FCC commissioner scolds online Longmont Observer for ‘tacit support’ of pirate radio signal

Times-Call (Longmont): A pirate radio signal that first shot out across Longmont’s airwaves late last year has drawn an unusual, high-level scolding from the Federal Communications Commission — directed not at the illicit broadcasters, but to an online news outlet that wrote about their hijacking of an FM frequency.

The letter from FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly raised concerns about the Longmont Observer’s “tacit support” of the pirate radio signal in a Dec. 6 article, then stated the “proper action” would have been to alert the FCC’s Denver field office to its existence, “not suggest people listen while they can.”

The Observer last week published the letter from O’Rielly, a Republican appointed to the commission by President Barack Obama in 2013.

“Over the last year, the FCC has increased enforcement actions in order to cease pirate radio operations throughout the nation,” O’Rielly wrote. “It would be helpful if Longmont citizens and the Observer assisted this effort by, at a minimum, refusing to listen to or support such ‘stations.'”

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