February 6, 2009

Boston's Only Black FM Station Goes on Power Walk Across America

The walk across the country is to publicize the cause of low power radio. Charles Clemens is operating "Touch 106", an FM station without FCC permission to operate above a certain wattage. The station violates that rule everyday it broadcast. However the station continues to make an impact in the Boston community. Check out Touch 106.1 at http://www.touchfm.org.
The following is an excerpt from the website. The Boston African American community faces the problem of being underserved by local stations everyday. The city has one AM station (WILD), that goes off the air at sundown and the one low powered FM station that is only allowed to broadcast 3 and a half miles. Jam'n 94.5 doesn't count even though they play hip-hop music; but their appeal is to young listeners who are into TI as much as they are into Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears.

From the website www.walkforpower.com

Beginning in March 2, 2009 and for 6 months after that, TOUCH 106.1 FM Station Owner and General Manager Charles Clemons will be Walking 4 Power across the United States to draw attention to the unfairness of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) when it comes to independent, community-owned and operated radio stations in this country. All TOUCH radio personalities, volunteers and interns are requested to push this effort and get the Word Out about this historic walk!Presently, 1.8% of radio stations in America are owned by African Americans, a paltry figure given our longstanding and significant involvement in U.S. communications and entertainment industries. The majority of those that are black-owned are low wattage affairs with limited broadcast hours.

Boston’s African American community is keenly aware of this having strained for years to listen to WILD, an AM station that broadcasts from sun up to sundown and now TOUCH 106.1 FM whose popular 24-hr programming, hailed “the fabric of the black community”, has been limited by federal rules to a miniscule 3.5 mile radius. These restrictions place black media at a huge disadvantage when it comes to attracting advertisers to reach the 21 millions of African American consumers that power 2 billions of dollars per day which equals close to a 1 trillion of dollars per year of U.S. sales in good economic times and bad.

The Walk for Power, led by Charles Clemons, is meant to make plain black media owners’ plight and the African American community’s need to control and manage vehicles of information and education that powerfully influence its members. The walk raises questions of the rights of American communities to have access and sufficient resources to develop their own media for their citizens that complements, fills in the gaps, and in some cases counters the impersonal, market driven forces of mainstream media.

As he walks across the country, Charles will join with other independent media owners, producers, and supporters to educate the general public and mainstream media about the need for alternative, community-oriented radio stations and to demand that the government create and enforce a level playing field so that all American communities may be empowered by the media.The Walk for Power is about raising the level of community awareness, community voice, community business, and community empowerment, one step at a time. It begins with being the change, you want to see and that’s why station owner Charles Clemons is taking this historic step for his community!Contribute your support, share your thoughts, and stay in TOUCH by emailing Charles at: limo445@aol.com.

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