FCC report finds community radio doesn't hurt commercial stations

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) report released Thursday found small, community radio stations do not impact the ratings or revenue of large commercial stations.

"Our final conclusion is that the analysis finds no statistically reliable evidence that [low-power FM] stations have a consistent effect on the economic performance of full-service commercial FM stations," the report found.

The Local Community Radio Act, signed by President Obama last year, repealed restrictions on low-power FM stations, or LPFMs. The law required the FCC to study whether additional community stations hurt large stations.

"The study confirmed the widespread belief that LPFMs don’t cause economic harm or interference to other stations," said Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), who sponsored the Local Community Radio Act. "In fact, if you talk to the folks in the regions that already have LPFM stations, they say LPFMs have had a very positive impact. They provide programs that reflect and enrich local cultures."