Safe Harbor

January 29, 2011 by onair

Tonight on Safe Harbor we’re gonna hear tracks from artists such as Cymande, The Ohio Players, as well as the Brothers Johnson. Tune in tonight and every Saturday night at 10pm for your favorite funk and soul classics.

Noise Radius this week – RBTS WIN, New Cut Copy & More

January 25, 2011 by Arieh.Samson

This week on Noise Radius.  Music from Asheville’s RBTS WIN and a three new tracks from Melbourne Australia’s Cut Copy.  The tracks are from their 2011 release Zonoscope.  Also, deep cuts from The Damned and others.

1 LP & 1 EP can be downloaded for free at RBTS WIN’s website .

Noise Radius – Every Tuesday 7-PM on Main-FM.

Media Reform & MAIN returns today at 4:30 p.m!

January 21, 2011 by Wally Bowen

Join us today at 4:30 p.m. EST for the first edition of ‘Media Reform & MAIN’ for 2011!   Listen live at 103.5 FM or live-stream at

Topics today include improving MAIN-FM’s signal, new attacks on net neutrality, and the Comcast/NBC merger approval’s glimpse of the corporate enclosure of the Internet.


Cleve Mathews, founding NPR news director, dies at 84

January 19, 2011 by Wally Bowen

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Cleve Mathews, newsman and journalism educator, died Jan. 14, 2011 in Asheville, N.C.. He was 84 years old. The cause of death was esophageal cancer and its subsequent complications, according to a family press release.

Mathews was a long-time MAIN supporter and served on MAIN’s Community Journalism Advisory Board.

As the first news director for National Public Radio (NPR), from its origin in 1971 to 1974, he set up the network’s then unique news operation, in which reporters were given much more time and support than usual to examine news topics thoroughly. He quarterbacked the team that created “All Things Considered” under creative coach Bill Siemering and shared the American Bar Association’s Gavel Award for explaining legal issues in Watergate. In 1972,

“All Things Considered” received the George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcast journalism.

Before joining NPR, Mathews served in a variety of editing posts, from 1959 to 1971, at the New York Times including assistant foreign editor under Harrison Salisbury and associate editor of the Washington bureau under Max Frankel.

In 1974, he left journalism to begin a long second career in academia. From 1974 to 1977, he was a professor of journalism at Wichita State University. From there he moved to the S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, where he served as a professor and assistant dean from 1977 to 1991. In 1980 he took a one-year leave of absence to serve as the first Atwood visiting professor at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and help establish a journalism program there.

Mathews retired to Asheville in 1992, where he lectured regularly on media and public affairs at the College for Seniors at UNCA until he fell ill in 2010.

He was co-author, with William L. Rivers, of the book “Ethics for the Media.”

Cleve Lindell Mathews was born on a farm in Bosque County, Tex., son of Rufus and Irene Mathews. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marion; three children: Tom Mathews and his spouse, Lois Heinlein, of Portland, OR; Kate Mathews and her spouse, Bob Bowles, of Barnardsville, NC; and Rich Mathews and his spouse, Jane Gianvito Mathews, of Asheville, NC; three grandchildren; one great-grandchild; one brother, John Mathews and his spouse, Sally, of Lewisburg, PA; and numerous relatives in the Waco, TX area.

He was in the Navy Officer Training Program at the University of Michigan when World War II ended. He subsequently earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at Michigan. It was under the tutelage of Wes Maurer that his interest in journalism flourished. He began his career at the St. Louis Post Dispatch.

In his later years, he wrote poems and won first place in 2007 in the Poetry Council of North Carolina contest for traditional poetry. A selection of his poems is published on the Internet at

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 28 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville. His ashes will be interred in the Church’s Memorial Garden, a facility he tended to for some years.

In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Asheville and the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement’s College for Seniors at UNC-Asheville.


FCC head promises ‘swift action’ on LPFM rules

January 10, 2011 by Wally Bowen

Published Jan. 10, 2011 in Current, “the newspaper about public media in the United States.”

