been patients for about 180 channels and this one is why they get so
big when say there are a lot of figures that we have you know clear about that but I think there are about six or eight now. Yeah you know there is one operation left hours ago one part of the country where they are serving 160 different schools from that one. So they're grown rather than like everything else has been rather regular. Maybe there's one thing that we might mention about the legend yesterday about the meaning of the state educational television officers that is when he wrote about what he didn't like his life serving our golden child but little by little as I possibly live go granddaughter
one parent with reasonable force was very very good. What's going to happen to those stations license state agencies local school systems. Both of these when the licensee finds that the 25 with a desire to go by the instructional materials happens in cases like that we maybe he'll just place the implications here they're only for the strong looks and if you re-evaluate their services services the rules are there. Question has been percolating in my mind rather about the FCC is concerned with local service to your three years ago I was on the stand if you Fargo you were with the Valdai responses
responsiveness to the local community. This was then the cry and other investigation was out of the city and the conclusion always seemed to be that local production was good that local origination was better than anything else. Is this still a commissionaire attitude is it being put into effect. You are misinterpreting. The commission policy on local region has a long historical document which underlies our allocation plan actually because we say that the reason why we need to have all these stations is that each station is the service community. If it were not so we could have a different allocation plan and we would have either airplanes or now satellites or some other high powered instruments provide national programming service so
that in theory at least the commission is committed to the notion that you have to have local outlets. Now when you get one step below that in terms of how much local programming or how much local production that station has to do then you are in a world of conflict and controversy and lack of specific guidelines. The commission has not said anywhere that the any station has to do X amount of local programming while I'm out. Ordinarily when the applicant comes to us he tells us that he is going to do a certain amount of local programming and usually he does something like that not necessarily what he tells us but to some degree. And then you get involved in the question of well what hours does he do it and what kinds of local programming. And it becomes clear that it is very
difficult if not impossible for seven commissioners to agree on a formula with which to which they would hold each station. The commission doesn't courage local programming and wishes that there were more of it. But it is not yet in the position or may never be where it will step down by rule. How much local programming should be done. I worry ma'am I asked that yesterday. The rule for the hearing that you're discussing of course was it was a hearing on on the overall broadcast service which was provided to a community such as Chicago or to Omaha and of course that dealt mostly with the commercial broadcasting aspect and a number of these questions have been raised. The commercial aspect of broadcasting as opposed to the educational aspect. Now by and large the Commission hopes for local ownership and local production and local identification of commercial stations as a means of of diversifying the national aspect of
broadcasting and bringing in the local feelings local thoughts to local needs and services. Now at the same time educational broadcasting is one of the commission's favorite means for accomplishing the same purposes namely to bring another Cold War new counterpart system of broadcasting to the American people. Now in many of these areas the commission tends to be strict in a sense on commercial broadcasting and yet extremely indulgent to educational broadcasting hoping merely that it becomes established and operates in. And provides us a substantial service to the American people so on and so on a number of these areas for example the question of whether the commission might take away a station or something or take away a license for failure to live up to certain prescribed standards. That's a problem you get into much more in commercial broadcasting and I would be a very sad in black day if the commission ever got into it in terms of education abroad and at present of course the
commission's attitude is encouraging garbage rather than rather making demands in terms of local identification but at the same time the hope would be that that the educational station would likewise be a vehicle for local needs and services and not merely be an outlet for national educational needs that also provide another local outlet you know Course without doing too much research. The number of locally produced programs or you know education dollars goes down sharply every year as a trend which started out of money years ago. Ever lower as we get more money. More services and more attention the program quality is almost inevitable. Does the commission view the downward trend of local production with alarm more as is expressed earlier with much love. The commission is very much concerned the same thing is true in the commercial field due to the same trend has been sharply here and in the commercial area and we have hope as I think it's there that the educational stations would be
the local mouthpiece to an increasing degree. But the problem has arisen. Our finances and resources in terms of the education station the commission is very cutely aware that these are the problems which cannot be cured overnight and therefore it has not tried to intervene nor do we have any magic formula for saying that the stations must put on a certain amount of local programming as Artie says it's a question of encouraging rather than regulating and we're as I agree with Chuck that increasingly as you go into a networking system it becomes increasingly difficult to do encourage local memory so that hopefully what what we did. We would hope to come out of this is to have some kind of regional centers. There are some regional libraries and we would hope that regional networking at least
with the finance there and it be possible so that the country does not become marginalized in all the programming come out of one place whether that will be true or whether we're just whistling in the dark. Is is uncertain at this time. The tire seems to be against what. And nobody seems to have a good answer I think everybody agrees in principle that there should be local programming regional programming and as a final step in national programming but what happens in the truth in the real world is that there's much more support for a national program sources than there are from local or regional programming this is a problem for us as well as for you I suppose it's time to drop a bomb or two. But we talked about financing. Yeah and the question TBD from the audience it was also on my list about the underwriting of educational television programs and allowable practices and allowable announcements.
