Wednesday, March 15, 2017


Dan Auerbach
Folks planning the 2017 NON-COMMvention have announced several of the artists and bands that will be featured at public media’s most affordable, and often most enjoyable, annual conference May 17-19 in Philadelphia. 

The latest addition is The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach. The musician, producer and commentator will join WXPN’s Dan Reed for the NON-COMMversation, one of the NON-COMM’s most popular sessions.

Auerbach has produced recordings for The Pretenders, Dr. John, Cage the Elephant, St. Vincent, Lana Del Rey, The Growlers in addition to The Black Keys.

Other artists that are set to appear include Robert Cray and Hi Rhythm, Benjamin Booker, Blondie, The Pixies, Bash & Pop, Ani DiFranco, The Mavericks, Laura Marling and Chicano Batman.  Another major showcase will feature Paul Shaffer and the World’s Most Dangerous Band, currently on their first post-David Letterman tour.

Early registration is now open and will continue through April 24th at [link]. Conference fees range from $120 to $200.


Last week the FCC ruled that a station with a popular music format is, indeed, an “educational” service. Beasley Broadcasting, a commercial station owner, complained that WVVF-LP in Tampa failed to provide promised “educational” programming and is unfairly competing with one of their music stations.

In its complaint, filed with FCC in July 2015, Beasley alleged that WVVF “…is operating in a manner inconsistent with the requirement that low-power FM stations ‘be used for the advancement of an educational program.”

Beasley also said in its complaint that WVVF “has positioned itself as a competitor" with commercial stations in the Tampa market, particularly [Beasley’s] station WYUU.

WVVF is known locally as 100.1VIVA FM [link] and plays Latin Classic Hits.  In promotional material, the station describes itself this way:

VIVA FM’s Latin Music recipe reflects the authentic flavor of our culture and customs and is definitely here to stay. It exists not because of mass media exposure but because people like it, want it and create the demand for it.

Core artists heard on 100.1VIVA FM include Gloria Estefan, Ruben Blades, Mark Anthony, Celia Cruz and Grupo Niche. 100.1VIVA FM claims in its promotion material. much to Beasley's displeasure:  

Covering the Largest Concentration of Hispanics in the Entire Tampa Market!!

Beasley’s WYUU is known as Maxima FM and plays Latin Pop music. In Nielsen Audio’s January PPM ratings, WYUU had an estimated 4.0 AQH Share and 244,000 weekly cumulative listeners.  WVVF was not listed in the ratings.

According to Beasley’s complaint, WVVF violated FCC rules by:

• Broadcasting popular Spanish-language music, accompanied by professionally produced promotional announcements that attempt to create the sound and presence of a competitive commercial operation.

• Telling people that it offers “an alternative” to WYUU.

• Saying on-air that they play “more popular” music than WYUU.

In other words, Beasley says its 50,000-watt commercial operation is being out-classed by a 79-watt noncom startup. Beasley whines: It is just not fair!

The FCC found Beasley’s complaint to be without merit and dismissed it.

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