St. Paul Pioneer Press
December 30, 1996

"Follow-ups, failed careers, rantings"

Brian Lambert

media critic

Mr. F.R of Minneapolis writes to ask, "What happened with that guy who was running the pirate radio station? He had all his equipment confiscated by the cops, but what's he doing now?"

Dear Mr. F.R.: That man you refer to is Alan Freed, creator/proprietor of all-dance music Beat Radio, a low-power, unlicensed operation that briefly occupied 97.7 on the FM dial.

By exploiting the arcane and anachronistic by-laws of the FCC, Freed's much larger commercial competitors were able to force authorities to grab his equipment and shut him down last Nov. 1.

Freed, who is no fool, is preparing a legal case with hopes of persuading a judge to let him resume broadcasting on 97.7 (or somewhere else), at least until a national precedent is set by a similar case in the San Francisco Bay area.

Regular monthly fundraisers are being held in support of Beat Radio. The next is scheduled for Jan. 5 at the South Beach Club, 325 First Ave. N. in Minneapolis.

The critical point here is that with the likes of Disney, Chancellor and Westinghouse moving toward monopolistic control of all "available" radio frequencies, the FCC needs to get with the times and seriously consider licensing technically proficient, responsible low-power operators like Freed. If you care to donate, you can send a check to Beat Radio Defense Fund, PO Box 3333, Minneapolis, Minn. 55403.

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