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Name: Michelle Bradley
Station/Affiliation: REC Networks
Position: Founder
Relevant Experience:

Radio is still our country’s most powerful medium. Even though there are many “non-radio” alternatives out there, they are not capable of what radio can do. Radio does not require a subscription. It is also the original audio “app”. And no matter what, radio can be depended on for local community information by local community people. Those of us in radio must be able to assure that radio remains relevant.

NFCB is a great organization which has high potential, and strength can only come in numbers. LPFM members bring a whole new diversity and challenge to the organization. LPFM stations operate under a completely different ruleset, which in some cases makes it easier, but in some cases, makes it more difficult. Their unique situations, especially in their hyperlocal environments brings a whole new perspective to what we call community radio. With the upcoming window for new LPFM stations as well as the recent window for new full-service FM stations, there will be more opportunities to grow NFCB.

I also remember the NFCB of the past. The NFCB that was much more involved in the regulatory arena through filings and presentations before the FCC on rulemaking proceedings. Currently, the FCC is working on possible changes in the NCE FM rules to remove or reduce the Channel 6 protection requirements, a move that I have been on record to support. My Translator Reform initiative has just been introduced to the FCC and is currently in a public comment phase. Translator Reform would bring the first filing window ever for new noncommercial FM translators in the 88.1~91.9 reserved band since the rules were enacted in 2000. Those rules need to be modernized and this is what Translator Reform does.

For the past 25 years, I have been a significant supporter of community radio through providing information and education to broadcasters and prospective broadcasters, mainly on regulatory related subjects. Through my channels at REC Networks, I have been a strong promoter of NFCB membership for stations, full power and low power. I am a published writer. I have very strong relationships at the FCC and a reputation for creating out of the box solutions.

I envision NFCB to not just be a support channel and a source for music licensing, but to also have a foot in the door in DC and be more of an advocate for community broadcasting. Right now, the only major voices speaking for community radio in DC are NPR and REC Networks. We need another voice, NFCB is that voice.

Our industry is evolving. Some kids these days do not know what a radio is. Automakers are trying to take radio off the dash. AI is starting to have an influence in how we receive audio entertainment and information. AI may try, but they will never replace the true community broadcaster.