January 16, 2020 11:20 am at 11:20 am #1823405
Kol Hashalom 88.7 has been off the air for at least a month and the newish station airing the lectures of Amnon Yitchak on 88.5 has been off for the same amount of time. Does anyone know what happened. Were they busted by the FCC for operating without a license? Or is it something more benign like equipment problems. Still looking for Jroot to get back on the air.January 16, 2020 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm #1823490
While there has been no formal announcement, your speculation is most likely correct with respect to why your favorite “pirate” heimeshe stations are off the air. For those who don’t follow the arcane rules, the FCC is required under the Federal Communications Act to protect the integrity and “property rights” of licensees holding broadcast rights over certain frequencies. When Trump appointed Ajit Pai as chairman of the FCC, Pai promised to take more aggressive action to eliminate pirate stations and has sought to increase the fines imposed for violators. The problem is that as transmission equipment has become cheaper and more sophisticated there were a proliferation of pirate stations operating, in major urban markets focused on ethnic listeners who were not served by commercial stations. In the NYC metro area, the frequencies between
87 and 92 FM have been especially “crowded” with at times nearly a dozen pirate stations operating with hosts speaking in Creole (Hatian), Yiddish, Hebrew ( and several other languages. For example, the Kol HaShalom broadcasts in Hebrew on FM 88.7 were periodically blocking out the signal from Long Island’s WRHU which had complained that its broadcasts on the Island barely were audible (except on Shabbos) over the hum of KolHashalom.
If you want to know for certain, file a FOIA request with the FCC regarding any enforcement action they have recently taken.January 16, 2020 1:45 pm at 1:45 pm #1823467
My guess is an FCC issue. A license isn’t cheap.January 16, 2020 5:35 pm at 5:35 pm #1823616
Have the heimish pirates been fined by the FCC?January 16, 2020 5:48 pm at 5:48 pm #1823641
Its not certain that they were removed by FCC order, much less fined. As I noted above, its speculation since the FCC rarely publicizes its enforcement actions against these “pirate” stations unless its a repeat offender. Most of the time, their respond to complaints from the commercial station ans simply try to get the offenders off-the-air.January 17, 2020 12:55 am at 12:55 am #1823656
It’s hard to know what happened. Years back Jroot which was on 97.5 was raided by the FCC and shutdown. There is discussion about this in t archives. They were back on the air shortly after. As mentioned earlier equipment is cheap. Also, enforcement actions from the FCC are slow and mired down in bureaucracy. Additionally even when fines are levied, there’s a government statute that allows the fine to be reduced ability to pay. There are also more informal actions where enforcement comes by and orders a shutdown without additional penalty. Jroot stayed on the air until a Christian religious station from South Jersey was allowed to legally place a “translator” transmitter on the frequency. They moved to 94.1 but went off shortly after that. Kol Hashalom has been on more than ten years and very rarely goes off. Last time that happened, several weeks went by and they came back. There’s a website about Brooklyn’s pirate stations that might be of interest: pirateradiomap . It has recordings of some of the Heimish stations that have popped up over the years…an unidentified one on 91.9 that only lasted a few weeks and 105.7 which seemed related to the Lubavitchers. Btw, they were one of the earliest Jewish pirates on the air starting in the late 90’s…with WWMN: We Welcome Moschiach Now.January 17, 2020 12:56 am at 12:56 am #1823688
The Agudah and various organizations should fund a radio station. The tzibbur benefits from it.January 18, 2020 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #1823948
What is the deal with Zev Brenner and talkline motzi Shabbos. Their website has been “under construction for at least 5 or 6 years, I’m not sure if they are still broadcasting live in the NYC/NJ metro area and their webcast sound quality is really poor. Also, it seems that in the past year or two, there are more commercials than “talk”. Maybe the latter is the economic reality for any niche radio broadcast.January 18, 2020 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm #1823986
If what they are doing is illegal, how is it justified?January 18, 2020 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm #1824003
Whatever happened to dina d’malchusa dina?January 19, 2020 5:33 am at 5:33 am #1824012
Why does anyone need broadcast radio?January 19, 2020 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #1824051
<Why does anyone need broadcast radio?
Oh, that’s easy. Outside of owning the radio it’s free to use. You don’t have pay a monthly fee to the internet company, install and update software etc. and that makes them easily accessible to the poor and elderly. The interface is simple to use and they’re very portable. Even if you feel the programming is not kosher you can keep one around to hear the weather and announcements in emergency conditions. Radio will get through when the internet is down. In totalitarian countries like China and Iran radio will get through from outside the border when the government pulls the switch on it’s internet service.January 21, 2020 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm #1824947
Well I’d like to share some terrific real warm, Jewish “Radio” telephone numbers; they outdo traditional radio by far…
Kol Dodi: 718-989-6844 x 17
Sklen songs: 718-751-9744
Shendishov songs: 718-838-1599 x7
Kol Chasidus: 7187357333 and follow the prompts
Bobov songs (must try em) 718 305 6300 x7
for kol yoetz: 54345 then 5511 and on
for kol yisrael chaverim: 836899 then 1001 and on
for important safety info for parents: 811504
Torah anytime: 7182982077
kol halashon7189066400January 26, 2020 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #1826231
Kol Hashalom 88.7 has come back on the air this evening. It’s unclear why they were off for about the past six weeks. Perhaps they got a notice or visit from the FCC while they laid low for awhile and looked for a new location for their transmitter and antenna….(a common modus operandi among Flatbush’s pirate stations.) Or maybe it was a unrelated technical or financial difficulty or an extended trip to Israel by key station personnel. If anyone has word on this please share it here.January 26, 2020 7:41 pm at 7:41 pm #1826233
Why are any of the advantages of radio worth messing with the FCC?January 26, 2020 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm #1826239
Because the FCC is largely a paper tiger. For years stations get warned and if they wait long enough they can go back on the air and not get bothered for awhile longer. There is a new law the PIRATE act which increases fines and tries to pare down some of the bureaucratic red tapes that makes it hard to take the pirates off the air. But there is no extra money in the Act to enable more enforcement and there has long been a statute on the books that allows fines to be redu
ced to ability to pay. As for the station operators, many of them have a strong need to serve their community, be it Jewish, Haitian, Jamaican etc. and there’s probably a profit involved too from selling ads, although I don’t think a whole lot of money comes in that way. Mostly, it seems to be a labor of love.February 3, 2020 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #1828568
To radiolover: So if it’s a labor of love, no license should be required? No civil law respected? My marriage is a labor of love – should I be allowed to hit my wife?February 3, 2020 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm #1828651
Oy huju, such reasoning! If your marriage is a labor of love why would you hit your wife? You love her!
Anyway, what I was trying to give some insight into what the motivation of the pirate radio operator is and why they consider it a grey area and something they can sometimes get away with. It depends who you talk to…when Jroot was raided and shutdown several years ago there was a big discussion on these forums. The Jroot people said their rebbes had justified their breaking the law (and also attacked frum Jews for reporting them, although it’s more likely the complaints came from the Long Island station they were interfering with) Other people cited other rebbes that said it was wrong and how could they do such a thing.
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