Same question from the audience. Would you comment on what seems to be a relaxing of these requirements. However I have not noticed any relaxing of requirements nor have I noticed anybody asking for relaxing in the required but what are your attitudes and what are the future changes in this goal. We are sure. The rule has remained unchanged. These practices have been quite lenient up to this point. We have recently stations which have engaged in practices which do not seem to square with our rules. And this has raised a serious policy problem. We faced the alternatives do we have the force the present are the present rules the best rules that we can have
should they be and in some form should we go for a tighter system should we go for a looser system and this is becoming a rather important project for the staff at the present time we have been having some meetings about it and I think that we will be inquiring on your TiVo less to let your reactions to it it are at this time what are the pros and cons of going either way. I suspect that this may end up in a pose of the change the rule one of these days how soon I can predict it this time but it is a matter of which we are very concerned. We recognize that there are conflicting considerations. Obviously you need support and you don't have a steady form of subsidization support in your view you have to try to get it wherever you can you have a hand. The question is always whether when you get some of this support this this affects the purposes for which we have reserves the channel and you could argue. About intention and practice and lessly from an administrator standpoint however we have to come
out with a some kind of a rule which works in most cases and we have not interpreted our rule as literally as what a lawyer reading it I think he would be amazed at how turf it is. Nevertheless there are limits as to how far we do know and still work under this very flexible rule and as this which is giving us wages that are missing then followed up with a question that has to do with radio since I feel some responsibility as a big jerk with asking radio asking questions radio people may ask. I'm looking here primarily for information concerns facts because I'm in the dark about this and perhaps some of the audience knows more than journos more than I do you know the analysts in the educational radio in some markets where Texaco was custom tailored Metropolitan Opera networks were not carried by a local station. There have been arrangements made the details of which I now seek to find are in by which educational under Marshal stations have
carried these broadcasts. I would assume without the Texaco commercials but I don't know if that been one of the instances in which the rules have been waived or to get rid of the cut away on it. I think what we have Julian Larry five mines a real expert on this subject. What we have told the station is that they should try to cut out to the maximum extent possible. We assume less than the maximum extent possible is not always practice but this is the theory in which we have gotten to them with a mission. Are there other games so I take him home or was he just you know just you really must have been other instances besides the Metropolitan Opera broadcast of this kind. You're
right. Think of this Internet Iraq resigned some room can war and raise the questions isn't adding up here but that's a veil not live but on tape this is not I think it only fair to say that despite the fact that there may be certain instances of people can point to that it would be it would be well to go into this area with great care and circumspection less you kill the goose that is laying very large eggs and a right and a ready hand on the incoming line. No it's just a very serious questions with a very basic policy one and for many people goes to the entire foundation of the commissions reserved and channels in the first place obviously of it. If a school as a city has a station which which it chooses to operate non-commercially it can if it
wishes to. In a sense deviated as long as a noncommercial aspect is not written into the license but on reserve channel which the commission sets aside the noncommercial aspect the name often is a basic prerequisite of the license and some people will argue with you deviate from that substantially you lose the very eligibility. Not only for the station but for the but for the very existence of the policy which made the channels available and this was argued I know very vehemently back when the channels were first set up for education back in 1950 because some people argue that there was a need to to make them just a little bit commercial in order to pay for them. But the commission but another question. Well in any event they were set aside specifically for noncommercial purposes and they remain so to this day I have another version of the order. There is a new program reporting for the web page of a new weave what Inform is completely in that
their lives live separate. We do have a separate form now. We are on the AM FM program forum that we adopted with Marshal station we have early we have a forum for the educational station unless there is some dissatisfaction with that one. I haven't heard it as we would not attempt to me by pointing before our board yesterday whether or not we should really go organization television and seek a full body of separate group finance reports in the past have been applicable here. People are working on a new report. The underwriting practices are obsolete. The rules are not being interpreted as they perhaps are intended. Many other pieces of the Act are it seems to us might be looked at completely and if we are not proposing it we're not ready with a plan by any means but will this be welcomed or other than Commission study I
