portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reporting oregon & cascadia

alternative media | corporate dominance

Jefferson PublicRadio - the Clear Channel of Public Radio


You may be aware of increasing instances where NPR affiliates, acting more like Clear Channel Communications, are swooping in on unsuspecting communities and stealthily purchasing existing local radio stations and their FCC licenses in order to build their (non-profit) empires. We in northern Humboldt County, CA are the latest victims
Last fall, Jefferson Public Radio (JPR)-based almost 200 miles away
(by road) in Ashland, Oregon-brokered a deal with KZPN-FM, which will
eliminate local control of our station. For more than 11 years, KZPN
has broadcast BBC World Service 24/7 to a potential local listening
audience of as many as 75,000 residents. Its loyal listeners were
never informed that a sale was imminent or that they were about to
lose their station forever.

Local residents formed an ad-hoc group, "Friends of the BBC," to
fight the transfer. The addition of KZPN to JPR's growing cache of
more than 50 stations and repeater stations is reminiscent of the
FCC's recent sanctioning of the concentration of media and the
inevitable loss of diversity. Our local BBC station is literally the
only one of its kind in the entire nation, broadcasting international
news from a non-American perspective 24/7. JPR's intention to
silence this station and replace it with a third (!) NPR feed to this
area is absurd.

We are conducting a successful pledge drive which will enable us to
make a counter offer to the local owners, who were selling primarily
for personal reasons. We led a letter-writing campaign to the FCC,
ultimately generating more than 100 letters opposing the license
transfer. We did local media outreach, alerting the public to JPR's
hidden agenda. Local residents were stunned to find out what was
happening behind their backs.

JPR's application to the FCC was filled with fraudulent statements,
which were cited in our objections to the FCC. Last week the FCC
ignored our concerns (Surprise Surprise!) and approved the license
transfer. We will appeal the decision. In the meantime, we are
calling on all residents of Oregon and California, who are concerned
about the theft of public airwaves, to HELP US SAVE our beloved local
station from the empire-building goals of Jefferson Public Radio.

IS YOUR COMMUNITY NEXT on JPR'S HIT LIST? Do you have a local radio
station ripe for the picking? JPR's tentacles extend along the
Interstate-5 corridor from Eugene, OR to Redding, CA: and down the
Pacific Coast from Coos Bay, OR to Mendocino, CA. (View the map at

We've tried to reason with JPR's Executive Director, Ron Kramer, but
he has been consistent in his hostility toward our local community's
yearning to maintain local control over our own radio station's
ownership and programming content. It's bad enough when giant media
corporations vacuum up everything in their paths, but when a public
listener-supported, university-based radio station engages in similar
practices, it is an absolute OUTRAGE and must be stopped!

We may have just days left before our local BBC programming goes
silent. THERE IS NO TIME TO LOSE. Please let Ron Kramer and his
rubber-stamping board of directors know that our community will do
whatever it takes to stop them from expropriating our local station.

We urge you to take 10 minutes TODAY to help us. Here's what you can do:

1) Send a fax, letter, or e-mail to JPR Executive Director Ron Kramer
and his board of directors (addresses below), and then follow it up
with phone calls to as many as you can. If you don't have time to
contact the full list, please focus on the first three named people.

2) Forward this URGENT Media Alert to every one you know in Oregon
and California who is concerned about the corporatization of our
media and ask them to act promptly.

3) Email or mail us a copy of what you've sent so we know what's
going on out there - c/o Carol Howard, P.O. Box 6906, Eureka, CA
95502, or or 707-269-7072.

Let JPR know that you are outraged by their behavior, that you're
watching them closely, that they have no right to steal a local
station from its loyal listeners and supporters, that the local
communities don't want or need a third NPR station. AND if you're a
contributor to one of their 50 stations in Oregon or northern
California, tell them that you will no longer offer your financial
support as a listener until they pull out of this deal, and allow the
existing local owners to instead sell to "Friends of the BBC." We
are rapidly raising sufficient pledge money to make an offer, but we
need JPR to back out of the deal before we can do so.

Jefferson Public Radio (JPR) general information:
fax 541-552-8565
phone 800-782-6191 or 541-552-6301
1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520

JPR Executive Director:
Ron Kramer, 120 Wimer St., Ashland, OR 97520
fax 541-552-8565

JPR Board members:

(Board President) Steven Nelson, 1286 Woodland Dr., Ashland, OR 97520
phone 541-488-3178, fax 541-552-8565

Judy Uherbelau, 607 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, OR 97520
phone 541-482-2621

Andrea Pedley, 5159 Blackberry Ln., Eureka, CA 95503
phone 707-445-1203

James Risser, 71 Water St., Ashland, OR 97520
phone 541-488-4594

Steven Lytle, 1327 Reddy Ave., Medford, OR 97504
phone 541-282-0804

Richard Joseph 792 Roca St., Ashland OR 97520
James Ratzlaff, 391 Stillwater Dr., Roseburg, OR 97470

Bernard Agrons, 3900 Twin Pines Ln., Klamath Falls, OR 96003

Diane Gerard, 10194 Victoria Dr., Redding CA 96001

Robert Berkowitz, 505 Lauff Ave., Crescent City, CA 95531

Rolf Pitts, P.O. Box 451, Grants Pass, OR 97526

Ronald Metzger, 880 Oregon St., North Bend, OR 97459

JPR Program Director:
Eric Teel
fax 541-552-8565

phone: phone: 707-269-7072
address: address: c/o Carol Howard, P.O. Box 6906, Eureka, CA