St. Paul Pioneer Press
January 22, 1998

Brian Lambert

media critic

The saga of Beat Radio continues. The low-powered "pirate'' (or "micro-broadcaster,'' if you prefer) Loring Park-area station was yanked off the air 14 months ago under a rather far-fetched interpretation of an archaic FCC regulation. While the whole issue of the legitimacy of such low-powered stations (25 watts doesn't create much interference with 50,000-watt giants) continues to be debated, a California court denied the FCC's motion for a permanent injunction in a similar case in the San Francisco Bay Area. Free Radio Berkeley (where else?) continues to operate seven days a week, 24 hours a day, thanks to a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken this past November. Here, Beat Radio, which has its own legal problems, has found an ally in KFAI-FM (90.3 and 106.7), which has given the station-turned-format three hours of air time Sunday nights from 2 to 5 a.m.. So, OK, its not drive time on KQRS. But a friend's a friend.

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