think would be a great idea and we would be ready to sit down with you on any aspect of it. Work together on it. I think I think it's highly desirable. Mr Jorgensen commenting on that at the board meeting the other day pointed out that for instance in the not too much left them rules are entirely separate from the FM rules but the noncommercial television rules are scattered through the day through the television rules and regulations and that not only could be my changes be made to bring noncommercial television rules more into line with current needs but just bloody bookkeeping operation of putting them in one separate place where they can write more readily be found by noncommercial broadcasters would be a helpful step for 110 stations that are on the line it is even sillier than that I think the rules are not too much left them a different wording from the 90s Marshall TV is no reason but I think it's just a question of time and working in mine. Major speech was made only in the Senate by Sen. Magnussen on the need for amending the facilities and raise the ceilings allowing more government
action and revise and bolster the facilities that this act is of course part of the negations act although it's not directly in ministers and it's dollar loans by FCC certainly have CC as a very direct role in it and is likely to have a very direct role in the seeking of amendments are you about to see some amendments are you recommending them in a position to express Well I have as a staff representative of the commission working with AGW in the hearings. Those changes are the facilities that the proposals have not yet reached the upper echelons of either office the governor or the FCC that is the staffing within the next yard would be for our staff group to hear recommendations to our respective agencies and which time the Commission and the AGW people have a chance to comment. The staff closes but the staff group is
recommending various changes in the facilities that you feel free to tell us a little bit about what those are. I don't think that would be community just could we ask if you think it likely whether or not asking whether it's your view or do you think it likely that educational radio income and the auspices of the education cities act in the future. I should hope so whether the school and I would say that I suspect that both of our agencies will be favorable toward the changes and expansion of the facilities act but I don't think I'm a position to comment on the details. Yes I'd like my raises question. I'd like to raise one more question I don't know that that's one on which we can come to a clear answer. There have been in the past and most recently I guess of the Rajah's Channel 13 rights to gays I understand there is now a similar case in Medford Oregon in which there is a lead 30 the age at channel of the which is being sought by
both commercial broadcasting none reserved at the moment and being sought by both commercial broadcasters and educational broadcasters and the FCC faces the difficult task of deciding which is more in the public interest. Third network service which is it. In both of these cases I believe ABC war and educational television service. Could any of you guys again I guess the question is How about that. Would you care to comment on it. There is obviously you're quite right there's a conflict of objectives and in the case of the Rochester The commission decided with the third network service I think one of the factors which resulted in that decision is the greater availability of UHF since we have the all child receiver and hopefully within the next five years you will have virtual saturation of the homes the argument is made that for the longer run that it isn't right. I think you can
serve the educational needs with you a job and that the Commission feels that immediately there is a dangerous need in having three fully competitive television network. Now I'm sure each of us and each of you have some different feeling about whether that is a proper decision or not but that at this time is the policy of the commission. Commissions is very much interested in developing UHF to its fullest which you're just developed UHF or rapidly ABC out of the way gestation. We have a development on the VHF which developed UHF much faster. ABC in fact is
one. If you lost your money aren't you really do not want to live with that news with all deliberate. I think the argument here is that it is unfair to one network such as a PC to bear the burden of developing UHF where the unpaid competing networks are in VHF and back. This is not effective way of developing UHF because in fact you don't get the audience as readily and let these advertisers are going to be putting their programs on the VHF to the maximum of stamped and they're not going to water the UHF or commercial networking purposes if they can. If they can possibly find time on the VHA network now we have tried we have considered the possibilities of rationing time and even of rationing stations of them on the network so that there would be equal opportunity.