By Karen Everhart

Low-power FM advocates are celebrating a hard-won victory with enactment of the Local Community Radio Act, approved in the last days of the 111th Congress and signed Jan. 4 by President Obama.

The law clears the way for expansion of low-power FM stations, a noncommercial licensing category established by the FCC a decade ago but confined to small markets and rural communities by interference-protection rules demanded by full-power broadcasters. Their transmitter power is limited to 100 watts, reaching from three to five miles.

Approved with bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, the law gives the FCC more flexibility in assigning channels to LPFMs and resolving interference problems with full-power FMs and their translators.

“The thing that people really feel is really a ton of joy,” says Hannah Sassaman, a longtime organizer for Prometheus Radio Project, a Philadelphia-based group that led a spirited, broad-based and tenacious grassroots campaign to get the bill moving through Congress. “Now there’s going to be thousands of opportunities to license LPFMs in cities and towns.”

Advocates predict as many as 1000 LPFMs could sign on, although the FCC has many issues to resolve before anyone knows how many channels will be available.

“There’s about 800 stations now, and this could at least double that,” said Cheryl Leanza, a longtime advocate for the microstations who now represents the National Federation of Community Broadcasters. “This will vastly expand the number of listeners LPFMs are able to reach, because it allows stations to be licensed in the top 50 markets.”

Anti-interference mileage restrictions that have limited LPFM licensing — the so-called third-adjacent-channel protections — will be eased when the bill takes effect, and the FCC is authorized to assess potential interference with topographic contour-mapping instead of simple mileage between stations on the same or adjacent frequencies.

“The contour method is very good at predicting interference,” said Brandy Doyle, regulatory policy director for Prometheus. “It’s a modern method for licensing stations in all services, and the legislation authorized it for LPFMs.”

“The reality of spectrum availability is that the contour method is the only realistic way that signals will become available,” said Leanza.

Found senators’ secret “holds”

NPR opposed earlier actions to expand LPFM on behalf of member stations, but dropped out of the fight after successfully lobbying for provisions in the House bill approved in December 2009. Commercial radio continued its opposition until it was the last lobby standing against it.

The Local Community Radio Act languished in the Senate for most of last year. With former Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith as president of the National Association of Broadcasters, the trade group persuaded a series of senators to place secret holds on the bill. Prometheus orchestrated a tireless lobbying campaign to ferret out lawmakers blocking the legislation.

“Every time there was a hold, activists would call every single Senate office,” Sassaman said.  “Seventy-five percent of the Senate would say, ‘We’re not blocking it.’”

Senators who didn’t respond would hear from constituents who supported the bill, drawn from a diverse grassroots coalition including religious organizations, media reformers and social justice groups.

A Dec. 13 rally outside NAB headquarters in Washington, D.C., was a photo-friendly high point for the campaign. Activists wearing colorful wigs and costumes swung hula hoops and shouted, “Stop making us jump through hoops! Support low-power FM radio and the Local Community Radio Act!” The spectacle was covered by national and Washington-insider media; NAB shortly dropped its opposition and negotiated a compromise.

The law places the burden of resolving interference problems on low-power stations, and explicitly states that full-power stations are higher priority than LPFMs in the pecking order of FM broadcasters. The law decrees equal ranks for LPFMs and FM translators of full-power stations, but the FCC must work out new rules to resolve interference problems between these two classes of stations.

“We’ve accepted these obligations because we think interference is unlikely, and we’re committed to working with full-power stations and the FCC to resolve them in ways that don’t result in taking stations off the air,” Doyle said.

Special provisions protecting radio reading services that air on subcarriers of full-power stations, secured by NPR in the House bill, are now written into law.

After President Obama signed the Local Community Radio Act into law, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski described it as “a big win for radio listeners.”

“Low-power FM stations are small, but they make a giant contribution to local community programming,” Genachowski said. “The FCC will take swift action to open the dial to new low-power radio stations and the valuable local service they provide.”

Primary sponsors of the legislation were Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Reps. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) and Lee Terry (R-Neb.).

Comments, questions, tips?