But all of these involve very detailed and complex regulations of network programming and the Commission finally decided that it was not practicable so that actually However to give the full story as you well know we have in the end there are approximately 100 VHF frequencies which are available to educational stations. Initially the commission's policy was that where there were less than three of the AM stations on the air the third one would go to educational donations so that I think in fairness to the commission in the largest number of cases the commission has made a third of the age of channel available at places Boston kids break and Chicago and many other places where educators have been ages. Now when you come down to a particular place such as right along the line it is feel that they've made decisions which we may not agree with but this was a decision that weighing of the activities at that particular individual is very very assiduously.
They know this. QUESTION Just one question that occurred to me and it's becoming more and more the practice I believe commercial broadcasters do permit the use of their powers for educational antennas in order to save the activating stations at least that much of the cost of the activity. When I heard that there are some instances where either the station is even a zoning board when it gets into the air. I have tried to attach strings to these agreements whereby the educational station would have to guarantee that it would present no programs overage there were any kind of credits were given to anyone whether this were a corporation or business from whatever is with a horse tied to a station down not running many many programs many programs from other educational stations or any free films where a corporation or sponsor is mentioned with the FCC react to such and if it came up. Well I think first of all when I'd say the commission has had rules since the beginning
since 1952 Anyway I would encourage the joint use of tars and the grouping of powers to the greatest extent possible. We have outstanding now a proposal for the establishment of antenna farms which looks toward the establishment of groups of powers or individual towers with room for more than one antenna on in a single place not only for broadcast purposes but for safety on they so that we do encourage joint use of towers. I think that the question as posed might raise some real question about whether or not the licensee who asked the educator to entered into that kind of agreement I was not asking the educator to abandon his licensee responsibility and if this were the case. It never reached the point of where the it was the commercial station rather than the educator educational licensee who is determining the policy of the educational station.
Then of course I think that the commission's policies and the requirements that we have for the license a making his own decisions would probably have to take President over any contractual engagement he might have with a commercial broadcaster that's vital. Does your argument on shared use of power also apply here you can well on the on the shared use of channel the commission is like that strictly up to the licensees to enter into agreements with the commission with respect in writing to the license The only problems that we've we have a problem when we have to try to determine once a share time agreement has been reached if we get into problems as to how it is being carried out whether or not the contract has been lived up to whether some changes in the arrangement should be made. We do that but very very reluctantly basically the
rule was stated in such a way that the people that are entering into the agreement should arrive at their own decisions and the commission will respect the halves and in writing into the you encourage character. We permitted to die I think that whether I wouldn't want to say that we encourage it in that way we would think that it would be the ideal certainly it's not the ideal is for each licensee to have full control of this frequency all the time. I think it's an expedient thing and that's about all you can say. We hope that all the questions you might have had have been answered but if not there are about 10 minutes before the bourbon starts flowing. Gentlemen here will be remaining till our time anywhere on earth. To answer the question Jeff. Thank you all so much for coming. Having.
Her here over me and me out here.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
1965 National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention
Educational Broadcasting and the FCC
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-mc8rgv90).
No description available
Public Affairs
Media type
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 5502 (University of Maryland)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:00?
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “1965 National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention; Educational Broadcasting and the FCC,” 1965-11-01, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “1965 National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention; Educational Broadcasting and the FCC.” 1965-11-01. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: 1965 National Association of Educational Broadcasters Convention; Educational Broadcasting and the FCC. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from